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Thu 10 11 2022

Absolut Vodka and Ardagh Group co-invest in hydrogen-fired glass furnace

by bernt & torsten

Absolut Vodka is to become the first global spirits brand to switch to a partially hydrogen-energy-fired glass furnace for large-scale production in a significant step to reduce CO2 emissions from making its iconic bottles. The hydrogen initiative is an important milestone for Absolut Vodka to become completely CO2 neutral by 2030. A prerequisite for achieving this goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of its glass packaging.

Absolut has signed an agreement with Ardagh Glass Packaging in Limmared, a subsidiary of Ardagh Group, to use this partially hydrogen-fired furnace starting in the second half of 2023. The groundbreaking collaboration will accelerate the transformation of the global glassmaking process for a more sustainable future.

Absolut has been a partner for 40 years with Ardagh’s glassworks Limmared in Sweden, which today uses a combination of natural gas and electricity to power its furnaces. Starting in the second half of 2023, Ardagh will launch a pilot at its Limmared plant that replaces 20 percent of its natural gas with green hydrogen to manufacture all of Absolut’s bottles across the portfolio. This means a full-scale change in the continuous production of Absolut bottles for all markets globally. The hydrogen will be produced on site in Ardagh using renewable electricity.

An industry-wide effort to reduce climate impact is underway. In combination with other innovations and sustainability initiatives, new technologies such as hydrogen furnaces will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from glass production.

The use of hydrogen would reduce Absolut Vodka’s carbon footprint from glass by 20%. It follows other joint initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, such as lightweight glass, increased use of electricity in the current furnace and a significant increase in recycled flint glass – today up to 53% with the ambition to go even further.

Absolut owns one of the world’s most energy efficient distilleries. It has 98 percent fewer emissions than an average distillery and has built up a surplus of allowances as a result. The intention is to use these to invest in the green transition. Absolut will support Ardagh in this project and the parties will work together to meet Absolut’s ambitions for a CO2-neutral product by 2030 by using today’s and tomorrow’s best available technologies in glass manufacturing.