Identifying and eliminating any materials of concern that touch our products during manufacturing ensures that Ball is meeting end-consumer, customer and retailer expectations.
By working proactively with our suppliers and improving the material health of our products, we keep consumers safe and mitigate risks by staying ahead of regulatory requirements.
As part of our commitment to material health, we remain focused on our global supply of coatings. Historically, these coatings have included trace amounts of bisphenol A (BPA). Acting in response to stakeholder feedback, we collaborated with our suppliers to introduce a new generation of coatings that contain no intentionally added BPA – so called BPA-NI coatings. By the end of 2021, we had a significant portion of our business, especially in Europe and North and Central America, converted to these new coatings, in alignment with our customer’s demand for more sustainable solutions.
This journey requires ongoing collaboration with our customers. Our teams have communicated the importance of converting to new coatings and they have articulated how this will protect our customer’s businesses and enhance the sustainability credentials of their product portfolio. Customers also need to test and qualify cans with the new coatings.
Cradle to Cradle
As part of our broader vision to create more transparency and confidence in the aluminum beverage can, we are seeking Cradle to Cradle Material Health certification for all of the coatings, inks and compounds we use. This certification, which is an independent, credible way of assessing and verifying a company’s work towards safer product chemistry, requires product ingredients to be inventoried throughout the supply chain, while also being evaluated for impacts on human and environmental health. Once evaluated by an accredited assessment body and approved by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, a product can be assigned a Material Health Certificate at an achievement level of basic, bronze, silver, gold or platinum.
By the end of 2021, 100% of the compounds we used around the world, along with 86% of our ink systems, 63% of internal coatings, and 4% of external coatings, had received a Material Health Certificate. 61% of the products that were certified by the end of 2021 achieved silver level or better. The next generation internal coating, which we are using to replace coatings with intentionally added BPA, achieves Cradle to Cradle Material Health certification at the platinum level. We are aiming for 100% of supplied coatings, inks and compounds to achieve certification at silver level or better by the end of 2030.
In February 2022, the Ball Aluminum Cup received bronze level certification from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, which verifies the safety, circularity and responsibility of our product . As part of this certification, the cup and our cup manufacturing plant in Rome, Georgia, were assessed against five categories including: material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness. Per our 2030 Sustainability Goals, we aim to achieve a gold rating in the next certification cycle.