Diageo invests in groundbreaking project to create a circular economy for aluminium in UK

23 May 2023 | Press release
Opening a can of Guinness
  • Funding has been provided to a new consortium which will build a UK-based aluminium plant in the UK
  • The new facility will provide recycled aluminium for over 400 million cans of Guinness and pre-mixed Gordon’s and tonic, significantly reducing Diageo’s carbon emissions
  • The UK will lead the way in creating a more sustainable aluminium supply chain


Tuesday 23 May: Today, Diageo has announced that it has provided funding to establish the British Aluminium Consortium for Advanced Alloys (BACALL), a collective of industry experts who will create a circular economy for aluminium in the UK. They will build a plant to roll hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aluminium sheet in the UK, more than enough for over 400 million cans of Guinness and pre-mixed Gordon’s and tonic.

Currently, to recycle and remake cans, the UK is reliant on an energy-intensive supply chain that is based on the unsustainable exporting and importing of aluminium.

The consortium will build an advanced aluminium recycling and manufacturing plant, to establish a new circular-economy supply chain for aluminium. This will keep the recycling of aluminium in the UK and cement the UK’s position as a leader in the adoption of carbon reduction and manufacturing.

Once the plant is up-and running, the recycled aluminium will significantly contribute to Diageo’s 10-year sustainability action plan by:

  • increasing the use of recycled aluminium with Guinness cans made of 100% recycled material
  • reducing the carbon emissions needed to export and import aluminium sheet
  • reducing the dependency on raw materials needed to create aluminium
  • contributing to a reduction in Diageo’s Scope 3 carbon emissions, as the plant will use 95% less energy in the production of its aluminium sheet versus traditional prime production methods

Diageo has been working with BACALL since 2021 when Diageo jointly funded a feasibility study with the UK Government (via Innovate UK) into whether and how a large-scale circular economy strategy could be adopted across the aluminium sector tailored to the UK.

Ewan Andrew, Global Supply Chain and Procurement & Chief Sustainability Officer at Diageo, commented: “We are excited to be a part of a project that will ultimately change the production of aluminum in the UK. We are now seeking to work in partnership with business and Government to not only reduce aluminium’s carbon footprint, but also to bring this part of the aluminium supply chain back to the UK.”

David Sneddon, non-executive Director of BACALL Aluminium Ltd commented: “Aluminium is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet – yet the 15 billion plus cans made in the UK rely on an energy-intensive supply chain, that requires aluminium to be brought in and out of the country.

“By sourcing, recycling, manufacturing and supplying aluminium flat rolled sheet in the UK, we can localize and close the supply chain, providing substantial reductions in carbon emissions. This will help create a more sustainable aluminium industry and will secure the future capacity of ultra-low carbon alloys.”

Geoff Scamans, Professor of Metallurgy at Brunel University commented: “Aluminium has the potential to be zero carbon, but the entire supply chain needs to see a dramatic reduction in emissions. The UK currently exports much of its aluminium scrap, yet at the same time, imports nearly all aluminium sheet. By changing this, we should see a significant carbon footprint reduction. I applaud Diageo and BACALL for beginning this process.”



Notes to Editors:

  • BACALL is committed to growing the UK’s manufacturing industry and the plant is currently at the design, engineering and site selection stage.
  • Diageo has committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its direct operations and a 50% reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030.

For media enquiries: Please contact press@diageo.com


About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives and ways to share best practice.

About Bacall

BACALL’s mission is to convene world-leading businesses and industry experts to localise aluminium recycling and manufacture, securing the future capacity of ultra-low carbon alloys and enabling a more sustainable aluminium industry. BACALL is partnering with some of the world’s biggest companies, including Diageo, to re-imagine the supply chain. For more information about BACALL, our mission and our people, visit www.bacall.uk.