Budweiser teams with EN+ Group in aim to produce its lowest carbon footprint for beer cans
The Budweiser Brewing Group has unveiled plans to trial the production of beer cans with its lowest lifecycle carbon footprint, by collaborating with key companies across the value chain including aluminium producer EN+ Group.
Budweiser will aim to reduce the emissions of its 440ml cans using bespoke aluminium manufacturing technology from EN+ Group and renewable electricity across all areas of the value chain.
Earlier this year, aluminium and hydropower giant EN+ Group built on a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 by also confirming the development of the world's lowest carbon aluminium from inert anode technologies.
According to the Group, metal produced with inert anodes has a carbon footprint that is 85% lower compared to traditional production methods. The new-generation inert anode electrolysers have currently enabled the Group to produce aluminium with less than 0.01 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per tonne of metal. The process also creates the release of pure oxygen. The company claims that “just one of our inert anode cells can generate the same volume of oxygen as 70 hectares of forest”.
The low-carbon material will be mixed with recycled aluminium to reduce the carbon footprint of the aluminium cans further.
The cans will be created by Canpack UK using 100% renewable electricity, and use aluminium coils manufactured by Elval. The cans will be filled at Budweiser Brewing Group breweries in Magor, South Wales and Samlesbury, Lancashire powered by 100% renewable electricity.
The company will produce five million low-carbon cans using this value chain approach.
Budweiser’s sustainability director Mauricio Coindreau 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.”
Budweiser has been using 100% renewable electricity in the UK since January, after investing in wind turbines and two solar farms. More than £100m has also been invested to remove plastic rings from its portfolio, while a goal to brew using 100% British-grown barley has also been achieved, reducing transportation emissions as a result.
In June, Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), unveiled new lightweight beer bottles that have a reduced carbon footprint of 17% compared to its other bottle types, with plans in place to roll them out across Europe.
AB InBev developed new lightweight longneck beer bottles that are 30g lighter than other bottle variants. As such, emissions per bottle have been measured at 17% lower. The brewer states that if these bottles were rolled out across all glass production for AB InBev brands in Europe, emissions savings would be the equivalent of taking 62,000 cars off the road each year.
The brewer is attempting to reduce emissions associated with packaging, which accounts for 50% of its product carbon footprint. More broadly, AB InBev is aiming to reduce value chain emissions by 25% by 2025.