Small change, big difference
The average consumer does not notice when the thickness of the metal cap on their bottle of beer is reduced by three hundredths of a millimetre. But to a company that produces millions of bottles every year, it makes a big difference. To Diageo, that tiny reduction represents 100 tonnes of steel annually – plus a reduction in carbon emissions as a result of reduced transportation.
Over the last six months, designers at Diageo have been perfecting a slightly lighter bottle cap for our beers. The reduction is miniscule from a consumer’s perspective – the weight of the caps have has gone from 2.1g to 2.0g and the thickness has been reduced from 0.23 millimetres to 0.20. Indeed, the main focus of the engineers involved was in making the new caps as effective as the old ones.
Tests were performed to check up on the freshness of the beer and the durability of the new caps before they were rolled out across several African markets. A lining was added and the result has proved remarkably successful.
As well as saving money on raw materials, it has been calculated that this will produce environmental benefits. When multiplied out across Diageo’s whole business this unnoticeable reduction in the weight of an individual bottle will produce a noticeable reduction in the use of fuel in transportation, and thus emissions of greenhouse gases.