In KeyKeg’s vision for the future, kegs can be reused as a valuable raw material for new products. This falls directly in line with their aim for a closed material loop. KeyKeg is also continually working to reduce its environmental impact by using fewer raw materials, more recycled materials, and by keeping its energy consumption extremely low. It is a complex area, and that is why three months ago, KeyKeg implemented environmental management software to get a better handle on it.
Bert Hanssen, R&D director, talks more about the reason for choosing the software. “We wanted a clearer picture. What measures are most effective in lowering the environmental impact of a KeyKeg? How does using recycled material affect our impact? How much of our impact is caused by suppliers, and which of them has the biggest environmental impact and thus potentially the most improvement? To get solid answers to these and other questions, we opted for some revolutionary environmental software and now we have the figures and the insights we needed,” says Hanssen.
Years ago KeyKeg chose to use as much recycled material as possible. The first Slimlines consisted of about 32% recycled plastic, a percentage which will soon rise to over 60%. There is also an ongoing project in which all KeyKegs are processed into new raw materials. KeyKeg is optimizing its production processes so that both materials and energy can be used more efficiently. Asked about the added value created by the environmental management software, Bert Hanssen says, “We can now quantify our decisions much better. We now know what the 30% additional recycled material gives us in terms of environmental gain. It’s a lot – as we expected – but what was less obvious was that more than 80% of the impact involved in the production phase of a KeyKeg is caused by our suppliers’ production processes. That got us thinking, and now we’re going to talk about it with our suppliers. These are all steps towards a closed material loop and minimizing our energy use. A lot has to happen before we get there, but every step counts, and with this software we can suddenly take leaps.”