Absolut Vodka has signed an agreement with Ardagh Glass Packaging in Limmared, Sweden, to use a partly hydrogen-fired furnace commencing in the second half of 2023.

Absolut has been a partner with Ardagh's Limmared glassworks for 40 years, which currently uses a combination of natural gas and electricity to power its furnaces.

From the second half of 2023, Ardagh will launch a pilot in its Limmared plant replacing 20% of its natural gas with green hydrogen to manufacture all of Absolut's bottles across its portfolio.

The hydrogen will be produced onsite at Ardagh by using renewably sourced electricity.

The hydrogen initiative is an important milestone for the Pernod Ricard-owned brand in becoming CO2 neutral by 2030.

A prerequisite for being able to meet this goal is in reducing the carbon footprint of its glass packaging.

The use of hydrogen would reduce Absolut Vodka’s carbon footprint from glass by 20%.

It follows other joint initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, such as the light-weighting of glass, increased use of electricity in the current furnace and a significant increase in recycled flint glass – today reaching 53% with the ambition to go even further.

Absolut owns one of the world's most energy-efficient distilleries. It has 98% fewer emissions than an average distillery and has built up a surplus of emission rights as a result.

The intent is to use these to invest in green transformation.

Absolut will support Ardagh in this project and the parties will work together to fulfill Absolut’s ambitions of a CO2 neutral product by 2030 by using today’s and tomorrow’s best available technologies in glass manufacturing.

Bo Nilsson, Managing Director of Ardagh Glass Limmared, said: "Our industry needs to be less reliant on fossil fuels and transition at pace to using more green energy.

"By investing in this new technology, we are embarking on a journey to reduce the carbon footprint of our glass packaging.

"There are challenges with such innovation, but we are committed to being an early mover in future-proofing our glass manufacturing operations."