Ball Corporation – Striving to do what’s right for people and planet
Björn Kulmann, Director of Sustainability at Ball Corporation, talks about how ASI membership and certification of Ball sites underscores their commitment to help improve transparency and traceability in the aluminium value chain.
5 May 2022
Driving change with others through ASI
The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) is an industry game-changer. We strive to do what’s right for our customers, consumers, suppliers, employees, communities, the planet and our shareholders. Our ASI membership and certification of Ball sites underscores our commitment to help improve transparency and traceability in the aluminium value chain. We have established a goal of sourcing 100% of our aluminium needs from certified sustainable sources by 2030, in particular through certification with the ASI. This certification will enable us to create a stronger and more resilient supply chain, helping strengthen our roadmap to achieving carbon reduction targets through increased circularity, efficiency improvements, and new technologies that will enable primary and secondary aluminium production to decarbonize. ASI certification provides important external verification of our commitment to continuous improvement on responsible sourcing.
Through ASI, we are working alongside others in helping drive change across the entire value chain. As we continue to encourage suppliers to become members of the organisation and support them in their audits to become certified, we have noticed that our ASI certifications have helped increase the level of awareness about ESG hotspots, risk mitigation, and the business opportunities associated with becoming ASI certified.
With aluminium’s inherent sustainable qualities, canned beverages have exploded in popularity recently, with major beverage companies and innovative startups releasing new canned drinks across categories — from hard seltzer, to cocktails, to water, wine and more. With this trend, ASI presents a huge opportunity to showcase responsible procurement practices. Aluminium and ASI’s certifications are helping brands – big and small – tell their sustainability story, deliver a truly circular product, and meet their own sustainability goals.
Protecting biodiversity and conserving natural resources
We have taken actions in line with ASI Standards including taking a more intentional approach to biodiversity and water stewardship. We recognize a need and importance to protect biodiversity and conserve natural resources. Ball is placing increased importance on biodiversity by better understanding the communities in which we live and operate in. In several plant locations, our employees recently teamed up with local City Councils and local environmental agencies to jointly identify opportunities to enhance biodiversity on our own site as well as within city limits. This included, for example, planting diverse species of trees in some of our communities.
Our water stewardship programs at Ball are strong, and ASI further sped up the business case for improvements. The company is implementing water mapping systems, supported by artificial intelligence which can monitor and track water use in real time. With this improved system and real time data, we’re able to respond to anomalies straight away which enables efficiencies that lower risks, costs, and environmental impacts.
In addition to biodiversity and water stewardship, we have also enhanced our accounting and reporting methodologies around the exact weight of aluminium shipped to our customers. Historically, we focused primarily on the number of products shipped and applied estimated weights rather than actuals.
ASI certification for our sites have further enhanced the resilience of our supply chain and strengthened our roadmap to achieving our carbon reduction targets.
– Björn Kulmann, Director of Sustainability at Ball Corporation
Our purpose is driven by an understanding of the important role we play in shaping the future, not just for ourselves, but for the many communities in which we operate and for the planet as a whole. At Ball, sustainability does not refer to ideals or “nice to dos,” but rather imperative business fundamentals that we believe serve as linchpins for long-term, sustainable growth.
Ball is committed to improving product stewardship by strategically supporting our customers’ business goals and developing comprehensive net zero emission and circularity strategies to enable the delivery of holistic solutions throughout the entire life cycle of our products. Our truly collaborative approach ensures our entire value chain – suppliers, customers and other business partners – are working together to make a difference in our industry. We’ve committed to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including SDGs 12, 13 and 17. With SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production, we are united with many of our suppliers and customers in our efforts to increase the global recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans, bottles and cups to 90% through a combination of initiatives and programs designed to educate consumers, advance public policy and upgrade much-needed recycling infrastructure.
We remain committed to demonstrating our manufacturing expertise and climate leadership by championing our vision for the future and leading by example. We know true leadership begins within our own manufacturing operations where we are pursuing real circularity for our products, streamlining our operations to be as efficient as possible, and taking deliberate actions to source 100% of our aluminium needs from certified sustainable sources by 2030. ASI certification for our sites have further enhanced the resilience of our supply chain and strengthened our roadmap to achieving our carbon reduction targets.
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government.
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