Frito-Lay’s Sunchips Brand and National Geographic Team With Eco Ambassadors

May 29, 2009

Edward Norton, Jayni Chase, Boyd Matson, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Dave Haft to Judge Consumer-Submitted Sustainable Ideas Sparked By the “Green Effect”

PLANO, Texas - SunChips, a brand of Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo, and National Geographic announced today that environmental experts and green champions, along with American consumers, will help determine the winners of its “Green Effect” national contest, now underway.  Among the green leaders judging this contest are Oscar®-winning actor Edward Norton, National Geographic’s Boyd Matson, eco-activist Jayni Chase, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green for All and Dave Haft, Group Vice President, Sustainability and Productivity, Frito-Lay.   The “Green Effect” contest kicked-off on Earth Day, April 22, 2009, and to-date more than 1,200 entries with ideas on how to make communities greener have been sumbitted, for the chance to win one of five grants to help the winners turn their green ideas into reality.  Online submissions will be accepted at until June 8, 2009.

On July 7, 2009, SunChips, Frito-Lay’s popular line of multigrain snacks, and National Geographic will announce the top 10 finalists.  One of the five grant winners will be determined by consumer voting at from July 7 – 20, 2009.  Norton, Matson, Chase, Ellis-Lamkins and Haft will judge the remaining nine finalist entries to select four grant winners.  Each of the five winners will receive a $20,000 grant to help fund their green project.  The five winners and their earth-friendly ideas will be profiled in National Geographic magazine.  In addition, the grant recipients will travel to Washington, DC to share their projects with environmental leaders.

“When the SunChips brand launched the Green Effect initiative, our goal was to inspire individuals and organizations who want to improve their communities in a sustainable way,” said Gannon Jones, vice president, portfolio marketing, Frito-Lay North America.  “We’ve been blown away by both the quality and quantity of ideas received to date.   Today, we’re very excited to announce our judging panel – an incredibly diverse set of individuals whose accomplishments and commitment to the environment are truly remarkable.   We couldn't imagine a better group to help select our Green Effect grant winners.”

Best known for his work as an actor, Edward Norton is also widely recognized for his environmental and social activism.  He is long time board member of Enterprise Community Partners, one of the largest non-profit developers of affordable housing in America, and has played a leading role in promoting sustainable “green” affordable housing. He testified on the issue for Enterprise before the House Select Committee on Climate change, advocating for federal investment and standards to create more energy efficient housing development. Norton has also hosted the award winning National Geographic environmental series Strange Days on Planet Earth, which aired on PBS, and he is a founding Board member of Friends of the High Line, an advocacy group that has turned an abandoned elevated train trestle into an historic new park in Manhattan.

An eco-savvy mother of three and wife of Chevy Chase, Jayni Chase, put her passion for the earth to work by launching the Center for Environmental Education in 1988.  The organization provides resources to K-12 schools looking to get greener.  With her latest endeavor, GREEN reModel, Chase has an ambitious goal: to create the ultimate green school.

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the new Chief Executive Officer of Green For All, which is a national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.  Prior to joining Green For All, Phaedra was head of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA.  Phaedra has distinguished herself as an innovative leader in California and led the way for emerging leaders in the American progressive movement, directing campaigns to win policy victories on local, regional, and state levels.

National Geographic’s Boyd Matson brings more than 30 years of journalistic experience as host of the two-hour, weekend radio show “National Geographic Weekend,” now in its second season. Conducting interviews live in-studio and from the field, Matson connects with some of the greatest explorers on the planet to transport listeners to the far corners of the world and to the hidden corners of their own backyards.

Dave Haft joined Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) in 1984, where he has led some of the company’s most significant sustainability projects to date.   Two major projects under Haft’s leadership include the installation of solar concentrators at FLNA’s Modesto facility and FLNA’s Casa Grande, AZ facility project, where the company will install leading edge technologies to reduce water and electricity consumption by 90%, and natural gas use by 80%.  Dave is also guiding FLNA’s sustainability strategy for the entire supply chain, and with partners in agriculture and retailers.

The Green Effect program is another small step in the SunChips brand’s sustainability journey.  Most recently, the SunChips brand announced that in 2010, it plans to introduce the first fully compostable snack chip bag of its kind made from plant-based renewable materials.

SunChips multigrain snacks, originally introduced in 1991, contain a full serving of whole grains, 0 grams of trans fats, and are made with sunflower oil.  SunChips snacks, available in Original, Harvest Cheddar, French Onion, Garden Salsa and Peppercorn Ranch flavors, provide 18 grams of whole grains per one ounce serving from a blend of corn, oats and wheat.

Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY.  In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.  Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site,, and the Snack Chat blog,

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 325 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit