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Ball Corporation announced that it has earned the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) certification for all 23 of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) beverage can plants. This accomplishment is a major sustainability milestone for the company and Ball is the first beverage can manufacturer to meet ASI’s environmental, social and governance principles.

The certification accompanies a commitment to significant carbon reductions by Ball, which is now covering all of its operations in the European Union, Serbia and the UK with renewable energy. Ball previously announced agreements for 100 % renewable energy covering all of its North America operations by 2021.

“We’re extremely proud to be the first aluminium beverage can manufacturer to achieve ASI certification,” said Ron Lewis, President, Ball Beverage Packaging, EMEA. “With their infinite recyclability, aluminium cans are the fastest growing beverage packaging type in Europe. As consumers seek more environmentally friendly products, they can have confidence in aluminium’s strong sustainability credentials such as responsible sourcing. The certification, combined with our renewable energy investments, demonstrates Ball’s commitment to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.”

ASI is a multi-stakeholder initiative that provides assurance of responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium throughout its value chain. As consumers demand greater sustainability across packaged goods, the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s scheme aims to do for aluminium what the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) did for paper and wood, making sustainability performance a mainstream, visible issue.

Ball has achieved both ASI’s Performance, and Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard certifications.

The ASI Performance Standard is a measure of how much effort Ball is making across its plants to assess, manage and disclose its environmental, social and governance impacts. These include issues such as life-cycle thinking, recycling, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste management, biodiversity, business integrity and the human rights of both workers and local communities.

The ASI CoC Standard sets out requirements for the creation of a Chain of Custody for material that is produced and processed through the value chain. In Ball’s case, it links verified practices – certified under the ASI Performance Standard – from mining and remelting to casting, rolling, can manufacturing and filling.

“We’re responding to a greater desire from consumers, across Europe and around the world, for genuinely sustainable and infinitely recyclable packaging solutions,” said Kathleen Pitre, Chief Commercial and Sustainability Officer, Ball Corporation. “We’re working closely with our beverage customers to help them deliver on their sustainability commitments including on responsible sourcing practices. Ball is proud of our achievements in getting certified.”

“We are very pleased to award ASI Certification to, Ball Corporation, the world’s largest aluminium can maker and the first in its sector to have achieved this,” said Dr. Fiona Solomon, Chief Executive Officer, Aluminium Stewardship Initiative. “The ASI’s Performance Standard covers critical issues for the entire aluminium value chain. The programme is focused on responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of this important industrial metal. ASI Certification enables the aluminium industry to demonstrate responsibility and provide independent and credible assurance of performance. Supply-chain certification programs like ASI are becoming increasingly important for customers and stakeholders, who seek assurance that companies’ sustainability practices are genuine.”

With 75 % of aluminium ever produced still in use today around the world, the metal has a vital role to play in creating a truly circular economy. Ball is taking a lead on industry efforts to significantly increase the European recycling rate of aluminium beverage cans, currently at 75 %. Recycling aluminium saves 95 % of the energy required for the production of virgin aluminium, and so helps the global community to meet urgent carbon reduction targets.

First market launch in Belgium

SIG is making aseptic cartons with ASI-certified aluminium foil available to consumers for the first time in partnership with B-Better®, a start-up brand from Unilever’s Future Platform.

Responsible aluminium sourcing

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standard is designed to enhance traceability and responsibility in the aluminium supply chain. SIG is promoting responsible sourcing throughout the value chain by using aluminium from ASI-certified sources for the ultra-thin layer of foil in its packs.

ASI certification adds value for customers by further enhancing the sustainability credentials of their packaging in the eyes of consumers. Customers can now choose to include the ASI logo on their packs alongside the FSCTM logo for responsibly-sourced paper board which has been available on any SIG pack since 2016.

The first market launch for SIG’s ASI-certified cartons will be in Belgium by the B-Better brand.

SIG’s commitment to responsible sourcing is part of the company’s bold ambition to go Way Beyond Good by putting more into the environment and society than it takes out.

SIG is the first in the industry to enable customers to demonstrate their commitment to responsible aluminium sourcing using the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) certification.

Added value through responsible sourcing

SIG offers the world’s first aseptic carton packs that use foil certified to the ASI standard. This add value for customers, brands and retailers by promoting responsible sourcing throughout the value chain – from suppliers all the way through to consumers.

SIG customers also have the option to include the ASI label on packs to show consumers that SIG sources responsibly the aluminium it uses in the cartons – in the same way they can already include the FSCTM label on any SIG pack to show that the liquid paper board comes from responsible sources.

First certification for responsible aluminium

SIG was the first in the industry – and one of the first companies in the world – to achieve certification to the ASI Performance Standard Material Stewardship Principle at the corporate level, together with the ASI Chain of Custody certification for its production site in Austria. The company has now extended ASI Chain of Custody certification to all its carton sleeve production sites in Europe.

The ASI certification enables companies to audit the aluminium supply chain against strict standards on a broad range of ethical, environmental and social topics. Previously, there was no such certification available to certify the ultra-thin layer of aluminium foil used in SIG packs. SIG’s ASI Chain of Custody certification has made it possible for the ASI Standard to be put into practice for the first time in aseptic carton packs.

Europe-wide ASI certification is an important step towards SIG’s target to source 100 % of its key materials from certified sources as part of its ambition to go Way Beyond Good for the environment and society.