Cut / 4 CArboN


More and more, our global customers are committing to ambitious product carbon footprint reduction goals and ask us to measure our contributions. To better support our customers and reduce risk, we increased our knowledge and capabilities to assess our products’ environmental footprints and developed our own target, which includes carbon emissions across the value chain (excluding the beverage).

The target reflects a two-pronged approach:
  • Ball is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our most common beverage can formats per region by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020 through efforts that are in our control, such as optimizing the weight of our cans and our plants’ energy efficiency.
  • Combined with the efforts of industry partners, like our suppliers and customers, to increase beverage can recycling rates as well as to reduce the energy intensity of aluminum production along the supply chain, we expect the carbon footprint of our beverage cans to be reduced by 25 percent by 2020.

When you multiply these improvements by the 42 billion cans we manufactured in these formats in 2010, it is obvious that this is another meaningful step on our sustainability journey.


With a 10 percent reduction through the end of 2014, Ball is on pace to meet the global target. Exemplary projects from around the globe that contributed to the progress achieved to date include:
  • In our global metal beverage packaging business, we improved energy efficiency by 8 percent per can produced.
  • We successfully continued to optimize the weight of our cans. The launch of B-Can in Europe and the global roll-out of the CDL end are important achievements in this area.
  • The U.S. beverage can recycling rate increased from 58 to 66.5 percent. Ball supports this through various measures, including our considerable commitment to The Recycling Partnership.
  • While the Brazilian recycling rate for beverage cans remained exceptionally high with 98 percent of all cans recycled in 2014, the metal packaging recycling rates in Europe continued to rise.
  • The North American aluminum industry achieved a 19 percent carbon reduction per ton of aluminum produced in just 5 years.
All Cut/4 CArboN calculations were extensively reviewed and are based on ISO 14044 compliant LCA models (the international standard for LCA), as well as the GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard.

While carbon dioxide emissions are only one aspect of our products’ sustainability profiles, it is the aspect our stakeholders are most interested in and where standards for accounting and reporting exist. For a more holistic perspective, we monitor other relevant impacts like water and safety.
Cut4CArboN can
Scott Morrison Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ball Corporation

Internal Perspective

“Travelling to our beverage can plants on four continents provides great opportunities for me and my teams to identify and share best practices on operational excellence. I also realize that while we face similar sustainability challenges around the world, some regions have a different sense of urgency for certain issues. Water is an obvious example. We initially develop and test solutions where urgent issues exist, then roll them out across our system, as long as they provide economic and environmental benefits and help us maintain our social license to operate. Packaging recycling is another example. While we see beverage can recycling rates of 90 percent and higher in some countries, others lag behind. Metal packaging's recycling story is unique and we must better communicate the sustainability advantages of cans in some regions―and better position our products against other substrates, such as PET or cartons, that do not share the same sustainability benefits.

Most importantly, I am excited to see employees in every plant highly engaged and eager to continue helping make their plants and our products more sustainable. Our internal Hoover Sustainability Award is just one way we recognize the progress our plants make each year. Because of our employees’ dedication, I am confident that we will achieve our new Cut/4 CArboN target, which―by the way―also positions us very well when working with our customers on sustainability opportunities. They like it when our operations become more efficient, but they like it even more when we are able to translate our efforts into environmental benefits for the products they buy from Ball.”

- Scott Morrison Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ball Corporation