Heineken and Glass Futures seeks to create sustainable low carbon glass bottles by developing technology and improving processes across manufacturing and the supply chain

Heineken is continuously working towards decreasing the environmental footprint of its products. Whilst the company are taking action in their own production, Heineken embraces the challenge to decarbonise its value chain.

The company believes it will only succeed by working closely with its suppliers, NGOs and customers, hence its partnership with Glass Futures to embark on this journey together.

It is for this reason that Heineken has partnered with a not-for-profit research technology organisation (RTO), Glass Futures and its supplier Encirc, taking part in a scientific study to better understand methods to decarbonise glass production.

Within this study, the company have replaced conventional natural gas with biofuel and increased its recycled content for its bottles up to 100% to produce low carbon bottles. For every 10% increase in recycled glass, we 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 in 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.

“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 decarbonisation of the glass industry,” said Anca Olteanu, Heineken Strategic Sourcing Director Packaging.

“Glass is infinitely recyclable with the potential to become truly circular. We will also need help from our consumers to responsibly dispose of their glass bottles so they can find their way back into new packaging and close the loop.”

Glass Futures’ Chief Executive Richard Katz commented, “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 Heineken’s Brewing a Better World sustainability strategy, the company have a continued focus on reducing CO2 from its entire supply chain. Collaboration is key – innovation, testing and trial will be at the heart of its continuous efforts to Drop the C.

Hence the company welcomes this industry-wide initiative that connects drink producers, glass suppliers, policymakers and research institutes to advance together with the decarbonisation of their sectors.

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