GHG Emissions

In 2016, Ball Corporation emitted 1.5 million metric tons of GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2), 6 percent less than in 2010. Sixty-nine percent of our GHG emissions resulted from our electricity consumption, and 27 percent came from stationary combustion. To reduce our GHG emissions, Ball continues to increase energy efficiency and investigates options to use more onsite renewable energy.

 Ball has reported Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2002 and added Scope 3 emissions to the reporting portfolio in 2014:
  • Scope 1 emissions are direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by Ball, and primarily include emissions from fossil fuels, such as natural gas and diesel, burned on site.
  • Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions from the generation of electricity, heating, cooling and steam generated off site and purchased by Ball.
  • Scope 3 emissions include indirect GHG emissions from sources not owned or directly controlled by Ball, but related to our activities. Examples include emissions related to the products and services we purchase and employee commuting.

Since 2007, we have disclosed our GHG emissions annually through CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). Today, we submit information to three of CDP’s programs: climate change, supply chain and water. A high level of transparency of our sustainability performance, including corporate and product carbon footprints is important to ensure our customers understand our commitments and how we contribute to their own sustainability targets.

Our management and reporting systems, including internal audits, ensure the accuracy and reliability of our environmental information. We engaged ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS) to provide limited assurance in relation to our total 2016 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1 and 2).


Together with the Carbon Trust, we started working on a Science-Based Target (SBT) for Ball Corporation in 2016. The target will be consistent with the level of decarbonization required to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures. We are planning to publish the target in the second half of 2017.

As it was clear that the SBT development process would take up to 18 months, we agreed to extend our original 2010-2015 GHG goal (Scope 1 and 2) by one year to also cover 2016, applying the same average annual reduction goal of 2 percent to 2016, resulting in a Carbon Intensity Index (CII) reduction goal of 12 percent by 2016.

For 13 years, Ball has been using a CII which is calculated based on the total GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) of each business we operate in, normalized by a denominator specific to each business. The normalization factor is a weighted approach based on the differing intensities of production/sales in the base year. It accounts not only for overall changes in production over the goal period, but also for changes in production mix between the various business segments.

Due to the significance of the impact of the Rexam acquisition on our GHG inventory, we agreed to update all historical data, including our baseline CII, to represent our new company footprint (including data for acquired legacy Rexam facilities and removing data for divested legacy Ball facilities for all years from 2010 through 2016). By year-end 2016, Ball had achieved a 15.2 reduction in our CII from the 2010 baseline, averaging a 2.5 percent  reduction per year.
GHG Reduction Infographic


We align our Scope 3 emissions reporting with the “Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard” published by the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Accordingly, we evaluated GHG emissions from 15 categories covering upstream emissions, like those from our suppliers, and downstream emissions, such as those from our customers.

Our 2016 Scope 3 emissions include the following categories: "purchased goods and services" (96 percent of total), “fuel and energy related activities (not included in scope 1 and 2)" (3 percent), “waste generated in our operations", "business travel", employee commuting”, "downstream transportation and distribution", “processing of sold products” (all less than 1 percent). Ninety-two percent of our Scope 3 emissions originate from the metals we buy. As part of the SBT development process, we are working to quantify additional categories of Scope 3 emissions.

Detailed insights in our Scope 3 emissions allow us to identify relevant risks and opportunities associated with emissions from our value chain, develop reduction plans and engage value chain partners in meaningful mitigation actions.
Investor Perspective

"I believe that tracking and reporting supply chain GHG statistics would further differentiate Ball from competitors and competing substrates when explaining their value proposition to customers, retailers and consumers who are all placing increased emphasis on sustainability."

As an investor who recognizes that a coherent sustainability strategy is critical to success in the packaged good space, I am impressed with the emphasis that Ball places on sustainability throughout their organization. I feel that not only responsibility bestowed at the board and C-suite level by the Sustainability Steering Committee, but also monetary incentives available to all employees to reduce CO2 emissions, are key to Ball’s progress in tackling these issues. Ball’s effort to reduce GHG emissions by 10 percent over a 5 year period will not only help the environment, it will reduce Ball’s input costs.

It is encouraging that as of their last CDP submission, Ball is 48.5 percent of the way toward their 5 year goal after only 2 years. However, I feel that Ball could improve further by tracking and publicly reporting all forms of emissions, including Scope 3, which includes emissions by Ball’s supply chain.

As an investor I recognize the inherent advantages of the can in shipping, the fact that nearly 70 percent of all cans are recycled on a global basis (the largest of any packaging substrate), and Ball’s efforts to lightweight cans save not only GHG emissions, but reduce the cost of the can which saves customers and consumers money. I believe that tracking and reporting supply chain GHG statistics would further differentiate Ball from competitors and competing substrates when explaining their value proposition to customers, retailers and consumers, who are all placing increased emphasis on sustainability.

- Brian Demain, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Janus Capital Group Inc.
Brian Demain Image