Protect our planet
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS ARE INCORPORATED INTO THE DESIGN PROCESS, AND INFORM DECISIONS AT EVERY STAGE.
Taking care of our One Source and One Community. The Absolut Company works hard to minimize negative impacts on the environment, and the vision is sustainable and circular production. Sustainability has been prioritized over many years, which has resulted in reduced consumption of resources and increased reuse and recycling. The company has ambitious goals regarding water use, emissions and energy use, and tries to outperform them.
The sustainability work rests upon solid ground. Strategy One Source One Community is the basis of the company’s work on environmental responsibility. For instance Absolut Vodka is manufactured in Åhus in southern Sweden from local ingredients. The vodka is distilled from winter wheat from local farms, and the bottles are made of over 40 percent recycled glass, manufactured at the nearest glassworks in Limmared. The majority of the packaging materials are sourced locally and the water is pumped from local underground aquifers.
Water is a priority in the sustainability work. Even though Absolut Vodka is produced in a water-abundant area, a lot of work has been done to reduce water use. Technical solutions and more effective production methods have already reduced the company’s water footprint, and there are imaginative ideas about how to reduce it even further.
Through innovation the company’s energy use and carbon footprint have also been reduced. Since 2004, the energy consumption has been reduced by 45 percent and the carbon emissions by 80 percent per litre of vodka. Among large distilleries The Absolut Company now has the lowest energy consumption per produced unit in the world. This has been accomplished by recycling most of the heat produced during distillation.
A lot of energy is also saved by reusing and recycling materials. The glass bottles are made partly of recycled glass, which cuts energy use in the manufacturing by ten percent. The company has set a goal of zero waste to landfill by 2020, and puts a lot of effort into reducing the environmental footprint of the bottles and other packaging. Environmental concerns are incorporated into the design process, and inform decisions at every stage.
In the project Creative Space, four shipping containers were used as a place for entrepreneurs and innovators to work together on solutions for improving the sustainability of the bottles and other packaging. The ideas generated were shared with the company’s suppliers and other business contacts so they can be realized in the coming years. The vodka is produced from wheat grown and harvested in southern Sweden. The Absolut Company has developed cultivation techniques that optimize quality, while minimizing the need for fertilizers and pesticides. The techniques are shared with farmers in a programme that maintain the quality of the soil and groundwater.
Farmers who meet the standards are paid more, creating incentives for future improvements.
Circular business practices, in which resources are used and reused and by-products are regarded as resources rather than as waste, are both good for the environment and profitable. One such example is use of stillage, produced when wheat is distilled to produce Absolut Vodka. The stillage is a by-product of the process. Being rich in protein, the stillage is used to feed 250,000 pigs and 40,000 cows every day.
This approach– reduce, reuse and recycle – characterizes the company’s sustainability work. It is a matter of attitude. What can be used again is not waste, it is an asset. For other brands in The Absolut Company portfolio, for example Malibu/Kahlúa, sustainability is prioritized in a some what different way. For these brands, the company doesn’t own the production. The environmental targets for water use, energy use and emissions are decided at the respective production sites. However, the Malibu and Kahlua teams have indirect influence on production and direct influence on wet and dry goods.
For these brands, the company has identified agriculture, for example production of coffee and sugar, as the key sustainability aspect to focus on. The company has mapped the supply chain for Malibu/Kahlúa, three steps down the chain. This process has provided valuable information on where the largest risks are to be found. The mapping of suppliers is essential for designing ways to handle the risks – both sustainability and quality risks – so as to secure the production. The process has resulted in a well-developed method for setting sustainability standards and checking that they are followed, all based on knowledge about risks and materiality in the supply chain.
PROTECTING OUR PLANET
The strategy One Source is the basis of the company’s work on environmental responsibility.
Through innovation the company’s energy use and carbon footprint have been reduced. Since 2004, the energy consumption has been reducedby 45 percent and the carbon emissions by 80 percent per litre of vodka.
Circular business practices, in which resources are used and reused and by-products are regarded as resources rather than as waste, are both good for the environment and profitable.
For other brands in The Absolut Company portfolio, for example Malibu/Kahlúa, sustainability is prioritized in a somewhat different way. The company has mapped the supply chain for Malibu/Kahlúa, three steps down the chain. This process has provided valuable information on where the largest risks are to be found.