Lightweighting a cornerstone of Ball's approach to innovation, company says; Ball steel food cans 33% lighter now than 25 years ago; 2011 conversion of North America end lines to lighter-weight CDl end saving more than 11,500 tons/year of aluminum in U.S.
May 24, 2012
– Industry Intelligence's Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from Ball Corp.'s 2010/2011 Sustainability Report published on May 23, 2012.
Lightweighting – making the lightest container possible while still meeting the performance requirements of our customers and consumers – has always been a cornerstone of our approach to innovation. Throughout the value chain, we significantly reduce costs, energy and emissions by using less metal in our containers. We conduct life cycle assessments (lCa) for our products in major markets. We know from these lCas that taking weight out of containers is one of the two main levers to reduce the environmental footprint of our packaging.
Our steel food cans have become 33 percent lighter in the past 25 years. And during our 43-year history of manufacturing beverage cans, we have worked with our suppliers to reduce the weight of cans. For example, 12-ounce beverage cans are 40 percent lighter today than they were in the 1970s.
Even very small lightweighting improvements save significant amounts of metal when multiplied by the billions of containers Ball produces annually. In 2011, we finished the conversion of our end lines in North America to the lighterweight CDl end. This conversion saves more than 11,500 tons of aluminum annually in the U.S., equivalent to more than 127,000 metric tons of CO2 or removing approximately 25,000 cars from the road.