Glass Futures is proud to announce that global drinks brand HEINEKEN has joined its membership to further its ambitious R&D strategy to create sustainable low carbon glass bottles by developing technology and improving processes across manufacturing and the supply chain.

Glass Futures, its membership and HEINEKEN will share knowledge and resources for R&D projects to introduce scalable solutions for the benefit of the whole glass industry. The first low carbon bottle concept is currently being tested in the UK in a joint project with glass producer Encirc utilising Glass Futures’ technology funded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

At HEINEKEN, the team is continuously working towards decreasing the environmental footprint of  their beers and ciders. Whilst taking action within production process, it also embraces the challenge to decarbonize the value chain. They plan to work closely with suppliers, NGOs and customers, and becoming a member of Glass Futures is part of that collaborative journey.

Packaging represents 30% of HEINEKEN’s carbon footprint and their ambition is to decrease the CO2 emissions by embedding circularity of its products and developing innovative solutions with the industry. With suppliers, they are already working closely to share knowledge to accelerate the decarbonisation of the sector.

Glass is infinitely recyclable with the potential to become truly circular and HEINEKEN will be calling on their consumers to responsibly recycle empty glass bottles so the bottles find their way back into new packaging and close the loop. On average, a glass bottle can be remade into a new bottle around 60 days of original use.

Anca Olteanu, Strategic Sourcing Director Packaging from HEINEKEN said:

It’s for this reason we have partnered with Glass Futures, and our supplier Encirc, taking part in a scientific study to better understand methods to decarbonize glass production. Within this study we have replaced conventional high carbon natural gas with a sustainable low carbon biofuel and increased the recycled content for our bottles up to 100% to produce low carbon bottles. For every 10% increase in recycled glass, we can reduce emissions by 5%. The trial, which is in its early stages, will see 1.4 million bottles of Heineken® produced with the intent of hitting the UK market early 2021. The results will mean that more development can take place alongside developing the current technical infrastructure in producing biofuels, with the eventual goal of introducing them at scale.

“The partnership with Glass Futures and the pilot with Encirc is one of the great examples of how we drive sustainability through collaboration with NGOs and our suppliers. I’m proud that our cross-functional team, from Corporate Affairs, Procurement to Commerce, was able to support the first steps towards the decarbonization of the glass industry.

Glass Futures’ Chief Executive Richard Katz said:

We are delighted HEINEKEN, one of the biggest global drinks brands, has joined Glass Futures to collaborate on projects such as this trial which is already well on the way to setting new standards in lower carbon glass products and processes. This pilot is helping the sector move towards a more sustainable, zero-carbon future and demonstrates very clearly what can be achieved when the industry, academia, partners and funders all work together. We look forward to future announcements that are able to deliver a positive message for collaboration across the industry and encourage other, like-minded organisations to join in our membership

For more information about membership with Glass Futures please contact