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Absolut overhauls bottle production as part of CO2 neutral goals

Absolut Vodka is set to become the first global spirits brand to move to a partly hydrogen energy-fired glass furnace for large-scale production, in an effort to reduce the CO2 emissions.

The hydrogen initiative is an important milestone for the brand to become completely CO2 neutral by 2030. Perhaps the biggest step toward this is reducing the carbon footprint of its glass packaging.

Absolut has signed an agreement with Ardagh Glass Packaging in Limmared, a subsidiary of Ardagh Group to enable use of the party hydrogen-fired furnace beginning in the back half of 2023. 

Along with the partnership between Absolut Vodka and Ardagh Group, the Group is also pleased to announce that it’s become a member of Glass Futures, a non-profit research and technology organisation. The company is the connection between the industry and academia to build a Global Centre of Excellence in order to create low carbon bottles.

Stéphanie Durroux, Chief Executive Officer of The Absolut Company, says: "The glass manufacturing industry is on a transformative journey, and the world can’t wait for the perfect solution. A bold and innovative approach is needed to accelerate radical change that will help solve the significant sustainability challenges that all glassmakers and buyers of glass face."

Bo Nilsson, Managing Director of Ardagh Glass Limmared AB, added: “Our industry needs to be less reliant on fossil fuels and transition at pace to using more green energy. By investing in this new technology, we are embarking on a journey to reduce the carbon footprint of our glass packaging. There are challenges with such innovation, but we are committed to being an early mover in futureproofing our glass manufacturing operations world-wide."

Pernod Ricard affiliate Irish Distillers, owner of Jameson Irish Whiskey, took part in a trial in 2020 which leveraged the use of biofuels to produce more than three million glass bottles for Jameson from 100% recycled glass. The results proved effective, with its carbon footprint reduced by up to 90%.

Richard Katz, Chief Executive Officer of Glass Futures said: “At Glass Futures we bring together global supply chains, with common problems, to enable a revolutionary change in glass manufacture to decarbonise both the glass and foundation industries. We’re delighted that Pernod Ricard, a global wine and spirits company committed to being sustainable and responsible, has joined our membership. We hope the trials into new low carbon fuels and technologies will drive innovations in the glass supply chain and support our members on their journey to net zero.”

Vanessa Wright, Chief Sustainability Officer at Pernod Ricard said: “These exciting partnerships, which we are delighted to unveil in the lead up to the COP27, are key to accelerating our sustainability journey. True to our vision ‘Créateurs de convivialité’, we strongly believe in working with others to strengthen what we do collectively and drive innovation for a greener future, in line with our 2030 Sustainability & Responsibility roadmap ‘Good Times from a Good Place.”

14 November 2022 - Bradley Weir