To build on the policies and programs that Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo already has established in a number of areas including supplier conduct, sustainable agriculture, and environmental health and safety, the company now is rolling out a land policy with zero tolerance for illegal activities in its supply chain and for land displacements of any legitimate land tenure holders.

"Agriculture is an integral part of PepsiCo's supply chain," said Paul Boykas, vice president of public policy for PepsiCo, in a statement. "Regardless of the source of the commodity — whether from suppliers, directly or indirectly, a farm or processor — this land policy defines our intentions and the actions we as a company will take to recognize land rights throughout our supply chain."

This land policy complements PepsiCo's Supplier Code of Conduct, which is being incorporated as part of the contracting process with key strategic suppliers and addresses the areas of labor practices, associated health and safety, environmental management and business integrity. The land policy, which was developed in consultation with Oxfam and other third-party experts, outlines processes and assessments to help meet the zero-tolerance commitment.

In addition to the land policy, PepsiCo will continue to leverage external third-party expertise to help meet its goals and commitments. For instance, PepsiCo is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which was founded to increase the supply of sustainable palm oil products. Through the RSPO, PepsiCo has committed to exclusively purchase 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil for its products by 2015 and 100 percent physical RSPO-certified palm oil by 2020, the company says. PepsiCo also is a member of Bonsucro, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of sugarcane production while recognizing the need for economic viability. Moving forward, PepsiCo will work with Bonsucro and other relevant stakeholders to evaluate certification standards that can help the company meet a goal of 100 percent sustainable cane sugar by 2020, it says.

Also as part of PepsiCo’s commitment to responsible land rights practices, the company says it plans to join the United Nations Committee on World Food Security.

"We value the partnership, insights and collaboration of governments, local communities, [non-government organizations] (NGOs) and other external organizations in our efforts,” Boykas said in a statement. “We remain committed to our mutual goal of recognizing and respecting all human rights.”

Additional information about PepsiCo's policies and guidelines, including the new land policy, and other sustainability initiatives is available on the company's website.