Heineken partners with Glass Futures, Enric to produce low carbon glass bottles
Heineken has partnered with a not-for-profit research technology organization, Glass Futures and its supplier Encirc to create sustainable low carbon glass bottles by developing technology and improving processes across manufacturing and the supply chain.
The first low carbon bottle concept is currently tested in the UK.
Heineken statement: The company has been working towards decreasing the environmental footprint of its products. Whilst we are taking action in our own production, we embrace the challenge to decarbonize our value chain. We will only succeed by working closely with our suppliers, NGOs and customers, hence we are happy to team up with Glass Futures to embark on this journey together. We are taking part in a scientific study to better understand methods to decarbonize glass production.”
Heineken says that within this study it has replaced conventional natural gas with biofuel and increased the recycled content for its bottles up to 100% to produce low carbon bottles. For every 10% increase in recycled glass, the company says it can reduce emissions by 5%. The trial, which is in its early stages, will see 1.4 million bottles of Heineken® produced and with the intent of hitting the UK market early 2021. The results will mean that more development can take place alongside developing the current technical infrastructure in producing biofuels, with the eventual goal of introducing them at scale.
Anca Olteanu, Strategic Sourcing Director Packaging, Heineken: “In packaging, representing 30% of our carbon footprint, our ambition is to decrease our CO2 emissions by embedding circularity of our products and developing innovative solutions with the industry. The partnership with Glass Futures and the pilot with Encirc is one of the great examples of how we drive sustainability through collaboration with NGOs and our suppliers. I'm proud that our cross-functional team, from Corporate Affairs, Procurement, Supply Chain to Commerce, was able to support the first steps towards the decarbonization of the glass industry.
Glass is infinitely recyclable with the potential to become truly circular. We will also need help from our consumers to responsibly dispose their glass bottles so they can find their way back into new packaging and close the loop.”
Richard Katz, Chief Executive, Glass Futures: “We are delighted to be collaborating with one of the biggest global drinks brands on projects such as this trial which is already well on the way to setting new standards in lower carbon glass products and processes. This pilot is helping the sector move towards a more sustainable, zero carbon future and demonstrates very clearly what can be achieved when the industry, partners and funders all work together.”
As part of its Brewing a Better World sustainability strategy, Heineken has a continued focus on reducing CO2 from its entire supply chain.