PepsiCo has launched a pilot project to introduce climate friendly vending machines in the US. 

Under the new programme, The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) is placing 30 Pepsi-Cola vending machines in busy areas in the Washington DC area. 

The machines, which feature the new Pepsi logo along with a green refrigerant sticker, use less energy and generate 12% less greenhouse gas emissions than current vending machines, the company said today (30 March).

In addition, the machines use carbon dioxide, a natural refrigerant, instead of
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The firm said that this marks the first time that vending machines cooled by CO2 have been introduced in the US.

This project is part of PepsiCo's commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of the vending and cooling equipment used to sell its drinks.

"Many people don't realise that the largest part of a vending machine's GHG emissions - about 95%, in fact - come from the energy required to run it," said Robert Lewis, vice president of packaging and equipment development for PepsiCo.  "The insulating foam and refrigerant gases are responsible for the rest, and we're committed to reducing all parts of the equation."

In addition to the machines included in the pilot programme, PepsiCo is testing thousands of machines around the world that rely on other green refrigerants - specifically isobutane and propane - that also have a lower climate impact than current HFC refrigerants.

"We're constantly looking for ways to make our business more efficient and environmentally sustainable," said Lewis.  "This field test will help us evaluate the performance and reliability of these new machines in a real-world environment.  We hope to get a sneak preview of what sustainable refrigeration could look like on a larger scale."

Last week, PepsiCo launched a lighter bottle for its Aquafina water brand in the US, containing 50% less plastic.