Perfecting our packaging solution
Aluminium is not only the best material to protect the delicate flavours and aromas of our Grand Cru coffees, but it is also infinitely recyclable. However, we need to do more to reduce the environmental impact of our capsules and we are committed to supporting the development of more sustainable aluminium production and encouraging our Club Members to recycle used capsules.
When it comes to our Grand Cru coffees, aluminium is the best material available today to protect our highest quality coffee from factors such as oxygen and sunlight that could compromise taste and quality, and so using aluminium ensures optimal freshness and maximum flavour.
Aluminium is infinitely recyclable. After use it continues to retain all its properties, which makes it possible to recycle it into new aluminium products. By collecting and recycling used capsules, we are able to reduce our environmental impact. Recycling aluminium produces only 5% of the carbon emissions produced when manufacturing primary aluminium. Because it is lightweight, using aluminium also provides transportation and environmental savings when compared to other packaging materials. We have commissioned an environmental study (Life Cycle Assessment or LCA) of our capsules by the independent specialist environmental consultants, Quantis. You can read more about the LCA approach in the Carbon Footprint section. The study shows that among all options assessed to make an espresso coffee in a Nespresso machine, the Nespresso aluminium capsule that is recycled after use is the option with the lowest environmental impacts.
However, in some countries, used aluminium capsules are not classified as packaging and so cannot be collected and recycled in national or local packaging recovery and recycling schemes. Because we believe in the value of aluminium and the importance of recycling, in many countries, we have developed our own recovery systems, so that we can collect and retain used capsules for recycling. We are also exploring different approaches to reducing the environmental impact of our capsules, including creating new partnerships, developing technical solutions and innovation projects.
Our collection capacity worldwide reached 75% at the end of June 2012. We have therefore exceeded the target we originally set ourselves.