When US food giant PepsiCo wanted to create its largest and most sustainable food production facility in Europe, it turned to Arup to design and develop the 54,700m² plant. Embracing decarbonisation and circular economy principles, the factory will be carbon neutral by 2035. It will export to over 20 European countries and create over 450 jobs.
Accelerating progress to net zero
From the moment that material selection and prefabrication began, Arup calculated the plant’s whole life carbon footprint, including construction, operation and deconstruction. This highlighted carbon hot spots for the design team to prioritise in reducing emissions.
Alongside operational energy efficiency, the facility will generate clean power from photovoltaic panels and its own wind turbine, with plans for an on-site solar farm in the future. Waste heat from food production will also be recovered and used to heat the building and generate steam.
The plant will embrace circular economy principles by using leftover potato peelings in a biomass generator that will help provide power and be converted into fertiliser for farmers to grow crops. A starch recovery system will extract starch from post-process water. In addition, the water management system will reuse mains water and rainwater for potato cleaning, cooling and irrigation, before finally flushing WCs.
To minimise carbon during construction, we provided training to the contractor team. A sustainability roadmap and green budget will guide low carbon materials choices, including steel selected with future reuse in mind and local procurement to reduce transport emissions. Once operational, the factory will source potatoes from local suppliers, able to deliver in a timely way to avoid the need to store potatoes.
Growing social value
Putting users first, we asked PepsiCo employees at plants in Poland and Turkey about their needs and experiences.
The result is a user-friendly factory with effective production processes, smooth people flows and the potential for future refurbishments and enlargements without disruption to daily operations. A gym, fitness amenities and a social events programme will promote wellbeing. New cycle paths, walkways and improvements to local public transport will encourage green travel and active lifestyles.
When the global pandemic hit, our specialists quickly identified interventions to limit the spread of the virus for health and productivity. These included changes to heating, ventilation and air conditioning, contactless changing rooms and limited people flows, so workers from different shifts do not cross paths needlessly.
We want our plants to be the greenest, not only in Europe, but around the world. At Sroda Slaska we are re-imagining the future of food production. ” Silviu Popovici Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Europe
Unlocking the power of digital
We are developing the entire project using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to enable modern methods of construction, and have created a digital twin of the factory to facilitate future maintenance. Using the latest digital tools, we have shortened the project timeline and successfully reduced time losses caused by changes to the project scope after market growth required an increase in production capacity. Our cost consultants are also using BIM for quantity surveying, accurately evaluating the costs of different options.
Working as a trusted advisor
PepsiCo recognised the need for a multidisciplinary team to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals. Working as a trusted advisor, over 100 engineers and experts from across Arup have provided a range of services, including technical due diligence for site selection, permitting process, full technical design and cost consulting. We are now supporting the construction process.