Spanish brewer earns aluminum stewardship nod

Damm, a Spanish beer maker, has achieved ASI (Aluminum Stewardship Initiative) Performance Standard and Chain of Custody Standard certification.

Damm becomes the first beverage company in the world to achieve double certification, which is a marker of environmental, ethical and social standards for the whole aluminum chain, from the production of the aluminum to making the cans, brewing and recycling. 

All Damm’s cans, which are supplied by Ball Corporation, will be certified according to ASI’s standards for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship. 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 consumer’s packaging waste.

As consumers demand greater sustainability from their packaged goods, the ASI scheme aims to do for aluminum what the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) did for paper and wood – make sustainability a mainstream issue.

Lifecycle thinking

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 aluminum casting, rolling, can manufacturing and filling.

The ASI certification also acknowledges Damm’s work in raising awareness of aluminum 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 with organizations that promote responsibility among producers and recycling.

The ASI was founded over 10 years ago by representatives from the aluminum industry and industrial users of aluminum, research and policy organizations and the public,  with the aim of promoting greater sustainability and transparency throughout the industry.

Since 2017, organizations have been able to seek ASI certification and more than 160 organizations have joined the ASI as members, demonstrating their commitment to responsible aluminum sourcing.

“Today’s 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 aluminum beverage can, the world’s most recycled beverage package,” said Carey Causey, president, Ball Beverage Packaging, EMEA.

“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 can maker to receive ASI certification, across all of its 23 can making plants in Europe, Middle East and Africa, during 2020.

Commitment to sustainability

To minimize its impact on the planet, Damm has programs aimed at the creation of industrial processes that use less raw and other materials, as well as initiatives to promote energy efficiency in all production centres and circular economy actions.

The company encourages ecological packaging design, reducing the total amount of materials used, while constantly increasing the percentage of recycled raw materials, and improving recyclability.

Since the 1st of December 2020, all Estrella Damm can multipack holders are made with 100% biodegradable cardboard; plastic rings have been eliminated. This was a pioneering project in the brewing industry that will mean a reduction in the use of over 260 tonnes of plastic per year, the equivalent of almost 89 million plastic rings.

The suppliers that manufacture the cardboard for the packs are PEFC and FSC certified, guaranteeing that all the cardboard and paper used comes from responsibly and sustainably managed forests, thereby helping to combat climate change and protect biodiversity.

Damm has also eliminated printed plastic shrink wrap from six, twelve and twenty-four packs of Estrella Damm cans, which will mean a reduction of 99 tonnes of plastic per year. The plastic has been replaced by new cardboard packaging made with natural fibres from trees from sustainably managed forests with PEFC certification.