PepsiCo is looking to reduce the carbon footprint of its Tropicana brand in a pilot programme that will attempt to tackle its use of fertilisers.

PepsiCo said that fertilisers contribute to around 35% of the carbon footprint of the Pure Premium range.

It said that fertiliser use and application for the growing process was the largest single source of carbon emissions in the product.

To tackle the issue, PepsiCo said that its Florida suppliers are testing approaches using reduced-carbon fertilisers.

Specifically, Tropicana, in tandem with one of its long-time growers, SMR Farms, is launching a pilot study to test two alternative fertilisers to determine whether using either could significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with the agricultural production of oranges.

PepsiCo said that, if successful, this change could reduce the total carbon footprint of Tropicana Pure Premium by as much as 15%.

"This pilot programme is an example of how PepsiCo is working hand-in-hand with our suppliers to find innovative ways to make our agricultural practices more environmentally sustainable," said Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. "As a company that relies on the Earth's natural resources to make our products, we are keenly focused on reducing our carbon footprint wherever we can. If this test is successful, it could positively impact growing practices far beyond our business alone."

The new study will last up to five years to match the maturity cycle of orange trees.

One outcome of the pilot could be blending the best components of each low-carbon fertiliser to create a superior hybrid solution with an even lower carbon footprint, PepsiCo said.