AEROSOL EUROPE: Today, Ball Corporation is a global leader in metal packaging for beverages, foods and household products, and other technologies and services. When did Ball start producing packaging solutions for the aerosol industry?
Jason Galley: Ball Corporation started its aerosol journey with the acquisition of US Can’s tinplate aerosol activities in 2006 and followed this up with the acquisitions of Neuman, Aerocan and Envases between 2010 and 2012 to create a vertically intergrated aluminium slug and can business. Today, in our Aerosol Division we are focused on aluminium packaging, and have now grown our presence from those early beginnings to be present across four continents.
AEROSOL EUROPE: How is the situation at the moment, especially with regard to the CORONA pandemic?
Jason Galley: As stated by our CEO John Hayes in our last Earnings call, we at Ball see demand for our aluminum packaging solutions (cans, bottles and cups) increasing even higher than we anticipated. Our team is working diligently to satisfy the needs of our global customers amidst a dynamic operating environment. Ball’s sustainable products and ability to provide for our employees, customers and communities where we operate has never been more important. The resilience of our businesses and ability to maintain safe, continuous business operations is reflected in our results.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Which countries do you supply with your aerosol packaging products?
Jason Galley: Our global footprint reaches across four continents– Europe, Asia (India), North and Central America, and South America, and we serve many countries in those regions.
AEROSOL EUROPE: In which markets do you see possibilities for development and growth?
Jason Galley: Europe and the Americas remain our Division’s biggest areas of activity in terms of volume and we see good opportunity for organic growth as the world emerges from the shock of Covid-19. In addition, the area of sanitisers has been a significant area of fast growth, necessity being the mother of invention. We believe that the market for such healthcare and hygiene products will remain robust even beyond the pandemic.
AEROSOL EUROPE: What about the Eastern European countries, especially Russia? Do you see potential there?
Jason Galley: We have a plant in the Czech Republic well-positioned to serve these Eastern European market, as well as wider Europe. The aluminium aerosol container offers such a wonderful consumer experience, and so many opportunities for innovation, that we are hopeful of the aerosol can’s potential in these regions.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Where do you see potential for technical innovations regarding the aerosol packaging?
Jason Galley: Despite the recent charge to lightweight alloys, there remains further potential to derive the sustainability and economic benefits from further lightweighting while maintaining the integrity of the container. This remains an active area for all can makers and packaging companies in general. Also innovation through design and graphics effects, such as our Eyeris® high definition printing technology, remains a great, cost-effective and agile route to on-shelf differentiation. This is an area that we expect brand owners to explore further.
AEROSOL EUROPE: How important is close cooperation with your customers?
Jason Galley: It’s vital. Actually, “Staying Close to our Customers” is one of Ball’s core values that we live and breathe. We spend a lot of time researching what brands are looking for and bringing innovations that might just help the brand communicate to its consumers. The innovation process is just that much slicker, and has a greater chance of hitting the market, when we start with the Brand Marketing teams. That direction is the lifeblood of our innovation efforts and is what drives us on to ever more daring innovations.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Sustainability is essential for today’s organizations: What are the principles of sustainable management within the Ball Corporation?
Jason Galley: Sustainability is a key element of Ball‘s long-term vision. We started our formal sustainability journey with six sustainability priorities in our operations. Over the years we have developed this approach and taken thoughtful, deliberate action to ensure that our business, operations and products are sustainable for the long term, from an environmental, social and economic perspective. We are also making progress and have reached several significant milestones. Most recently, our ambitious science-
based greenhouse gas emission reduction target was approved, and we have made substantial renewable energy deals in North America and Europe. You can read more in our seventh biennial Sustainability Report online.
AEROSOL EUROPE: What is the Ball Corporation doing to meet the consumers demand for “greener” products?
Jason Galley: Sustainability matters more than ever and consumers expect brands to make sustainability a priority. They are concerned, for example, about the negative impacts of plastic pollution on human health and on the environment. Our customers, the brand owners, understand this and know that they need to diversify their packaging mix. As a sustainable packaging material, aluminium is a real-world solution to the challenges that our customers are facing.
Ball’s integrated sustainability and commercial teams are helping our customers leverage the sustainability credentials of aluminum packaging to profitably grow their businesses, while helping to ensure that our products enable the circular economy. We are also continually innovating to instill even greater confidence in aluminum cans, bottles and cups to help them stand out with consumers as the most sustainable package and win in the marketplace.
AEROSOL EUROPE: What challenges does the aerosol industry face in the future?
Jason Galley: Sustainability is both an opportunity and a challenge. Recycling and moving toward a circular economy for me, is one of the areas where, working together with our customers and legislators, we can gain improvements. In terms of recycling, this means that all materials are properly collected and sorted, then each part of each product is separated out and fully recycled with minimum material loss, to become part of a product of similar value. This is “real recycling,” where materials are kept in the loop at their highest economic value and function, rather than being subject to high losses and “downcycling” into products of lower value
Ball has taken an active role in driving this change and we believe that together with various stakeholders, including our customers and industry partners, we can achieve great things.
AEROSOL EUROPE: How do you assess the development of the aerosol market overall?
Jason Galley: Macro events are superimposed over all businesses at the moment and so it is very difficult to make future predictions. As the world re-awakens after these events I believe that the efficacy, hygiene and convenient consumer experience delivered by the aluminum aerosol can places it well to play a part in our new world.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr. Galley, we thank you for the interview.