Budweiser Brewing Group, the UK arm of AB InBev, together with RUSAL, the Metals segment of En+ Group (LSE: ENPL; MOEX: ENPG), the world’s largest producer of low carbon aluminium, CANPACK, global manufacturer of aluminum beverage cans, and ELVAL, a leading aluminium rolling expert, announce the launch of a pilot to produce a can with the lowest ever carbon footprint for an AB InBev beer can produced in Europe.
The pilot will see the production of five million ultra-low carbon Budweiser 440ml cans using new inert anode aluminium technology, produced using renewable electricity. The cans will carry the lowest ever carbon footprint for an AB InBev Europe can and will be sold across UK retailers as soon as Autumn 2021.
The low carbon can is the result of a partnership amongst sustainability-minded businesses who have worked together to pilot the initiative in Europe. The cans will be produced by CANPACK UK using 100% renewable electricity and made out of aluminium coils manufactured by ELVAL, the aluminium rolling division of ElvalHalcor(ATHEX-ELHA). The metal was produced by replacing the usual primary aluminum with the ALLOW INERTA – ultra-low carbon primary aluminium produced by RUSAL with the breakthrough emission-free inert anode technology. The cans will be filled at Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I breweries in Magor, South Wales and Samlesbury, Lancashire powered by 100% renewable electricity.
By partnering across the value chain, the can is traceable back to its source. It starts with ALLOW INERTA, produced with the breakthrough inert anode technology, and it is mixed with recycled aluminium. This new formula achieves the lowest ever carbon footprint for an AB InBev Europe aluminium can, it is infinitely recyclable, and brings the future of low-carbon, sustainable packaging to consumers.
The low-carbon cans will continue to support decarbonisation through their endless recyclability. Three quarters of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today and decarbonisation is accelerating in the industry, showing consumers can trust aluminium as a circular and low-carbon packaging material.
Alongside its ambitious global sustainability goals, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I aims to brew the UK’s most sustainable beers. Since January this year, the company has brewed every single can, bottle and keg in the UK with 100% renewable electricity from its own wind turbine and two solar farms. Following a £115+ million investment, the brewer has also removed plastic rings from its entire portfolio and has met its goal of brewing with 100% British-grown barley, reducing carbon emissions and championing local agriculture.
Steve Hodgson, director of sales and marketing of RUSAL, said: “The work is a result of a partnership that stretches across the whole value chain for the first time- from the mining of bauxite used to produce aluminium, right through to the consumer enjoying a cold Budweiser. EN+’s Metals segment, RUSAL, Budweiser Brewing Group, Canpack, and Elval together are shaping the future of low-carbon aluminium and sustainable packaging.”
Mauricio Coindreau, sustainability director at Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said: “Like our consumers, we care about climate change, and want to make it as easy as possible for people to choose environmentally-friendly options in their day-to-day lives, whether it’s enjoying a beer brewed with 100% renewable electricity and locally sourced ingredients, or now in a low-carbon can. We’re excited about this pilot, made possible thanks to the collaboration with our partners and this amazing technological breakthrough, and we look forward to being able to roll it out even further.”
Ioannis Koufopanos, sustainability director at ELVAL, the aluminium rolling division of ElvalHalcor S.A., Greece, said: “We are excited to participate in this fascinating project. Focused on sustainability, ιnnovation and collaboration, we contribute to the value chain of this challenging pilot. Supporting our partners for the delivery of this low carbon beer can demonstrates our strong commitment to sustainable growth towards carbon neutral and circular products.”
John O’Maoileoin, group sustainability director at CANPACK, said: “Although aluminium cans are one of the most sustainable packaging materials around thanks to the fact they can be recycled forever without any loss of quality, it’s been amazing to push their green credentials forward still further through real collaboration and to create a Budweiser can with a minimal carbon footprint.”
*The inert anode technology from RUSAL, operated by renewable energy, generates one thousandth of the current average emissions for the industry. Direct and indirect smelter emissions are at 0.01, compared to 12 t CO2/t Al for the industry average. The full cradle to gate GHG emissions of ALLOW INERTA – from bauxite to casthouse – come at a record low of 2.5 tCO2/t Al, 85% lower than the industry average.