GHG Emissions

In 2018, Ball Corporation emitted 1.35 million metric tons of GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2), 5 percent less than in 2010. Sixty-seven percent of our GHG emissions resulted from our electricity consumption, and 29 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 2017 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3).


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

By 2030, we will reduce our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 27 percent against a 2017 baseline. Per million dollars of value added, this equated to a 56 percent reduction of our carbon intensity over the same period. In addition, Ball strives to reduce GHG emissions across the value chain—from mining, refining, smelting, casting and rolling, to Ball’s manufacturing, logistics, and end-of-life recycling— per can produced by 25 percent over the same period. Ball is currently in the process of submitting our target for approval by the Science Based Targets initiative.

For 14 years, Ball has been using a Carbon Intensity Index (CII) which is 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 2018, Ball had achieved a 22 percent reduction in our CII from the 2010 baseline, averaging a 2.8 percent  reduction per year.


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 2018 Scope 3 emissions include the following categories: purchased goods and services (85 percent of total, including end-of-life treatment of products), capital goods (3.4 percent), fuel and energy related activities (2.9 percent), upstream transportation (2.8 percent), waste, business travel, employee commuting, downstream transportation, processing of sold products (all less than 1 percent), and investments (4.5 percent). Sixty-nine percent of our Scope 3 emissions originate from the metals we convert in our plants.

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

"Alcoa has a strong history of leadership in reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the aluminum industry. In 2017, our climate protection strategy and performance was an industry benchmark on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Our climate strategy encompasses five pillars that reflect our challenges and opportunities.

Reduction in Energy Consumption
The quantity of our GHG emissions is directly related to the type and amount of energy that we consume. We are working to increase our use of low-impact energy sources and also improve the energy efficiency of our operations. In 2017, our overall energy consumption declined by 5.7 percent compared to the prior year.

Carbon Reduction
Through ambitious reduction goals, focused programs and the closure of high-emitting facilities, we reduced our carbon dioxide equivalent emissions intensity by 46.5 percent between the 2005 baseline and 2017. In 2018, Alcoa and Rio Tinto announced Elysis – a revolutionary process to make aluminum that produces oxygen and eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process. Learn more at

Carbon Offsets and Credit Trading
Countries around the world are moving at different speeds toward strengthened regulations for carbon emissions. Our experience with the carbon markets in Europe and Canada will inform our approach to future pricing mechanisms used to reduce carbon emissions.

We are developing greener products to help our customers deliver more sustainable products to society over the full lifecycle. We are also active in the development of standards for product certification. This includes the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, which launched the first multi-stakeholder third-party certification system for the aluminum supply chain in late 2017. 

Through industry associations and direct contact, we engage with global stakeholders on the issue of greenhouse gases to ensure fair and effective policies and regulations. These stakeholders include elected officials, government agencies and non-governmental organizations."

- Rosa García Piñeiro, Vice President, Alcoa Sustainability, and President, Alcoa Foundation