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Branislav Savić, Director Of The Ball Beverage Packaging Europe Factory
Nikola Narančić, Sales Director For Southeast Europe At Ball

Leadership On The Road To A Circular Economy And Ecological Progress

We accepted a leadership role in identifying solutions for achieving ecological progress, but also in coming up with solutions to the climate crisis. Together with stakeholders across the sector of manufacturing aluminium beverage packaging, Ball works on the development and promotion of the best methods, policies and procedures to achieve a fully circular system for aluminium beverage packaging.

Since it first laid the foundation stone of its factory in Serbia, 17 years ago, company Ball has provided a continuous contribution to our country’s economy and environment. As one of the country’s largest Greenfield investments, with over 180 million euros invested in production to date, the company employs a total of over 250 workers and produces around 1.5 billion drinks cans annually, 80% of which are exported. It actively advocates for the raising of awareness about the necessity of recycling through the activities of non-profit organisation Recan and through constant regional campaigns, with a thousand locations already included in the system “Every can counts”.

RECYCLING AND THE ROAD TO ZERO EMISSIONS OF CO2

Every success also carries responsibility, and the greatest responsibility is towards the planet and the environment in which we live. Continuous improvements, strategic goals and joint work are essential to achieving ecological progress, but also to finding a solution to the climate crisis. Ball is a company that has embraced its leadership role in finding such solutions, as well as in leading the sector on the road to a completely circular economy.

“One of the objectives in the area of sustainability that we’ve committed ourselves to achieving at a global level by 2030 is the realisation of zero net emissions of CO2. Customers are seeking low-carbon and circular packaging, because there is ever-increasing demand for sustainable products that can only be achieved with packaging made from aluminium that is infinitely recyclable. We will launch an action that implies the development of guidelines for reducing CO2 emissions in our sector, because we believe that, by working together, we can exceed a recycling rate of 90% for aluminium cans, bottles and glasses,” says Nikola Narančić, sales director for Southeast Europe at Ball.

“The fact is that, in Europe, 76% of cans are currently recycled, while the aim is to work together with partners from the sector to push that number beyond 90% by 2030. We believe that the percentage of cans that are recycled will increase significantly in the coming years, while – in addition to preserving the environment and economic benefits – the circular economy will also provide space to create new jobs.”

FROM PACKAGING OF THE FUTURE TO THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

A can is a form of packaging that contains within it many advantages. It protects the contents from external influences, is very durable and difficult to break or damage, and is often very attractive in terms of look and design. On top of all that, it also protects the planet as a completely environmentally friendly product that can be recycled an infinite number of times, while – thanks to a simple recycling process – a new can is back in use in just 60 days. Moreover, only 0.4g of a total of 10g of aluminium is lost from a can in the recycling process. The vision of the sector is to increase the global average of recycled material to as high as 85 per cent by 2030.

We believe that strong growth in the recycling of cans will lead to the preserving of the environment and economic benefits, as well as providing space to create new jobs

“The can deservedly carries the moniker of the package of the future. This is also demonstrated by the fact that it has recorded the largest growth as beverage packaging over the past 10 years. We believe that, in cooperation with our partners, who are leading companies in the metal processing industry, we can launch an initiative that will have the aim of reducing the energy-intensive process of producing aluminium, starting from the extraction of bauxite ore, all the way to the recycling of finished products,” says Branislav Savić, director of the Ball Beverage Packaging Europe factory, before adding: “together with stakeholders across the sector of aluminium beverage packaging production, we will work on the development and promotion of the best methods, policies and procedures for achieving a completely circular system for aluminium beverage packaging.”

“MANNING” IS PRONOUNCED “STAFFING”

The topic of recycling and sustainable goals are key values of the company that it is striving to achieve in the future, but none of that is possible without a good team. In daily communication, we come across various titles which, regardless of the level of position and type of occupation, we very often interpret as “operator”, “manager” or “associate”. When it comes to job advertisements, research has shown that talented people are often missed due to the mentioning of only the male gender. And here Ball Corporation has found space to improve and expand its existing diversity and inclusivity programmes, as well as social programmes, and has thus made this topic a priority in 2021, but also in the period ahead.

“The global strategy and goals are being implemented, as well as adapted programmes for every country where we operate. Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA plans to increase the participation of women in manufacturing jobs to 25%, while the first female factory director has already been employed in Russia, which is the first time this has happened in the history of this industry. Training courses are organised at the global level and attended by all employees of the corporation, so everyone has the opportunity – apart from receiving expert advice on diversity and prejudice – to listen to the very open and honest private experiences of their superiors. We have also introduced an internal system of rewarding employees for their personal commitment to diversity and inclusivity programmes, while there is also a special function in the corporation that is responsible exclusively for this topic,” notes Savić.

These represent small steps towards ground-breaking changes and a new, diversified and environmentally sanctified industry, where “manning” is no longer “manning” but rather “staffing”. We believe that a solution exists and will certainly be universally adopted.

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