Major beer, wine and spirits producer Constellation Brands on Thursday introduced two new sustainability commitments: increasing its use of “circular packaging” and pursuing zero waste to landfill certification through TRUE.
Constellation, the American producer and supplier behind big brands including Corona and Modelo beer and Svedka vodka, aims to significantly enhance circular packaging use across its beverage portfolio. Targets by fiscal year 2025 include:
- Reducing by 10% its packaging weight to liquid wine and spirits weight ratio
- Ensuring that 80% of wine and spirits packaging is returnable, recyclable or renewable
- Replacing the plastic in beer hi-cone ring carriers with recyclable paperboard
Constellation also aims to attain TRUE certification by FY 2025. It plans to undertake actions such as reducing operational waste at its facilities and improving diversion from landfills. Companies participating in TRUE’s program must meet seven minimum program requirements, such as achieving 90% or greater diversion and meeting federal, state and local solid waste and recycling regulations.
Glass wine and spirits bottles generally have presented sustainability challenges as some municipalities cut — and then some reintroduced — curbside glass recycling in recent years. The two items also tend not to be included in bottle deposit programs, although California added them last year and states like New York are moving to add them in proposed bottle bill updates.
Plastic rings for beverage multi-packs have been a longstanding issue for brands, as the rings typically are not recyclable curbside and often end up in landfills or in the environment as pollution. Brands increasingly are turning to more sustainable options such as cardboard packaging or hard plastic beverage toppers that are recyclable.
Constellation leadership indicated in the news release that the new commitments align with the company’s existing sustainability aspirations. They suggest the company has made progress on its stewardship in recent years, including through energy conservation for greenhouse gas emission reduction, as evidenced in its 2022 ESG impact report.
The Constellation team is “laser-focused on continuing to build on this commitment through a disciplined approach and by executing targeted initiatives that are both good for our business and key stakeholders and good for the world,” said Mike McGrew, executive vice president and chief communications, CSR, and diversity officer, in the statement.