Ron Lewis speaking at the World Economic Forum's First Movers Coalition

Why We’re Calling on Partners Across the Aluminum Value Chain to Collaborate for a More Circular Industry

June 09, 2022

Written by: Ron Lewis, SVP and Chief Operating Officer of Global Beverage Packaging at Ball Corporation

Last week, I joined Novelis, a leader in aluminum rolling and recycling and an important supply chain partner to Ball, at the Stockholm+50 conference to discuss Ball Corporation's and Novelis’ recent decision to join the World Economic Forum’s First Movers Coalition (FMC) for aluminum. As two of the biggest companies in the aluminum industry, Ball Corporation and Novelis are compelled to take the lead on driving decarbonization in our industry and contributing to a more circular economy. This is essential as demand for aluminum grows.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and Ball Corporation Chief Operating Officer Ron Lewis at the Stockholm+50 conference.

With our FMC membership, Ball and Novelis made meaningful commitments to make aluminum greener – including purchasing 10% of all our primary aluminum annually as near-zero carbon emissions, and ensuring that at least 50% of all the aluminum we use annually is sourced from recycled aluminum. But we’re not stopping there – Ball and Novelis are also calling on others across the value chain to collaborate with us to accelerate the innovations needed to make our sustainability goals, our customers’ sustainability goals, and a more circular aluminum industry a reality.

In addition to the commitments we have made through our FMC membership, Ball’s 2030 vision for the industry is to achieve 90% recycling rates and 85% recycled content, both of which will be critical enablers for our decarbonization pathway. We believe this vision for aluminum beverage packaging is fully achievable if we unite the thinking and actions in the upstream and downstream value chains. 

But we know that achieving the deep decarbonization needed will require new and more effective ways of collaboration and transformation across the value chain.

But we know that achieving the deep decarbonization needed will require new and more effective ways of collaboration and transformation across the value chain. We’re already a long-time partner with Novelis, and we look forward to expanding our collaboration with value chain partners and with our customers through engaging with the FMC. In fact, our recent and current partnerships demonstrate the importance of collaboration across the value chain:

  • We have played an integral role in two separate, recent announcements from Novelis and Manna Investment Partners to build low carbon aluminum recycling and rolling mills in the U.S.
  • We announced with Novelis this spring that we’ve increased the recycled content of the Ball Aluminum Cup to 90% - a product that now boasts the highest recycled content rate of any beverage packaging in its category.
  • We are also working with the Mission Possible Partnership, the International Aluminum Institute and many companies in our sector on the decarbonization pathway for the aluminum industry.
  • Finally, we are working with our suppliers and the circular value chain to craft the world’s first recycling roadmap, which illustrates how each key country and region will be able to contribute to a global 90% recycling rate for beverage cans.
Stockholm+50 Industry Transition Dialogue panelists (left to right): Ball Corporation COO Ron Lewis, Programme Head of Climate Action and First Movers Coalition Nancy Gillis, President and CEO of Volvo Group Martin Lundstedt, and Novelis CEO Steve Fisher. 

Collaboration like this is so important, and we look forward to more of it. Ball and Novelis are at the center between the consumer packaged goods brands and the primary aluminum producers, and we encourage those across the full value chain to join us in the FMC and drive circularity and decarbonization in our industry – from beverage brands to can makers to rolling mills to primary producers to alumina and bauxite producers. Together, we can make meaningful change.