British-Australian mining group Rio Tinto and beer brewer Corona Canada have launched a trial of Canada’s first specially-marked, low-carbon beverage can.
The can was manufactured by Ball Corporation, using aluminium from Rio Tinto and leveraging emissions-free Elysis smelting technology.
About 1.2-million cans are being released through select grocery stores and liquor retailers in Ontario, with a QR code to inspire customers to learn more about the cans’ low carbon footprint.
The can launch stems from a memorandum of understanding signed in 2020 between Rio Tinto and Corona Canada’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev, to work with supply chain partners in bringing sustainable aluminium products to market.
“The pilot is a step towards putting a fully traceable beverage can in the hands of consumers. In future, Rio Tinto will use insights from its START initiative to allow consumers to use QR codes to see exactly how their products were made from mine to market,” the miner explains.
Rio Tinto in February last year launched START, which encompasses a digital sustainability label, ensuring traceability for the aluminium industry. The label is available for aluminium purchases from the company’s managed operations globally.
Currently, about 70% of the aluminium used in cans produced in North America is made with recycled aluminium. Coupling this recycled material with Rio Tinto’s low-carbon aluminium reduces carbon emissions of the product by 30%.
Rio Tinto sales and marketing head Tolga Egrilmezer notes that by leveraging insights from START, the company is eager to provide more information to consumers and ultimately deliver more sustainable supply chains and products.
Corona Canada marketing VP Andrew Oosterhuis says change needs to start within production lines as a tangible way to reach ambitious sustainability goals.
“By continuing to introduce market-leading technologies in the beverage space, we are leading by example for other companies and their suppliers to innovate and drive meaningful change for our environment.”