Pioneering sustainability change

It’s really exciting to see the can making industry enforcing real change when it comes to sustainability policy. For an industry deemed ‘conservative’ in its approach, it really is fantastic to see the lengths in which companies in the can making world are leading the drive for a real sustainable change.

An example of this is Ball Corporation executing two virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) in Europe – one for the Corral Nuevo project with wpd and one for the Brattmyrliden project with Falck Renewables – for a total of 93.4 megawatts (MW) of additional wind energy.

These agreements, the company says, are a “testament to Ball’s long-term commitment to achieve and maintain 100% renewable energy in Europe and will allow the company to address approximately 63% of the European electricity load utilised in its aluminium beverage packaging plants (excluding Russia) with new renewable energy”.

The wind developments in Spain and Sweden will collectively enable Ball to reduce its Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions generated in Europe by approximately 60% compared to 2019 – equivalent to the carbon reduction that would be provided by removing more than 47,000 passenger vehicles from the road annually.

Ball is the first company in the can making industry to adopt approved science-based targets, which seek to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. By 2030, the company aims to reduce absolute carbon emissions within its own operations by 55% and within its value chain by 16% against a 2017 baseline.

The company recently achieved another first for global can manufacturers by earning Aluminium Stewardship Initiative Certification for all 23 of its EMEA beverage plants.

In a society that is increasingly becoming concerned around emissions and footprint rather than just whether a packaging material is sustainable or not, what companies are doing to improve carbon footprint will become increasingly important. It’s not just enough to say a metal container is infinitely recyclable – consumers are becoming more savvy, and so extending the boundaries is crucial for survival and prospering, particular in a post-pandemic world…

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