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Ardagh Metal and Crown Holdings sponsor first Global Aluminum Can Sustainability Summit

An aluminum can with bubbles of water on the lid
The can manufacturers Ardagh Metal Packaging and Crown Holdings conceived of and sponsored the event to build on the aluminum beverage can's sustainability performance.

The Global Aluminium Can Sustainability Summit, September 13 to 14, in Rome, Italy, brings together more than 100 people from organizations globally across the aluminum beverage can value chain to operationalize the decarbonization of aluminum produced for can sheet and generate transparent information on recycling and circularity including how to measure recycled content in beverage cans.

The can manufacturers Ardagh Metal Packaging and Crown Holdings conceived of and sponsored the event to build on the aluminum beverage can's sustainability performance to meet the sustainability goals of Ardagh, Crown, their users, and others along the aluminum beverage can value chain. The event is organized in partnership with the Can Manufacturers Institute, which represents U.S. metal can manufacturers and their suppliers, and International Aluminium Institute, which represents the global primary aluminum industry.

Demand for aluminum beverage cans are growing as consumers place a premium on sustainability factors in their purchasing decisions. The beverage can's sustainability advantages provide environmentally conscious consumers with a package that is made of a material that recycles forever, more than pays for its own cost of recycling, and is capable of being recycled into the same product infinitely. The summit will advance efforts to strengthen the beverage can's sustainability performance, further cementing the can as a sustainable, circular beverage package.

Summit speakers include executives and individuals from inside and outside the aluminum beverage can industry. Speakers within the industry include CEOs of Ardagh and Crown. Outside of the aluminum can industry, speakers include representatives from Energy Transitions Commission, McKinsey, and Science Based Targets, as well as the financial institutions Citi, Deutsche Bank, and Federated Hermes. In addition, Laura Thompson of the environmental nonprofit GreenBlue will present her initial findings on how to standardize the measurement of recycled content in aluminum beverage cans that is in accordance with international standards.

"The aluminum beverage can is the most recycled beverage container in the world, and these high levels of recycling mean significant carbon savings since processing recycled aluminum utilizes around five percent of the energy needed to mine and produce new aluminum," says Jennifer Cumbee, chief sustainability officer at Ardagh Metal Packaging. "This summit will help further mobilize our industry toward decarbonization and increased recycled content levels, further positioning the beverage can as the leader in sustainability excellence."

Aluminum beverage cans manufactured in North America currently have an average of 73 percent recycled content. The Aluminum Association and CMI have reported annually this recycled content industry-average and its methodology including most recently in the 2021 aluminum beverage can sustainability key performance indicators report.

"An aluminum beverage can with higher recycled content has a lower carbon footprint," says John Rost, global sustainability and regulatory affairs at Crown Holdings. "As a result, there is increased interest globally, from consumers to customers to legislators, in the amount of recycled content in beverage packaging. So, in addition to discussing decarbonization processes, another key focus of the Summit is to ensure global standardization on how the industry calculates recycled content in aluminum beverage cans. These steps are indicative of our industry's focus on supporting our customer's sustainability platforms and being a leading example of a circular economy."

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