Metal packaging company Crown Holdings has signed a 15-year agreement to purchase renewable electricity from a new solar power project in Spain.

This deal significantly expands Crown’s use of clean energy in Europe and supports its ambitious sustainability goals.

The deal, a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA), is with Enel Green Power España, a subsidiary of Endesa, Spain’s largest electric utility.

The solar project will provide renewable electricity for all of Crown’s European operations covered by the Alliance of Issuing Bodies, a key energy certificate system in Europe.

This deal is a major step towards Crown’s goal of achieving 75% renewable energy use by 2030 and 100% by 2040, as part of its Twentyby30 sustainability programme.

The project is expected to generate 285,100MWh of electricity per year, with Crown purchasing approximately 70%.

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This is equivalent to the annual electricity use of nearly 40,000 homes and avoids carbon dioxide emissions equal to taking 67,000 cars off the road for a year.

This VPPA marks Crown’s first such agreement in Europe and builds on its existing renewable energy efforts in North America.

In 2020, Crown became the first metal packaging manufacturer to power all of its US and Canadian beverage can plants with renewable energy.

Crown worked with Schneider Electric, an adviser in corporate renewable energy procurement and carbon management, on the project selection and VPPA negotiation.

“Covering our energy consumption in the EU serves as a milestone achievement for our organisation,” said John Rost, Crown’s senior vice-president – Corporate Technology, Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs.

“As we work toward the ambitious goals of our sustainability programme, it is critical we identify and implement real solutions that can reduce our energy consumption, lower our emissions and create a more balanced footprint for our business, across all regions in which we operate.”

This agreement demonstrates Crown’s leadership in sustainability within the packaging industry and its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint across its global operations.