Leading distiller Diageo has collaborated in a successful pilot project to pioneer the lowest carbon footprint glass bottles ever produced for a Scotch whisky brand.
The collaboration with glass manufacturer Encirc and leading industry research and technology body Glass Futures, used waste-based biofuel-powered furnaces to reduce the carbon footprint of the bottle-making process by up to 90%.
For the purposes of the trial Diageo used its Black & White Scotch whisky brand – famous for its label featuring a West Highland terrier and a Scotty dog, and which is a popular and growing whisky in key global export markets.
The trial produced 173,000 Black & White bottles, also using 100% recycled glass, making the batch the most environmentally-friendly ever produced for a Scotch whisky brand.
Further work now needs to be done to develop and scale the trial for future production, but it represents a significant step forward in Diageo’s drive to transform the sustainability of its grain-to-glass supply chain.
Diageo has supported Glass Futures from concept and following the success of the trial has agreed a 10-year partnership to accelerate collaboration and innovation in the glass industry.
John Aird, Senior Packaging Technologist at Diageo, who led the project for the company, said: “We are committed to creating a sustainable future for our business and that includes looking for innovative new ways to make our bottles and packaging that reduces the carbon footprint of our products.
“This trial is just a first step in the journey to decarbonise this aspect of our supply chain and we still have a long way to go, but we are delighted with the results of the collaboration and the platform it creates for future innovation.
“We see Glass Futures as a great opportunity to develop new technology and to help deliver net zero glass manufacturing and we are delighted to support them in that mission.”
Adrian Curry, Managing Director at Encirc, said: “This is a truly momentous occasion for glass. We have set the standard globally with this trial and now the glass industry needs to work towards realising what we’ve proved is possible. We now know that glass can be the most sustainable of all packaging types and must all work together to ensure that happens.”
Aston Fuller, General Manager of Glass Futures, said: “The trial is delivering fantastic results for the manufacturer, end user and consumer. Glass is a fully recyclable and highly sustainable product, and through this trial with Encirc we are seeing the dawn of Net-Zero technologies with this full-scale trial of a new alternative low-carbon fuel.”
The project is part of the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme, within which Glass Futures is leading a £7.1m initiative to explore the most effective routes to switching glass manufacturing to low carbon fuels.
Diageo’s support for Glass Futures is part of its commitment to transforming packaging sustainability. Diageo recently announced its Society 2030: Spirit of Progress sustainability plan for a decade of action to tackle climate change, which includes ambitious environmental goals such as being net zero emissions from all direct operations by 2030.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).
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Encirc, part of the Vidrala group, is a market leader in glass container design, manufacturing, bottling and logistics solutions for the UK, Irish and European food and beverages industries.
With over 1,500 employees, it operates from its three purpose-built sites in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, Elton, Cheshire and Corsico, Italy, the company produces more than 3 billion glass bottles and other containers annually, and can fill up to 250 million litres of bulk shipped beverages every year.
The integrated group offering means customers benefit from a unique supply chain approach, which includes access to Europe’s largest bonded warehouse, significantly shortening the supply chain and delivering considerable cost and environmental savings to customers.
About Glass Futures (www.glass-futures.org)
Glass Futures Ltd is a not-for-profit Research and Technology Organisation connecting the glass industry and academia to create a Centre of Excellence in glass comprising R&D, innovation, training and up-skilling. Central to the proposition is a demonstration-scale glass making facility of 30 tonnes per day capacity.
Glass Futures operates a membership model open to like-minded organisations to work alongside some of the world’s largest glass manufacturers, supply-chain partners, brands and academic institutions collaborating to deliver net-zero to the glass industry.
For more information:
Tel: 07703 987 098
Diageo Scotland Press Office:
Tel: 0131 519 2133