Under this initiative, Carlsberg aims to assess new products for upcycling potential using a Cradle-to-Cradle analysis, which will reveal if the products contain any chemicals or additives that would reduce the value and quality of the materials.
Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, president/CEO of Carlsberg Group, says, "We want to build our resilience and prepare for future growth in an environment of increased resource scarcity and we want to develop solutions that benefit not only our business, but also the environment and the societies in which we operate. The packaging initiative and the cooperation with suppliers are a big leap forward. By cooperating with our suppliers, we can achieve far more than each of us can do alone."
The first stage in this process will be for Carlsberg to conduct assessments of products to identify potential for optimizing the products according to Cradle-to-Cradle principles. Carlsberg's target is to cooperate with a select number of partners and to launch three Cradle-to-Cradle certified products by 2016.
One of its suppliers, Petainer, supplies Carlsberg with DraughtMaster preforms, high-quality lightweight PET material that cost less than 10 percent of the price of steel kegs, while also offering a range of environmental and performance benefits. Petainer has been invited to participate as a founding member and the only current PET packaging supplier.
Unlike steel kegs or other plastic variants, single-use DraughtMaster kegs do not have to be cleaned, so there is no need for the water, chemicals or energy usually associated with the cleaning process. Every DraughtMaster keg saves approximately 12 liters of water, mitigating "water stress."
All DraughtMaster kegs use sophisticated barrier technologies to restrict oxygen ingress and reduce CO2 losses. There is no taste taint, since no aluminium or other metals are present to affect the flavor of the product stored.
Annemieke Hartman-Jemmett, group commercial strategy director at Petainer, says, "To be asked to take part in this programme by Carlsberg is recognition of our ability to respond to a challenging innovation like the DraughtMaster. PET kegs are the future; they are shaking up the market and allowing brewers and other drinks suppliers to deliver beverages anywhere in the world offering great commercial advantage and with greatly reduced environmental impact. It's wonderful for these efforts to be recognised with the invitation to join the Carlsberg Circular Community."
Hartman-Jemmett adds: "We've worked really closely with Carlsberg to optimise the design of the DraughtMaster keg, so it's exciting to see them including this product as part of the Carlsberg Circular Community."
Additionally, Carlsberg Group has also joined forces with O-I, the world's largest glass container manufacturer, in this landmark packaging sustainability initiative.
O-I will provide its extensive sustainability expertise to assess current glass packaging and will work closely with Carlsberg and its CCC partners to launch Carlsberg's first Cradle to Cradle-certified glass packaging solution by 2016.
"We are pleased to be sharing our sustainability expertise with Carlsberg and the Circular Community partners to deliver real benefits to consumers, society and our shared environment," says Erik Bouts, president of O-I Europe. "We believe that collaborating throughout the value chain will bring new and innovative packaging solutions."
Glass is made from widely available natural raw materials and is infinitely recyclable, making it a suitable Cradle to Cradle packaging material. In addition, O-I says it is continuously improving its manufacturing processes, driving energy efficiency and optimizing packaging designs for its customers. One of the company's sustainability goals is to increase the amount of recycled glass used in production. In Europe, some of the company's 36 plants use up to 90 percent recycled glass.
The Carlsberg Circular Community is also expected to create other benefits beyond sustainability, through new partnerships and closer co-operation throughout the value chain.