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Diageo Establishes Sustainable Packaging Guidelines for Alcohol Brands
December 13, 2011
Diageo, parent company of alcohol brands like Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Baileys, Jose Cuervo, and Guinness, published its first sustainable packaging guidelines last week.
The guidelines establish a sustainable packaging framework, implementation plan and targets for delivering the smallest possible environmental footprint.
Diageo says the framework begins with designing minimal packaging. To do this the company has created a packaging life cycle assessment tool, called SPOT (Sustainable Packaging Optimization Tool). The tool will allow Diageo to rapidly assess the environmental impact of new and existing pack designs.
For example, last year Diageo introduced a new Smirnoff Ice bottle design inBrazilthat uses 17.5 percent less glass, resulting in an annual reduction of 2,300 metric tons of glass and CO2 reductions of 1,500 tons. This year the company aims to eliminate an additional 14,000 metric tons of glass.
By 2015, Diageo aims to reduce the average unit weight of its product packaging by 10 percent across the board.
Other goals include ensuring that 100 percent of packaging designs are reusable, recyclable or suitable for waste management practices within individual countries by 2015.
Diageo also set a 2015 target to increase by 20 percent the recycled content of its packaging materials, which would push the company above 40 percent across its portfolio. Currently one-third of the glass the company uses is recycled content, aluminum is 50 percent, and paperboard is 70 percent.
“This is an important milestone that will ensure a consistent approach to developing new packaging and reviewing existing packs,” says David Gosnell, president of global supply & procurement for Diageo. “The guidelines will not only help us meet our stretching sustainable packaging targets for 2015 but also support our engagement with customers and consumers – and further embed our position as corporate leaders in environmental sustainability.”
Bart King is a PR consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.