As Keurig Dr. Pepper went through site selection for a new roasting and packaging facility, Spartanburg County’s track record of manufacturing success proved attractive. But important too were community-development efforts ongoing across Spartanburg County.
In municipalities from Landrum to Woodruff, and countywide through OneSpartanburg and other organizational efforts, community-building initiatives are underway. One of those – Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful – is particularly aligned with Keurig Dr. Pepper’s corporate responsibility goals.
“Keurig Dr Pepper’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Monique Oxender is the Chair of the Board for Keep America Beautiful. So, our participation in the Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful affiliate is a very aligned contribution for the Spartanburg KDP site,” said Chuck Hollingsworth, the company’s director of operations.
KDP is a national partner of Keep America Beautiful, which officially certified Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful as a local affiliate in May. In June, Keurig Dr. Pepper announced its “Drink Well. Do Good.” campaign, committing to long-term, environmentally-conscious efforts throughout the company’s facilities in the areas of packaging, waste production and disposal, and water and energy usage.
The company plans to:
- Make all K-Cup pods in the U.S. recyclable by the end of 2020
- Convert to 100 percent recyclable or compostable packaging by the end of 2025
- Use 30 percent post-consumer recycled content across its packaging portfolio by the end of 2025
- Send zero waste from its facilities to landfills by 2025
- Partner with select communities to replenish 100 percent of water used for its beverages
- Improve its water-use efficiency by 20 percent
The company’s $350 million facility, which will bring 500 jobs to Spartanburg County, will be folded into these standards.
“We know Keurig Dr. Pepper is very involved in the communities where they have a presence. We look forward to getting them as involved in Spartanburg,” said John Kimbrell, executive vice president of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, who oversees Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful. “KDP has already contributed to the growth of Spartanburg County’s economy, and we welcome getting them involved with the growth of Spartanburg County’s community.”
Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful was born of the OneSpartanburg community assessment, showing residents wanted to improve community appearance, which boosts the health, safety, and quality of life in a community, along with its potential for economic growth and development.
The focus of Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful will be on litter control and cleanup, beautification, and rehabilitation of the county’s corridors, especially those welcoming visitors, tourists, and potential visitors to Spartanburg County.
In 2018, before merging with Keurig Green Mountain, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (as it was known pre-merger) partnered with Keep America Beautiful to fund 34 grants, distributing 936 recycling bins in public parks across the U.S. Over its existence, the recycling-focused effort provided more than 5,200 recycling bins to local governments and community organizations across 44 states.
Monique Oxender, KDP Chief Sustainability Officer, is a Keep America Beautiful board member. The standards coming to Keurig Dr. Pepper facilities across the U.S. are already in place in Canada, and expanded partnerships with organizations like The Nature Conservancy and others are coming soon.
Hollingsworth said the company takes Keep America Beautiful’s mission – “To inspire and educated people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment” – seriously, and that will fuel their involvement with Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful.
“We are actively involved in the local efforts and affiliations such as Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful so that our local communities know we are a good neighbor and a responsible citizen,” he said.