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Human Rights

Human Rights Why It Matters


We are a global company with a complex value chain that spans multiple tiers and hundreds of countries and territories. A robust management approach is required to prevent, identify, and address potential human rights impacts. Our approach is grounded in the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and includes the following pillars:

PepsiCo Human Rights Approach

With this approach as our foundation, we prioritize our efforts by focusing on our salient human rights issues – the human rights at risk of the most severe negative impact through our company activities and business relationships. This process helps ensure that we have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to help prevent and address potential human rights risks across our value chain. We also work on a variety of additional issues (e.g., Climate Change, Privacy, Nutrition, Added Sugar and Sodium Reduction) through our broader Sustainability Agenda. We closely monitor emerging issues and regularly review our salient issues to ensure alignment with emerging best practices and external stakeholder feedback.

Human Rights Salient Issues

We believe that strong governance is essential to successfully embedding respect for human rights throughout our business. Our global governance structure is responsible for overseeing and managing human rights at various levels throughout our business, with our Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Chief Human Rights Officer serving central oversight and management roles. A detailed description of our human rights program (e.g., governance, policies, and due diligence processes) is included in the PepsiCo 2019 Human Rights Report.


In 2020, notable progress was made across our human rights management approach, including:

Freedom of Association

Freedom of association refers to the right of all workers to join or form a legally recognized trade union or any other organization. While freedom of association is a fundamental right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, there are still a variety of challenges in ensuring that it is consistently respected around the world – from interference with the rights of workers to legal restrictions on the right of association.

PepsiCo has endorsed the following Human Rights Charters and Declarations

We respect the right of freedom of association, and this principle is embodied in our Global Code of Conduct, Global Human Rights Workplace Policy, and Global Supplier Code of Conduct. This means that, consistent with local laws, associates have the right to assemble, communicate, join associations of their choice. PepsiCo fully complies with all laws regulating collective bargaining. In 2020, approximately 51 percent of employees worldwide, eligible to be covered under collective bargaining agreements, were represented. PepsiCo maintains positive working relationships with union representatives.

For more detail on how we help ensure freedom of association, see our Human Rights Report.

Human right to water

Water is fundamental to the global food system and to our business. It nourishes the crops used to make our products, serves as the main ingredient in many of our beverages, and is an integral component of our manufacturing operations. But in some regions, water is scarce. Climate change is also worsening pressures on water resources around the world, with current estimates indicating that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed regions by 2025.

For detail on our 2020 progress protecting the human right to water, see Water.

Land rights

Secure land rights are a vital component of economic prosperity, sustainable food production, and the responsible use of natural resources. This can be particularly true in developing countries and areas inhabited by indigenous communities, yet current estimates indicate that only 30 percent of the world’s population has a legally registered title to their land. Land rights issues have the potential to directly impact local communities and the daily lives of rights holders, such as through physical displacement or the loss of economic opportunity.

For detail on our 2020 progress protecting land rights, see Land Rights.

Vulnerable workers

The terms “vulnerable workers” and “vulnerable worker groups” are generally used to refer to a specific set of workers that are at a higher risk of experiencing potential adverse human rights impacts. The underlying reason for their vulnerability can be the result of a variety of factors such as their location, industry, or employment conditions. Recognizing the scale of our value chain and the inherent complexities involved in global agricultural supply chains, we identified vulnerable workers as one of our salient human rights issues during our last review. Through internal assessments and consultations with external experts and stakeholders, we determined that migrant workers, women, young workers, and temporary/contract workers were the groups with a higher risk of potentially experiencing adverse human rights impacts across our value chain.

For more detail on how we work to protect vulnerable workers, see our Human Rights Report.

Working hours and wages

Given the complexities of the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, workers in these industries are at a higher risk of facing potential adverse human rights impacts related to working hours and wages, such as excessive working hours, lack of adequate rest periods, and compulsory overtime. We are committed to providing fair and equitable wages, benefits, and other employment conditions in accordance with local law, and we expect the same of our suppliers and business partners throughout our value chain.

For more detail, see our Human Rights Report.

Workplace safety

Supporting the health, safety, and well-being of workers throughout our value chain is one of our top priorities as a company. We have established a number of policies and programs to help drive health and safety values throughout our direct operations and supply chain.

For more detail on our 2020 progress on workplace safety, see Environment, Health, and Safety.

Human Rights Progress and Challenges

Strategic Partnerships

We participate in a variety of multi-stakeholder groups and collaborative initiatives to enhance our knowledge of specific issues, drive industry-wide progress, and help address systemic challenges facing our industry. Several of these groups include AIM-PROGRESS, the Sedex Stakeholder Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment.

What's Next

We will continue to use our unique size and scale to advance respect for human rights throughout our value chain, prioritizing action to address our salient human rights issues.

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