The Reusable Packaging Association has announced two winners in the 2018 Excellence in Reusable Packaging award program: AB InBev and DS Smith Plastics.
AB InBev won for its design and implementation of a comprehensive maintenance, reusable pallet and logistics system that significantly reduced waste, increased reusable packaging lifespan and reduced CO2 impact by 30%.
DS Smith Plastics is being recognised for its collaboration with a supplier to the automotive industry to create a customized reusable transport packaging solution that reduced the cost and environmental impact of transporting components between manufacturing facilities and assembly sites while improving overall material handling and installation labor efficiency.
"Participation in this annual award program continues to grow," said Tim Debus, president and CEO of the RPA. "The innovation reflected in all the entries was outstanding and the field was very competitive. This year, two applications received the highest marks during the judging process and we are pleased to announce that both AB InBev and DS Smith Plastics have received the award for 2018."
Comprehensive reusable packaging strategy at AB InBev cuts waste, cost and CO2 footprint. Investment in a preventative maintenance program for reusable kegs coupled with pallet redesign allowed AB InBev to consolidate heat-treatment and palletization of ready-to-use kegs at a single location (vs. two previously) and increase pallets per load by 33%. Brewery efficiency increased eight percent, transportation of rejected/returned kegs was eliminated, finished goods transportation costs were reduced by 54% and CO2 impact decreased by 30%. This comprehensive approach not only improved environmental and business performance, but it also extended the lifespan of the reusable packaging components used by AB InBev.
"As the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev is constantly working toward the highest level of quality and service to our customers, while doing so in the most efficient and cost-conscious manner possible," commented Andrae Kirkland, who manages returnable packing materials for AB InBev's North American Zone. "This process change allowed us to more effectively manage a specific flow for our keg float and has impacted other areas of our supply chain as well. Innovative process implementations such as this will be key as we continue striving toward our 2025 Sustainability Goals. We are honored to be recognized by the Reusable Packaging Association for this initiative."
AB-InBev opens "robo-warehouse" in Wales
As part of its sustainability drive, AB InBev also opened a new automated ‘robo-warehouse’ at its largest UK brewery in Mangor, South Wales, this week.
AB InBev said it plans a global roll-out of the technology.
The 'robo-warehouse' aims to reduce the brewery’s carbon footprint by 605 tonnes of CO2 by reducing transport between warehouses.
Using robotic cranes across six stories and nine miles of racking, the technology will be able to retrieve any one of the stored pallets in under 60 seconds.
Lloyd Manship, brewery manager for AB InBev, said: “This investment demonstrates our commitment to Wales. It means we can get our beer out and into stores and pubs faster and more efficiently than ever before, that’s ultimately good for us, our customers and the environment.
“I’m proud that this technology is a global first for AB InBev and look forward to seeing its implementation all over the world.”
The investment also bolsters AB InBev’s commitment to its 2025 Sustainability Goals.
Through the sustainability drive, the brewer has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 25% across its value chain against a 2017 baseline.
This equates to taking more than 1.5 million cars off the road each year.