Circular economy inspires 12 new sustainability commitments from Rexam

Global beverage can manufacturer Rexam has updated its sustainability framework following a comprehensive materiality study earlier this year.

The study has resulted in 12 commitments being laid out as part of the company's effort to improve upon its global recycling rate of around 70% of beverage cans.

One of the obligations is the reduction of the overall carbon footprint of a beverage can by 25% by 2020, including the embedded carbon in the materials Rexam converts into cans whilst another commitment ensures due focus is paid to reducing water consumption in the can manufacturing process.

Rexam's chief executive Graham Chipchase said: "We achieved 16 out of the 20 sustainability targets that Rexam set itself back in 2010, and we have now have 15 new challenging targets for 2020 to build on those achievements.

"We are continually challenging ourselves to be the most sustainable business we can be - a fundamental part in achieving Rexam's goal to be the best beverage can company in the world."

The additions to the sustainability framework complement Rexam's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of material and reduce energy consumption. Earlier this year, edie reported on the company's alliance with Carlsberg as one of the founding partners of the Carlsberg Circular Economy.

Rexam focuses on three critical areas (products, operations and employees) in its new commitments: -


  • Promote and actively support recycling systems for its products. The company aims to achieve the industry targets in all regions. 
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of its cans by 25% by 2020 
  • Engage with policymakers, customers and the supply chain to minimise the impact of packaging and packaged goods on the environment. 
  • Develop a minimum of five new products and manufacturing processes per year 


  • Continuously improve its material efficiency. 
  • Reduce the energy used and the carbon intensity per normalised unit of production by 7% by 2020. 
  • Reduce the tonnage of waste to landfill by 25% by 2020. 
  • Reduce the amount of water withdrawn per normalised unit of production by 10% by 2020. 


  • Make sure its employees are working in a safe and healthy environment. 
  • Continue to build a winning organisation. 
  • Ensure actions and interactions are guided by fairness, respect, integrity and honesty. 
  • Encourage all teams to be constructive members of its local communities. 

Infographic: Rexam's circular economy ambitionsHere are 10 things you need to know about the circular economy.


Lois Vallely


| Circular economy | manufacturing | packaging | sustainable business


Waste & resource management
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