Ball’s fifth biennial sustainability report has outlined 10 new corporate responsibility targets, including the aforementioned carbon commitment, to be reached by 2020. The report also reveals that the company surpassed two-thirds of the 22 sustainability targets that it had originally set for completion by 2015.

“Sustainability has always been a part of who we are, and our team has worked hard to maintain a careful balance of our economic, environmental and social impacts over the years,” Ball’s chairman John Hayes said.

“As a larger, more global company, being sustainable is more important than ever, and we must continue to set a high bar for ourselves and our partners. With our 18,700 employees and our partners around the world committed to our vision and 2020 goals, we look forward to building a brighter, stronger future for our organization and the industry.”

Among the notable achievements in the 2015 report – which doesn’t account for Ball’s recent acquisition of Rexam – was the company’s reduced carbon footprint. For 2015, Ball reduced the carbon emissions of the lifecycle of a common beverage can by 10% against a 2010 baseline.

The company’s carbon intensity has decreased by more than 10% in this timeframe, and Ball has now set a new 25% reduction goal for 2020. The company also revealed that it would determine a science-based carbon reduction target by mid-2018, that will come into force after 2020.

While new water and recycling targets – which has seen waste recycling climb from 44 to 71% since 2010 – revolve around meeting industry rates and improving transparency within developing countries, Ball’s commitment to energy management and innovation has taken place in-house.

In regards to energy-efficiency measures, 2015 saw Ball “enter the world of renewable energy” for the first time in tis 135-year history. The company hired One Energy to install an $18m wind turbine array at its Findlay manufacturing plant in Ohio. The five turbine array will generate 13 million Kwh each year, covering around 20% of the plants electricity demand.

Can-do attitude

Alongside the wind energy project, Ball has spent $32m on energy saving measures such as LED retrofits across plants and facilities and investing in variable frequency drives. By the end of 2015, around 30% of Ball plants were certified according to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards.

As well as collaborating with customers such as Heineken to develop lighter-weight metal beverage and packing innovations, Ball has also pledged to work with the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative to develop a global, independent third-party certification programme for the aluminium value chain by 2017.

Ball also revealed that it is acting as a leading member in NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM). GPIM aims to develop green alternatives to conventional chemical propulsion systems for aviation and spacecraft vehicles, and could reduce sector pollutant emissions by 75% – saving $250bn in the process.

Matt Mace

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