Michelob ULTRA pilots world’s first cans made with aluminium from new zero carbon technology

Michelob ULTRA, the fastest growing beer brand in the United States, will soon hit the shelves in its most sustainable low-carbon can, using aluminium supplied by Rio Tinto.

More than 2.5 million of the Michelob ULTRA “low-carbon cans” will be distributed regionally in the United States over coming months, through a partnership between America’s leading brewer Anheuser-Busch and Rio Tinto to deliver a new standard of sustainable aluminium cans.

Rio Tinto supplied aluminium to Anheuser-Busch from its ELYSIS joint venture, which is scaling up a breakthrough new technology that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases from the aluminium smelting process, instead producing oxygen.

The ELYSIS metal has been combined with low-carbon aluminium from Rio Tinto’s hydro-powered operations and recycled content, to produce Michelob ULTRA cans with 30 percent less carbon emissions per can.

The Michelob ULTRA pilot is the first outcome from an industry first global MOU the companies signed in October 2020 committing to work with supply chain partners to bring AB InBev products to market in cans made from low-carbon aluminium that meets industry-leading sustainability standards.

Currently, around 70 percent of the aluminium used in Anheuser-Busch cans produced is recycled content. By pairing this recycled content with low-carbon aluminium, the brewer will take a key step towards reducing the carbon emissions in its packaging supply chain, which is the largest contributor of emissions by sector in the company's value chain.