Carlsberg joins forces with suppliers to eliminate waste by developing next generation of packaging for high-quality ‘upcycling’.

| Source: Carlsberg A/S

Press Release /2014
21. January 2014


Carlsberg and selected global suppliers have joined forces to rethink the design and production of packaging material, to develop the next generation of packaging products that are optimised for recycling and reuse, while, at the same time, retaining their quality and value. The approach is increasingly referred to as “up-cycling”. The cooperation has been formalised through the Carlsberg Circular Community as part of the Carlsberg Group’s work on Sustainable Packaging.

The founding companies working together with Carlsberg are;

  • Rexam: Cans
  • Arkema: Glass bottle coatings
  • O-I: Glass packaging
  • RKW: Shrink Wrap
  • MWV (MeadWestvaco): Paperboard Multipacks
  • Petainer: PET kegs for draft beer

Rethinking the concept of waste

In the future we are all facing increasing pressure on natural resources due to the ever-increasing demand for consumer goods. This is creating further demands on businesses to use materials more efficiently. However, the current efficiency approach adopted by industry is unlikely to be sufficient to affect long-term sustainable change.

Reducing dependence on primary materials as the input to creating these consumer goods is one of the ways companies can secure continued sustainable growth. Earlier studies by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Co. project billions of Euros in savings from stimulating economic activity in product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment[1].

The companies will be using the Cradle to Cradle Design Framework®, created by Professor Michael Braungart and EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, to develop a Cradle-to-Cradle® roadmap and assessment of their products.

Professor Michael Braungart says:
“Carlsberg and its suppliers are taking an important step on the roadmap towards creating new benefits with packaging. This co-operation is a great example of companies planning together for the future, creating solutions to the global challenges that face us all. I encourage companies to join Carlsberg in its efforts to develop innovative packaging and rethink the concept of waste.”

Carlsberg Circular Community - inspired by Cradle to Cradle®
Cradle-to-Cradle® is a business platform for innovation and quality, with the aim of improving the quality of products so that they

  • have an improved consumer quality for the user
  • pose no health risk for anyone who comes into contact with them
  • are of both economic and ecological benefit


“We want to build our resilience and prepare for future growth in an environment of increased resource scarcity. And we want to develop solutions that benefit not only our business, but also the environment and the societies in which we operate. The packaging initiative and the co-operation with suppliers represent a big leap forward. By partnering with our suppliers, we can achieve far more than each of us can do alone”, says Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, President and CEO in Carlsberg Group.

With this initiative, Carlsberg aims to have new products undergo an assessment for up-cycling potential using a Cradle-to-Cradle® analysis, which will reveal if the products contain any chemicals or additives that would reduce the value and quality of the materials. The targets are to include 15 partners and to have a minimum of three products Cradle-to-Cradle® certified by 2016.

Carlsberg is already using solutions that reduce reliance on natural resources, such as refillable glass bottles, which in some markets are used more than 20 times, and the beverage can which is infinitely recyclable. One of the key challenges that the initiative will focus on is creating solutions that are both sustainable and appeal to the consumer.

Following the first phase, further analyses will we done as regards how the initial findings can be used to create new products and solutions that can contribute to up-cycling for a resource-efficient economy and society. Carlsberg’s ambition is to be a frontrunner for circular economy materials by leveraging Cradle-to-Cradle® innovation and quality.

< End>

For interviews, quotes and questions please contact:

Ben Morton,                     00 45 33 27 1417 /

About CSR in Carlsberg Group

A central element of the Carlsberg Group's CSR strategy is the integration of corporate responsibility throughout the value chain. Embedding CSR in existing business processes, developing policies to ensure standards and setting global and local targets to improve CSR performance form the cornerstone of this strategic process. Read more about CSR in Carlsberg:


Read more about Cradle to Cradle & EPEA at:

Cradle to Cradle® and C2C® are registered trademarks of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry LLC.


About Carlsberg Group

The Carlsberg Group is one of the leading brewery groups in the world, with a large portfolio of beer and other beverage brands. Our flagship brand – Carlsberg – is one of the best-known beer brands in the world and the Baltika, Carlsberg, and Tuborg brands are among the eight biggest brands in Europe. More than 4,000 people work for the Carlsberg Group, and our products are sold in more than 150 markets. In 2012, the Carlsberg Group sold more than 120 million hectolitres of beer.


About the partners


Arkema: a specialty chemicals manufacturer focused on innovation and a major world chemical player, Arkema provides its customers with practical solutions to address the challenges of sustainable development. With operations in more than 40 countries, some 14,000 employees and 10 research centers, the Group generates annual revenue of €6.4 billion. For further information, visit



Rexam is a global consumer packaging company. We are one of the leading global beverage can makers and a major global player in rigid plastic packaging for healthcare applications. We are business partners to some of the world’s most famous and successful consumer brands. Our vision is to be the best global consumer packaging company. We have 67 manufacturing plants in 24 countries and employ around 11,000 people. Our sales from continuing operations in 2012 were in the region of £4.3 billion. For further information, visit



The RKW Group is a globally-active company. It is one of the leading international manufacturers of high-quality polyethylene and polypropylene films and nonwovens. The independent, family-owned company has been setting the standard in terms of quality, innovation and service for over 56 years. Today, around 3,000 employees work in 20 locations around the world. In 2012, the company generated sales of about EUR 840 million. For further information, visit



MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) is a global packaging company providing innovative solutions to the world’s most admired brands in the healthcare, beauty and personal care, food, beverage, home and garden, tobacco, and agricultural industries. The company has been recognized for financial performance and environmental stewardship with a place on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index every year since 2004. For further information, visit



Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) is the world's largest glass container manufacturer and preferred partner for many of the world's leading food and beverage brands. With revenues of $7.0 billion in 2012, the company is headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio, USA, and employs approximately 22,500 people at 79 plants in 21 countries. For further information, visit;



Petainer is an innovation-led PET and plastics packaging company. We combine business understanding with packaging innovation to deliver gamechanging solutions supported by a comprehensive sustainable framework delivering economics to brand owners. For further information, visit




[1] Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Towards the Circular Economy vol.1. 2012.