Ramon Arratia: Sustainability makes good business sense

One of the speakers at the CSR conference was Ramon Arratia, from the Ball company. We talked with him about the CSR in general and in particular.

  1. Can you tell us something about Ball corporation?

Ball is the biggest beverage can manufacturer in the world. We make almost half of the cans for clients such as Coke, Red Bull, Colson Moors, (add a local brand). But we also have other businesses such as aerosol packaging for customers such as AXE and an aerospace division that works with NASA. It’s a 135 year old company and we have 26 factories in Europe, one here in Belgrade.

  1. How much is Corporate social responsibility important for your corporation?

Sustainability has been long embedded in the organization and Ball is since a number of years the industry leader at the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and we are also in FTSE for Good Index. The big Six are our sustainability metrics for all our factories and they are fully embedded and a key metric we drive progress on. We also have targets to reduce the impact of our products beyond our factory gates by looking at upstream and downstream impacts. One of the areas we are very active is in promoting can recycling, which is the main way to reduce the impact of our products. Our Every Can Count program, run with our competitors and the aluminium industry has can recycling promotion programs in 12 countries. We are fully committed to the target of 75% recycling rate in Europe by 2020.

  1. What is your motivation for CSR?

We really believe that sustainability makes good business sense. If you have a more sustainable product than your competitor, you have a competitive advantage, especially if you are into packaging. Now that Europe is focusing towards the circular economy, we see that the aluminium beverage can, which is easy to recycle, has an enormous advantage. But CSR is also a differentiator at many other levels. For example, young people want to work for responsible companies and start to ask very good question about the sustainability credentials during the interviews.

  1. Could you please tell us something more about your activities in Serbia and this region?

In Serbia Ball is active through work of Recan Foundation, organization active for 11 years. The main goal of the recan is to raise awareness on can recycling and environmental protection. We worked a lot on education and our program was implemented in 430 schools in 2010 municipalities across Serbia. Through our school program we educate 2000 kids per year. We are trying to catch “on to go” cans on the events and festivals, so during 142 events we promoted recycling to more than 2.5 million of people.  From this year we are proud owners of European project “Every Can Counts” in Serbia, and we implement program in Montenegro from 2013.

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