Spanish brewery and Ball launch world’s first stewardship-certified beverage cans

The Estrella Damm brewery in Spain has become the first beverage company in the world to achieve double certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI).

Damm has achieved ASI Performance Standard and Chain of Custody Standard certification, which guarantees high environmental, ethical and social standards for the whole aluminium chain – from the production of the aluminium to making the cans, brewing and recycling. From March 2021, the brewer will only use ASI-certified cans supplied by Ball Corporation.

The certification covers packaging and storage of beer in cans, as well as related activities including design, packaging and storage of finished products, waste management and storage, and the recovery of waste, including end consumers’ packaging waste. As consumers demand greater sustainability from their packaged goods, the ASI scheme aims to do for aluminium what the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) did for paper and wood: making sustainability performance a mainstream issue.

As part of the Performance Standard certification, Damm’s life cycle thinking, product design, emissions reduction plans and management of natural resources and waste in its breweries were audited. The Chain of Custody certification covers verified practices – certified under the ASI Performance Standard – from mining and remelting to aluminium casting, rolling, can manufacturing and filling.

The ASI certification also acknowledges Damm’s work in raising awareness of aluminium recycling, through the 349 can compactors it places every year along the Mediterranean coast. As well as this pioneering initiative in the drinks sector, the company partners organisations that promote responsibility among producers and recycling.

The ASI was founded more than 10 years ago by representatives from the aluminium industry and industrial users of aluminium, and from research and policy organisations and society in general, with the aim of promoting greater sustainability and transparency throughout the aluminium industry. Since 2017, organisations have been able to seek ASI certification and more than 160 organisations have joined the ASI as members, demonstrating their commitment to responsible aluminium sourcing.

Carey Causey, president of Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA, said the announcement “represents a landmark moment as we bring together our customers’ ambitions to contribute to a genuinely sustainable economy, with the circular potential of the aluminium beverage can, the world’s most recycled beverage package”.

She added: “Damm’s more than 25 iconic beer brands are enjoyed by consumers in more than 133 countries. We have relished working with such a forward-thinking company that is meeting the increasing demand for sustainable products from consumers and society.”

Ball was the first canmaker to receive ASI certification across all of its 23 EMEA canmaking plants in 2020.

Since 1 December 2020, all Estrella Damm can multipack holders have been made with biodegradable cardboard sourced from responsibly and sustainably managed forests. Damm has also stopped using printed plastic shrink wrap on six-, 12- and 24-packs of Estrella Damm cans, which eliminated the use of 99 tonnes of plastic per year. The plastic has been replaced by new cardboard packaging made with wood fibre sourced from sustainably managed forests with Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).