Crown activates renewable energy in all US and Canadian beverage can plants
18 Jan 2021 --- Crown has activated renewable power across all its US and Canadian beverage can plants in what the supplier describes as an industry first.
PackagingInsights speaks to John Rost, vice president global sustainability and regulatory affairs at Crown, about choosing wind power and the company’s progress in adopting renewable energy in other parts of the world.
Crown’s completion of the wind power transition in the US and Canada advances its global operations to 27.5 percent renewable electricity, aligning with its Twentyby30 and RE100 commitments.
The beverage can specialist is now operating all 14 of its beverage can plants in the US and Canada on renewable energy. It claims to be the first metal packaging manufacturer to achieve this milestone, resulting from a 15-year wind power Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with Longroad Energy.
Rost says finding the right partners and working to secure a deal providing renewable electricity for Crown in a cost-effective way was one of the main challenges.
“Our US and Canadian VPPA is just another step in our transition to 100 percent renewable electricity. We are already using 100 percent renewable electricity in the UK and will soon be announcing deals in other parts of the world,” Rost adds.
“As a RE100 member, we are committed to achieving 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050, if not sooner.”
Major carbon cuts
Crown’s accelerated use of alternative power sources serves as a major step in its plan to employ 60 percent renewable electricity by 2030, 90 percent by 2040 and 100 percent by 2050 – targets established in Crown's Twentyby30 initiative, a comprehensive sustainability program addressing climate issues.
The action also supports Crown's Twentyby30 goal to decrease Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within its global operations, targeting a 50 percent combined reduction in absolute Scope 1 (fuel) and Scope 2 (electricity) emissions. The transition reflects Crown's commitment to the RE100, which is led by The Climate Group and CDP and focuses on accelerating the transition to zero-carbon grids at global scale.
Relying on a Texas-based wind farm, the VPPA generates more than 440,000 MWhs of electricity, helping prevent over 310,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year, Crown reports.
These carbon savings are equivalent to taking at least 67,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year. The renewable power offsets 100 percent of the energy use within Crown's US and Canadian beverage plants, accounting for over 20 percent of the company's global Scope 2 GHG.
Wind, solar and market maturity
Rost points out Crown’s US and Canadian VPPA was with a wind farm because it represented “the best opportunity for the company at the time we were looking to transition to renewables.”
“Crown is working on numerous projects in multiple geographies in both wind and solar.”
“Many parts of the world we operate in still have emerging renewable markets. We closely monitor all our markets, but some regions will be slower to transition to renewable electricity because of that market immaturity.”
“Making a pledge to the RE100 initiative, setting science-based emission reduction targets and now implementing wind power across our US and Canadian beverage plants – these are all actions we view as critical for driving measurable progress against climate change for our planet,” he concludes.
Crown is reporting progress against its journey to using 100 percent renewable electricity via its company website and biennial sustainability reports.
In other company news, a close collaboration between Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East, Efes Georgia and graphic artist David Matchavariani recently brought acclaimed medieval poet Shota Rustaveli’s epic 12th century poem “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” to life on a series of limited edition beverage cans for Georgian beer brand, Natakhtari.
By Joshua Poole
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