Packaging

Packaging plays a critical role to contain, protect, preserve, transport, inform and communicate our brands to our consumers. As part of our ambition to deliver First Choice for Consumers and Customers we are committed to delivering packaging which meets or exceeds expectations for performance, product integrity, consumer safety and environmental sustainability. We see this as part of reducing our negative Beer Print. As stated in our Global Packaging Policy, we are committed to:

  • Reduce the amount of packaging used,
  • Re-use packaging where possible,
  • Collect and recycle all packaging materials or educate the consumer in the recyclability of our packaging, and
  • Support Our Beer Print agenda

2020 Strategic Goal

In 2016 Molson Coors set a new long-term strategic packaging goal to reduce packaging weight by 10% by 2020 per unit of production (baseline 2015). The scope for the goal will include all owned production facilities including the Molson Coors International (MCI) business.

To achieve this we will focus on:

  • Increasing or adding recycled content of materials where possible
  • Expanding consumer engagement in recycling efforts
  • Continued use of sustainably certified materials for our packaging
  • Packaging Optimization through weight and format

Our Performance

In 2012 we set a goal to achieve 4% absolute reduction in primary packaging weight by 2015. The goal was based on primary packaging only. Since then we have improved data collection approaches to include secondary packaging. In 2014 we collected both primary and secondary packaging usage data for the first time. We re-baselined our 2012 and 2013 data to include secondary packaging. In 2015 we revised our 2015 target and committed to reduce packaging weight by 25% from a baseline of 2012, we exceeded that annual target and reduced packaging by 31%.

Total Packaging Sold Globally (tonnes)1

2012 2013 2014 2015 % Change in Weight (against 2012 baseline)
Total Packaging2 682,185 643,828 541,156 470,719 31%

1 Molson Coors International (MCI) was not included in the 2015 target, they are included for 2020 target.

2 Excluding keg volumes.

A centralized Global Packaging Council oversees and shares best practice in packaging, packaging technology, innovation and sustainability. Increasing focus on customer and consumer needs ensures we deliver a solution fit for purpose.

Part of the Council’s strategic approach is to collaborate with global and regional organizations such as Sustainable Packaging Coalition; Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER); The Packaging Association (PAC); and the Brewers Association of Canada (BAC), to ensure we are adopting best practice and technologies. The Council is committed to evaluating alternative materials, down gauging, looking at design modifications and the elimination of components, in an effort to optimize the weight of our packaging without impacting the performance of the package for the consumer.

The majority of Molson Coors’ packaging materials are recyclable, refillable and/or light-weighted. All of our bottles and cans include recycled materials, and many consist of up to 75 percent recycled content.

To create sustainable packaging – from concept design to packaging finalization – we systematically consider metrics including:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (tonnes CO2e per unit of production)
  • Distance to Transport
  • Recycle Content
  • Recovery Value

Recent redesign and product introductions include:

  • The Cobra 660ml bottle was light weighted in the UK as a result of a new supplier negotiation. A 10g reduction per bottle was achieved giving an annualized weight saving of 173 tonnes. This change was implemented at the end of March 2013, providing a 135 tonne saving for 2013.
  • We invested £6.3 million in state-of-the-art packaging technology in the UK, packaged the UK’s leading brand Carling in film instead of cardboard from June 2011 onwards, reducing the weight of secondary packaging by 63% and reducing carbon emissions by 4%. Learn more.
  • We eliminated 5g of PET from each bottle, overall reduction of 120 tonnes in Central Europe with a cost savings of $175,000 annually. Through a series of line testing and quality control testing we also reduced the overall steel gauge thickness of our bottle crowns, a reduction of 130 tons of steel annually and a savings of $70,000. Learn more.

Our Molson Coors Standards for Suppliers outline our commitment to source from suppliers who grow, convert, produce and deliver bio based packaging materials in line with our sustainability standards. In 2014 we implemented a Supplier Scorecard with a sustainability review including packaging. Developed in Canada, this was rolled out across Central Europe later in 2014. Suppliers are targeted according to their spend profile. Learn more about how we are working with suppliers on innovative packaging.