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PepsiCo and Prince Sultan University activate first student led competition following MoU signing last year

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PepsiCo
  • The MoU signed by both entities activated their first student competition with winners receiving cash prizes worth up to eight thousand Saudi Riyals.
  • Through the strategic partnership, PepsiCo and PSU will ensure the campus achieves its target for the Zero Waste Initiative

Following the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in September 2022, PepsiCo, the leading food and beverage company in the region, Prince Sultan University (PSU), and Center for Sustainbility and Climate have activated their first phase of student competitions, with winners announced last Monday. Cash prizes were given to each category winner ranging from first to fifth place, worth up to eight thousand Saudi Riyals.

As part of the initiatives set to engage students in an experiential learning journey and help foster a circular economy in the Kingdom, PepsiCo aims to share its expertise and resources to  integrate sustainability at PSU. The Zero Waste initiative focuses on driving circularity on campus through awareness of the zero-waste goal, with students incentivized to ideate projects and initiatives that help reduce waste on campus.

Five groups were shortlisted to present their ideas to a panel of judges, each taking on a different environmental challenge. The selection criteria focused on the originality of the initiative, the stage of action in the value chain, how stakeholders are stated and addressed, the impact of the creation, implementation ability, and how sustainably viable the initiative is in the long run.

Group 1, Watt’s the Problem? Let’s Stop Wasting Energy! presented by the College of Computer & Information Science, focused on the transferring services hosted at PSU’s data center to Google Cloud through Cloud Computing.

Group 2, Tharb, presented by the Colleges of Architecture and Design, Engineering, Business Administration Computer & Information Science, designed an innovative app with features intended to locate specialized waste containers, reporting cases of pollution and comprehensive guides on recycling methods.

Group 3, Trash to Cash, an incentive-based project, by the Colleges of Engineering, Computer & Information Science, and Business Administration, delved into the integration of IoT and NFC Sticker Tags to properly dispose of waste in smart waste bins.

Group 4, E-Waste, Time for Action, by the Colleges of Computer & Information Science, Architecture and Design, and Law, looked into developing an electronic wastebin that sorts e-waste using sensor and RFID technology.

Group 5, Launching the Recycling Club presented by the College of Business Administration, set out to launch a club dedicated to recycling and developing a waste management system.

While each idea impressed the judges panel of PepsiCo and PSU delegates, Group 1, Watt’s the Problem? Let’s Stop Wasting Energy! came in first, receiving an eight thousand Saudi Riyals prize for their project. To follow, Group 2 came in second and received an award of six thousand Saudi Riyals, Group 3 in third and received an award of four thousand Saudi Riyals, Group 4 in fourth received an award of three thousand Saudi Riyals, and finally Group 5 in fifth place, receiving an award of two thousand Saudi Riyals.

Aamer Sheikh, PepsiCo CEO, Middle East, commented, “PepsiCo believes in the instrumental role the youth of Saudi Arabia play in driving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals towards a greener tomorrow. For over 65 years now, the Kingdom has been our home and we are proud to engage with local institutes such as Prince Sultan University to further drive our ambitious sustainability agenda. Guided by PepsiCo Positive (pep+), PepsiCo’s strategic end-to-end transformation for driving long-term sustainability, we are working towards building a circular and inclusive value chain globally. We aim to strengthen our efforts towards achieving a zero-waste future for the university campus, and challenge students to dig deeper into the issue of plastic waste and the benefits of a circular economy through academic research.”

Dr. Ahmed Yamani, President of Prince Sultan University, said, “We are delighted to be working closely with PepsiCo on our Zero Waste initiative and ensuring we are aligned with the goals set for Saudi Vision 2030. The projects presented by the students are a direct reflection of PSU’s commitment to the future generation of leaders. Our students are of course our priority, and we are proud to be leading them in the right direction with PepsiCo’s sustainable agenda.”

Throughout the region, PepsiCo’s sustainability efforts have been at the forefront of an evolution towards eco-conscious consumption in a circular economy. By working closely with local bottling partners, the brand ensures that large amounts of plastic remain diverted from landfills. PepsiCo and key partners, including mass waste collector WASCO and environmental solution provider, Naqaa, have installed 16 smart, solar-powered sorting machines to collect and sort empty plastic bottles in Makkah, and placed 80 recycling stations at the race start in Jeddah of the Dakar Rally. The MoU with Prince Sultan University is one way PepsiCo is bringing its visionary goals to life in Saudi Arabia. 

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