“Plastic reduction” is an old topic for beverage manufacturers, but have you ever heard of carbon reduction by converting carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into raw materials for producing beverage bottles, thereby reducing the consumption of petroleum raw materials?
Recently, Danone’s beverage brand pulse unveiled the world’s first “smart carbon” pulse concept bottle in Wuhan. At the same time, it announced that it would cooperate with lanzatech, an innovative company focusing on carbon capture and transformation for a long time, to invest in the above-mentioned new packaging material production technology, hoping to explore breakthrough environmental protection packaging solutions for the beverage industry. On the same day, the pulsating “Wuhan green factory exhibition hall”, which gathers the green innovation achievements of Danone China, was officially opened to the public.
“We hope to achieve mass production of this technology in the next few years.” Jacques Ponty, senior vice president of Danone drinking water and beverage Greater China, said that Danone will continue to explore the development trend of carbon reduction technology in the next few years, and is committed to continue to cultivate the Chinese market in the next 20, 30 or even longer years.
Let’s take a look at the details.
“Smart carbon” packaging
According to the data, lanzatech is the world’s leading carbon capture and utilization technology enterprise, which has developed a unique technology platform for the production of low-cost liquid biofuels and high-value chemicals. The company’s production process can make use of a variety of greenhouse gas resources and become resources for the production of fuels and chemicals, so as to reduce the dependence on traditional fossil resources and promote energy conservation and emission reduction.
Taking the pulsating “smart carbon” packaging bottle as an example, its production process innovation lies in directly capturing carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or mixed gas from carbon rich gas, converting it into ethylene glycol through biological metabolism, and then making pet. Using “carbon capture” technology to produce pet can not only reduce the consumption of petroleum raw materials, but also reduce the carbon content in the atmosphere. The PET bottles produced can also be recycled. It is reported that compared with the traditional process, the new process can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1.3 kg per kilogram of PET production.
Lanzatech pointed out that carbon capture technology can well solve the carbon emission problem of the food and packaging industry and is an effective means to realize circular economy and carbon emission reduction in the future.
It is worth noting that Chinese consumers are expected to become one of the first users of pulsating “smart carbon” packaging bottles. Danone said in reply to the snack generation’s query: “Danone is lanzatech’s active partner in this research field. Within Danone, pulse is a suitable brand, which can put the sustainable PET bottles produced through this technological innovation into the Chinese market.”
It is understood that the pulsating “smart carbon” concept bottle displayed by Danone at the scene is marked with “made from CO2” in relief to emphasize the source of the packaging bottle. It also shows the brand’s idea of protecting the blue sky and white clouds through more environmentally friendly packaging through the design of clouds and other patterns.
Zhaoyali, honorary chairman of China Beverage Industry Association, also said on the day of the event: “from the use of clean energy such as solar energy to the improvement of energy efficiency of production lines, from the construction of digital chemical plants to the investment in industrial negative carbon technologies such as low-carbon packaging concept bottles, we see that Danone has continuously introduced the latest cutting-edge technologies in the world into China, promoted the implementation and formed effective results transformation, and continuously injected new impetus into the sustainable development of beverage packaging.”
Lay out new trends in advance
Jacques Ponty, senior vice president of Danone drinking water and beverage Greater China, said on the same day that Danone had taken the lead in achieving the carbon peak in 2019 and was now moving towards the commitment of achieving carbon neutrality in the whole value chain in 2050.
“We are looking for breakthrough technologies. At present, we are conducting scientific and laboratory certification. Next, we need to expand it to the industrial field, which is what lanzatech is doing. We will provide funding to lanzatech through cooperative organizations so that they can continue to develop this technology.” According to ponyak, Danone’s internal packaging R & D team is reviewing quality, food safety and Danone standards. In the future (smart carbon packaging bottle) will need several years of development and verification before it can enter industrial mass production.
When asked whether the new technology would increase production costs, he said that the current oil price was $120, and the price of PET was 50% higher than a year ago. “Although the development of alternative technologies requires time and effort, we believe that in the future, this alternative technology will be competitive in terms of cost and will also benefit our environment and carbon emission reduction actions.” Ponjacques said.
It is not difficult to find that by arranging the latest technologies under the trend of carbon reduction in advance, Danone not only hopes to become a leader in the field of carbon emission reduction, but also hopes to establish a positive and responsible corporate image in the eyes of the younger generation of consumers around the world who are increasingly concerned about environmental issues.
Xiaoshidai saw that Roland Berger consulting company pointed out in the report that according to a survey of 10000 consumers in more than 10 countries around the world, young Chinese consumers ranked third in the world in terms of their participation in sustainable development. They have a strong awareness of environmental protection and plan to choose a sustainable lifestyle in the future. According to the survey, since young people are the main consumers in the next few decades, their increasing awareness of environmental protection will promote the transformation of sustainable development of brands.
In this regard, ponyak frankly believes that although it is impossible to quantify when this new technology will succeed, “Danone believes that this is a must” and that consumers will definitely choose the products of environmentally responsible enterprises.
Continue to promote carbon reduction
In fact, Danone’s announcement to cooperate with lanzatech to develop carbon reduction packaging technology and release the “smart carbon” pulsating concept bottle in China is just the latest “Puzzle” on China’s carbon reduction map. Previously, the company has set a goal that all pulsating product production plants will be carbon neutral by 2023.
In April this year, the two plants in Wuhan and Qionglai announced that they would become the first carbon neutralization plants of Danone in China, and also the first carbon neutralization plants in China’s beverage industry.
It is reported that in pulse Wuhan plant, waste heat steam is not only used to replace the original natural gas boiler, but also the roof photovoltaic project is introduced, which can generate about 4million kilowatt hours of electricity every year, accounting for more than 30% of the total power consumption of the plant. Through the above actions, Danone has avoided the emission of nearly 16000 tons of carbon dioxide. For the remaining 185 tons of carbon emissions, the company offset the residual carbon emissions by purchasing the carbon emission reductions of local projects in Wuhan, thus realizing the net zero emissions of Wuhan plant and obtaining the carbon neutralization certification.
In 2021, the average local green energy utilization rate of pulse plants will reach 43%, and it is expected to reduce more than 220000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the next 25 years through photovoltaic power generation.
“Wuhan factory is a very important flagship factory and a pilot factory for many innovative development projects.” Ponyak also said that Danone has reduced the weight of pulsating bottles by 30% in the past decade without affecting the packaging quality, which also means that the use of plastics has been reduced by 30%.
He said that Danone had taken a series of carbon reduction measures in the past, including reducing the pulsating carbon footprint of a single bottle by nearly 40%, providing consumers with 100% recyclable packaging, and carrying out activities to advocate circular economy and environmental protection. However, improving the environment is an “arduous Long March”. Danone is committed to continuing to deeply cultivate the Chinese market in the next 20, 30 or even longer years. The company will continue to predict the future trend and provide solutions to deal with climate change and carbon emission reduction.