Stakeholder Engagement

Engaging our stakeholders is essential to how we do business. By listening to their ideas and needs, we better understand their expectations and can identify emerging opportunities and challenges in our markets. In turn, stakeholders can deepen their understanding of Ball and how we can work together to create shared value.

We regularly engage various stakeholders such as customers, employees, investors, suppliers, trade associations, governmental representatives, regulatory authorities and nongovernmental organizations. Dialogue with stakeholders along our value chain—from material suppliers to recycling organizations—is particularly important to Ball. Because many of the sustainability challenges we encounter, such as water scarcity and packaging recycling, are too complex for one organization to tackle alone, we participate in several multi-stakeholder partnerships that allow us and others to bundle resources and expertise to develop effective solutions (click here for one example).

We engaged with various stakeholders, internal and external, prior to the publication of our 2016 sustainability report to learn about their expectations regarding Ball’s sustainability efforts and to understand how we can better respond to their needs. We included short statements in the PDF report and full statements are available on various pages on our website (click here for an example).

Approximately 200 stakeholders from around the world participated in our latest sustainability materiality survey.



How We Engage

We intend to continue bringing value beyond quality and price to customer relationships, and demonstrate how we can help our customers succeed. We aim to be the sustainable supplier of choice by responding to customers’ needs and doing our part in contributing to their sustainability goals.

Being close to our customers has long been part of “who we are” at Ball Corporation. In our packaging and aerospace businesses, we know we must be fully aligned with our customers to continue our long track record of success. That is why being close to customers is a key part of Ball's Drive for 10 vision.

Key Stakeholder Interests
  • Pricing
  • Quality and food safety
  • Packaging innovation
  • Lightweighting
  • Packaging recycling
  • Product carbon footprints
  • Life cycle assessments
  • Filling line efficiencies

Customer Satisfaction

To support and formalize these efforts, Ball introduced the Value Improvement Partnership (VIP) program in 2010. VIP is a customer survey program designed to build customer loyalty and satisfaction, and to improve awareness of specific customer needs. While all Ball divisions conducted anonymous customer surveys before VIP, we believe we can strengthen our relationships and engagement with customers because their answers are no longer anonymous.
A key program element in the survey is the net promoter score (NPS), a loyalty index based on the survey question, “How likely would you be to recommend Ball to a business acquaintance or colleague?” High scores on this index reflect customers who remain customers longer, purchase more, provide feedback and recommend the company to others.

Our North American and European packaging businesses conducted VIP surveys in 2010 and 2012. In that time, our North American beverage business improved their NPS score by 9 percent, our food & household packaging business doubled their score and our European beverage business improved by 32 percent.
We also use the survey to measure how satisfied customers are with Ball's sustainability efforts, as we recognize that sustainability is an important part of our customer relationships. All three 2012 VIP surveys clearly indicated that Ball is considered to be the sustainability leader in the metal packaging industry.

Our aerospace business also started a formal biannual customer satisfaction process in 2004. The survey provides an effective mechanism to directly access program performance and early warning signs of any potential concerns. Ball Aerospace consistently receives more than 75 percent direct customer participation in the customer satisfaction process and has met our goal of a 90 percent or more satisfaction score for the last six years.
In addition to customer surveys, Ball utilizes a global customer relationship management system called "The Hub." The Hub compiles information from different sources and departments into one global resource. It provides easy access to timely customer information and helps employees better understand, anticipate and respond to customer needs in a consistent, informed way across the organization.

The VIP survey, the aerospace survey and The Hub offer us a wide scope of tools to help us continue enhancing our customer interactions. With the information gathered, we strive to always increase customer satisfaction, retain loyal customers, and ultimately, drive more sales.

Can Schools

In 1998, Ball organized its first North American beverage customer can school, a class with insights into the world of beverage can manufacturing. Since then, we have added a food and household products customer can school to the U.S. curriculum and a beverage customer can school in Europe.

