Anheuser-Busch InBev Partners with Rio Tinto for More Sustainable Beer Can

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Oct 6, 2020

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(Credit: Pixabay)

Rio Tinto and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, have formed a global partnership to deliver new sustainable aluminum cans. The two companies have signed an MOU committing to work with supply chain partners to bring AB InBev products to market in cans made from low-carbon aluminum that meets industry-leading sustainability standards.

Initially focused in North America, the partnership will see AB InBev use Rio Tinto’s low-carbon aluminum made with renewable hydropower along with recycled content to produce a more sustainable beer can. The two companies say this will offer a potential reduction in carbon emissions of more than 30% can compared to similar cans produced today using traditional manufacturing techniques in North America.

The partnership will also leverage outcomes from the development of ELYSIS, a disruptive zero carbon aluminum smelting technology.

The first 1 million cans produced through the partnership will be piloted in the United States on Michelob ULTRA.

Currently, around 70% of the aluminum used in AB InBev cans produced in North America is recycled content. By pairing this recycled content with low-carbon aluminum, the brewer says it is taking a step towards reducing the carbon emissions in its packaging supply chain, which is the largest contributor of emissions by sector in the company’s value chain.

Aluminum has been top of mind for many companies working on sustainability initiatives. In January, Centerplate, Ball Corporation and Bud Light announced an agreement to bring Ball’s infinitely recyclable aluminum cups to guests at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens for Super Bowl LIV.

Ball designed the lightweight aluminum cups in response to growing consumer preference for more sustainable products. Centerplate, the catering partner for Hard Rock Stadium, adopted the cups as part of the company’s Better Tomorrow 2025 goals and to help forward the venue’s broader mission to phase out 99.4% of single-use plastics this year.

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