Canada/USA: AB InBev and Rio Tinto cooperate on low-carbon aluminum cans

AB InBev and Rio Tinto, a leading global mining group, have formed a global partnership to deliver a new standard of sustainable aluminum cans. In a first for the canned beverage industry, the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding 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 first one million cans produced through the partnership will be piloted in the United States on Michelob ULTRA — claimed to be the fastest growing beer brand in the country.

This use of cans which are made with renewable hydropower along with recycled content will offer a potential reduction in carbon emissions of more than 30 percent per can compared to similar cans produced today using traditional manufacturing techniques in North America.

Ingrid De Ryck, Vice President of Procurement and Sustainability, North America at AB InBev, said the company had been looking for new ways to reduce its carbon footprint across its entire value chain and improve the sustainability of its packaging to reach its sustainability goals. “With this partnership, we will bring low-carbon aluminum to the forefront with our consumers and create a model for how companies can work with their suppliers to drive innovative and meaningful change for our environment.”

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