Ball’s can schools are usually held annually and cover information on Ball’s culture, manufacturing processes, innovation and sustainability. Each year, we hold three packaging schools in the U.S. and Europe, which are attended by more than 200 customers.

Helping Each Other

In our packaging businesses, we primarily engage with our customers through face-to-face meetings, often combined with plant visits. In our metal beverage packaging business, we service our customers’ filling lines at their request to ensure our cans run smoothly, which maximizes filling line efficiencies and reduces can spoilage. Our Customer Technical Service experts also provide training upon customer request to help minimize the possibility of filling and seaming problems.


How We Engage

Ball engages with mainstream investors and the socially responsible investment (SRI) community. Although mainly the SRI community asks for detailed information on our sustainability management and our performance, mainstream investors are becoming increasingly interested in Ball’s sustainability efforts. We aim to provide the most accurate and timely information to ensure that investors can make good investment decisions.
Today, we contribute to several assessment initiatives by the SRI community. We seek to improve our ratings and rankings, and aim to align our sustainability management and reporting with their needs. An overview of some SRI ratings and rankings and how we were assessed can be found here.

From meetings to telephone interviews and answering questionnaires, we engage with investors in various ways.

Key Stakeholder Interests
  • Business development
  • Growth opportunities
  • Long-term strategy
  • Risk management
  • Business strategy and the role of sustainability
  • Sustainability goals
  • Innovation
  • Geographic reach


How We Engage

To learn more about how we engage with employees, visit Talent Management.

Key stakeholder interests
  • Job security
  • Pay and benefits
  • Development opportunities
  • Recognition
  • Employee volunteering and giving


How We Engage

To learn more about how we engage with suppliers, visit Responsible Sourcing.

Key stakeholder interests
  • Fair deals
  • Growth opportunities and innovation
  • Packaging recycling
  • Long-term relationships with Ball
  • Information requests from our customers
  • Life cycle assessment

Governments and Regulators

How we engage

In many countries, the packaging we produce is regulated. We monitor and participate in public policy discussions when appropriate to protect and enhance our business. We engage with political and regulatory stakeholders on multinational, national, state and regional levels. We invite officials to visit our plants to better understand our business and the economic impact we have in the communities.

We are involved in a range of professional organizations and trade associations to promote a healthy business climate and to stay informed on developments that may influence our businesses. Examples can be found below this table. In addition, our businesses and facilities are expected to join the appropriate local chambers of commerce, manufacturers associations and other interest groups to promote discussions with local decision makers on a variety of business matters that could affect our facilities.

Key stakeholder interests
  • Resource conservation
  • Climate change
  • Energy efficiency
  • Food safety
  • Sourcing
  • Wages and benefits
  • Skills
  • Policy implementation
  • Environmental, health and safety compliance

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)

How we engage

We work with NGOs, nonprofits and consumer organizations to share our position on various social and environmental matters and to seek feedback on concerns they may have about our activities. Meetings, surveys and specific consultations are the most common ways we engage with NGOs.

Key stakeholder interests
  • Funding
  • Consumer protection
  • Ethical sourcing
  • Climate change
  • Recycling and resource conservation
  • Water management
  • Voluntary support by employees


How We Engage

To learn more about how we engage with our communities, visit Community Ambassadors.

Key stakeholders interests
  • Jobs in the community
  • Funding for local projects
  • Voluntary support by employees
  • Environmental protection
Ball is a member of various trade associations and other organizations that strive to enhance the sustainability performance of companies and packaging. Examples include:
  • International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL)
  • Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI)
  • British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA)
  • Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME)
  • Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI)
  • The Recycling Partnership (TRP)
  • Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA)
  • European Institute for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN)
  • Forum for the Future
  • GreenBiz Executive Network
  • The Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN)
  • Metal Packaging Europe (MPE)
  • Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA)
  • Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX)
  • Walmart's Packaging Sustainable Value Network