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Frito-Lay facility receives LEED Gold existing building certification

PepsiCo’s Modesto, CA, snack plant becomes the first food manufacturing plant in the state to achieve LEED Gold certification for an existing building.

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Modesto, CA, facility has become the state’s first food manufacturing site to be awarded LEED® Gold existing building certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), as verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Frito-Lay North America now has eight certified LEED Gold existing buildings across the country with manufacturing sites in Casa Grande, AZ, Topeka, KS, Perry, GA, Beloit, WI, Jonesboro, AR, and Killingly, CT, along with its Plano, TX-based headquarters.

“Frito-Lay’s certification shows tremendous leadership in greening an existing building, which makes up the vast majority of the U.S. building stock,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair, USGBC. “Greening our existing buildings helps save money and energy, creates healthier places to live, work, and learn—all while addressing our single greatest opportunity to help solve the climate change equation.”

To achieve LEED certification, the company’s Modesto sustainability strategy included implementing a number of green design and construction features, and water reduction technologies and practices:

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• Energy reduction: The Frito-Lay Modesto facility has reduced its natural gas consumption by 25% per pound of product and its electricity use by 24% per pound of product since 1999 by installing new technologies such as the 1MW photovoltaic solar system, which generates nearly 25% of the facility’s electrical requirements when in operation, high-efficiency lighting throughout the plant, and a thermal solar system that generates steam to help cook its chips. According to Frito-Lay, these and other initiatives greatly reduce the facility’s emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

• Water reduction: The facility has reduced its water consumption by nearly 36% per pound of product since 1999 by implementing technologies that reduce water used in its corn cooking and potato chip processing. The facility also implemented automatic sinks and hand-washing stations with low-flow fixtures.

• Recycling: More than 98% of the Modesto facility’s solid waste is diverted from landfills. The site achieved this milestone through many initiatives, including an employee-led recycling program, reusing cardboard shipping boxes multiple times, and allocating waste product for use in animal feed.


Frito-Lay Modesto has been a part of the Stanislaus County community for 21 years. The more than 340,000-sq-ft building sits on approximately 80 acres of land. Frito-Lay Modesto produces snacks, including Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips, Sunchips, Tostitos tortilla chips, Doritos tortilla chips, and Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks.

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