US-based sustainable aluminium solutions provider Novelis, has recently inked a significant anchor customer contract with Ball Corporation, an aluminium can manufacturer based in North America.

This partnership, effective early 2023, solidifies Novelis as a key supplier of aluminium sheets for Ball’s can production facilities across North America.

Novelis has taken a strategic step by securing the entire beverage can capacity of its upcoming Bay Minette, Alabama plant, in addition to other commitments.

This underscores the robust demand for Novelis’ high-recycled-content beverage can sheet. The new plant, scheduled for commissioning in 2025, will be a milestone as it becomes the first fully integrated aluminium manufacturing facility constructed in the US in almost four decades.

It will boast an initial capacity of 600,000t of finished goods, primarily catering to the North American beverage can and automotive markets.

Advancing sustainability goals through partnership

This new agreement between Novelis and Ball not only marks a significant business collaboration but also reflects their shared commitment to sustainability.

The partnership includes closed-loop recycling initiatives and joint efforts to enhance beverage can recycling.

Novelis actively engages in closed-loop recycling programmes, where they recover and recycle manufacturing scrap from the can-making process into new can sheet, which subsequently goes into the production of fresh beverage cans. In addition to this, Novelis recycles more than 82 billion used beverage cans annually, transforming them into new aluminium for beverage packaging.

Advancing sustainability goals through partnership

This concerted effort results in environmentally friendly, lower-carbon products, as aluminium recycling consumes only 5% of the energy needed for primary aluminium production, leading to a remarkable 95% reduction in carbon emissions.

Global Beverage Packaging at Ball Corporation senior vice-president and chief operating officer Ron Lewis emphasised: “Novelis is a critical partner in helping Ball reach our carbon footprint reduction goals and achieving full circularity for aluminium beverage packaging.

“Our longstanding relationship with Novelis continues to generate significant benefits for our companies, our customers and the long-term health of our planet.”

This new contract represents an extension of the enduring partnership between Novelis and Ball, which has thrived due to their shared focus on sustainability and innovation.

A prime example is the Ball Aluminium Cup, introduced in 2022, composed exclusively of Novelis-supplied aluminium and featuring an impressive 90% recycled content, setting a new standard for sustainable beverage packaging.

Novelis Global Beverage Packaging Senior Vice President Greg Schlicht commented: “Novelis and Ball are like-minded companies committed to creating a truly circular economy for aluminium beverage packaging.”

“Our long-term collaboration has brought innovative products to market and set a new standard for sustainability. We are excited to continue this partnership and to meet growing demand for environmentally friendly beverage packaging.”

Anticipating steady growth in aluminium beverages can demand

Novelis anticipates a steady 3% compounded annual growth rate in the global demand for aluminium beverage can sheet from 2022 to 2031.

This surge in demand is attributed to consumer preferences for more sustainable products, an increased variety of can sizes and the expanding range of beverages being packaged in cans, including water, energy drinks, soda, beer, wine, hard seltzer and ready-to-drink cocktails.