Frito-Lay’s Sunchips Brand and National Geographic Name Five Grant Recipients in “Green Effect” Initiative

July 22, 2009

From Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeovers and Campus Greenhouses to a Community Tree Planting Day; Winners Inspire Green Change Nationwide

PLANO, Texas - The SunChips brand, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division’s popular line of multigrain snacks, and National Geographic announced today the five winners of the Green Effect, a national initiative that encourages consumers to take their own small steps toward helping the planet. After receiving consumer feedback during a two-week voting period, the SunChips “Green Effect” initiative revealed “Give Plants a Chance” by Hingham High School of Hingham, Mass., which plans to create a campus greenhouse to help educate students on how to live a completely sustainable life, as the top-voted consumer idea. A panel of eco ambassadors chose the other four grant winners which include:

1. “Canal Tricycle Recycling Co-operative” by Canal Youth Concilio of San Rafael,     
     Calif.: will add a fleet of industrial tricycles to its four month old community recycling 
     cooperative, helping Canal residents keep their neighborhood trash-free and green.
2. “Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeover” by CarbonfreeDC of Washington, DC: 
     will help 20 low-income families from a city block green their homes and save on their 
     energy bills.
3. “Green Classroom Party Kids” by Julian Elementary School of Julian, Calif.:
     plans to curb waste created by the usage of disposable dishware for class 
     celebrations by creating green classroom party kits of reusable dishware for public 
     schools in San Diego County.
4.  “Re-tree Colorado” by Tristan Frolich of Steamboat Springs, Colo.: plans to organize  
      a tree planting day to plant 20,000 lodgepole saplings around the resort town to 
      replace those killed by the Mountain Bark Beetle.

“We’re extremely proud of the five winners and believe in the big changes each of them will bring to their community,” said Gannon Jones, vice president, portfolio marketing, Frito-Lay North America. "In the end, the judges and consumers based their votes on the mission of the Green Effect which was to support compelling ideas that would truly accelerate green change, as well as inspire others to make their own changes."

In April 2009, SunChips and National Geographic challenged consumers across the country to submit their ideas on how to make their communities greener. The initiative received more than 2,500 unique entries. The five winners will each receive a $20,000 grant to help turn their green idea into reality.

In addition to the grant, the winners and their earth-friendly ideas will be profiled in National Geographic magazine and will travel to Washington, DC to share their projects with environmental leaders. The judging panel, which helped to choose four winners, was comprised of 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 North America.

"These ideas were all inspiring to read and it was difficult to choose between them.  I was particularly glad to see that so many focused on how to educate and engage young people in changing our basic approach to how we live and on training people to think sustainably so they will carry the lessons and come up with their own ideas. This was my main criteria in selecting the winners. Simple individual actions are important and inspiring, but clearly we need a radical re-education of our society to effect change at the speed we need it, said actor Edward Norton. “Congratulations and thanks to everyone who submitted these ideas and kudos to SunChips and National Geographic for sponsoring such a thoughtful contest."

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,

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.  Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries.  With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.  By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.  For more information, please visit

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. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 31 local-language editions, is read by more than 40 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 305 million households in 34 languages in 165 countries. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 12 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geography illiteracy. For more information, visit