Rexam and Carlsberg recently celebrated a Bronze level certification from the Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute for cans supplied by Rexam into the UK market. Matthew Rowland Jones, European Sustainability Manager at Rexam, explains more:
The Bronze Certification marks an important step in our joint sustainability journey with Carlsberg. The certification, part of Carlsberg’s Circular Community initiative, is the first ever Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certification to be given to a beverage can. The acknowledgement was a huge feat for both Carlsberg and Rexam and marked the first success of their partnership that formed in 2013, when Rexam joined the Carlsberg Circular Community as a founding member.
The Carlsberg Circular Community uses the Cradle-to-Cradle® design framework to work with suppliers and encourage innovation and quality in the industry in pursuit of zero-waste, a key focus for Rexam. It aims to increase the creation of sustainable innovations, create clean material streams that are optimised for reuse and recycling, as well as support the sharing of knowledge between companies to create resource efficient products.
The C2C certification describes how products fit into circular economy Technical or Biological cycles. According to publications by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, these cycles are the basis for cost-effective circular economy material flows. C2C is also the only certification to identify up-cycling potential by ranking ingredients for those cycles.
The Rexam cans were assessed on five areas of sustainability including material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness; the results reinforce Rexam’s key belief in the can as a packaging format that is highly optimised for a sustainable, circular economy.
As a global beverage can maker, sustainability lies at the heart of Rexam. Earlier in 2014 Rexam developed a unique infographic with engaging illustrations, highlighting the three key stages of beverage cans within the circular economy – manufacturing, consumption and recycling, showcasing the infinite recycling potential of the beverage can and its resource efficiency credentials.
We were thrilled to be part of a collaboration that sees cans supplied by Rexam awarded the first Cradle-to-Cradle certification of its kind. There is still a way to go to encouraging consumers to recycle cans and focusing on consumer involvement in the recycling process continues to be a focus for us moving forward.
The bronze award Carlsberg and Rexam received was categorised at a level where most C2C certified products usually start, and Rexam has developed a plan to ensure continuous improvement moving forward. By working collaboratively, Rexam and Carlsberg will strive to improve recycling rates locally and help supplier communities to accelerate their material and process improvements.