Metal packaging sector unveils sustainability scorecard

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Metal packaging Life cycle assessment

A “groundbreaking” interactive scorecard which calculates the carbon footprint of metal packaging products has been launched by a leading European trade group.

Empac (European Metal Packaging said the scheme aims to provide reliable and consistent answers regarding the environmental impact of metal containers. The body said the initiative would help the industry build on its 71 per cent recycling rate in 2008.

“Individual member organisations using the environmental scorecard will plot in their customers’ relevant data related to factors such as transport, recycling and can weights in order to determine their levels of CO2 equivalent emissions,​ “ Empac CEO Gordon Shade told “Using a life cycle analysis approach, the interactive scorecard then calculates carbon emission rates, which need to be in compliance with Empac guidelines for use.”

Lifecycle analysis

The bespoke online system tracks emissions through the production process from the mining of raw materials through to the manufacture of cans and their delivery to customers. The database contains figures from a representative number of can manufacturers which are being consolidated and averaged.

Development of the data collection and software systems was carried out by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) - which reviewed data and built the scorecard accordingly, added Shade. This was also subject to a peer review by RDC Environment to ensure conformity with the applicable ISO standards.

The scorecard will be updated regularly scorecard to provide industry with an accurate picture of metal packaging’s carbon footprint and its bid towards cutting emissions further.

More information on the scorecard will be available to relevant stakeholders such as customers and retailers through Empac’s individual member companies, said the body.

The association added it was considering adding the underlying, averaged database to the publicly available European database of life cycle inventories. This would only happen once a new update is completed, which will probably be in the first quarter of 2011.


“This is a groundbreaking instrument for the industry which will assist all our members and provide a solid basis for the metal packaging sector to interact with stakeholders,”​ said Shade. “The scorecard is part of our commitment to address regulators’ requirements by providing fact-based and unambiguous information on our industry.”

The group said the scorecard had already been accepted as the standard measuring tool across 11 national metal packaging organisations and seven international can manufacturers from across Europe.

“As Empac continues to expand its membership base in the region, more companies and organisations will be making use of the tool to measure and manage their carbon footprint in order to conform with our sustainability requirements,”​ said Shade.

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