Optimum Circularity

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Optimum Circularity
For decades, the world has applied a “take, make, dispose” approach to production–a linear model that drains the planet rather than replenishing it.

In addition to accelerating environmental degradation, the current linear model consumes more resources than the Earth can provide, inevitably leading to resource shortages. In fact, according to the UN, should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.

One of the strongest sustainability credentials we have is the contribution that metal packaging makes to the Circular Economy. The circular model focuses on eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. It keeps goods in use for as long as possible, extracts the maximum value from them while in use, then recovers and regenerates products and materials at the end of their service life. Metals are a close match to the Circular Economy’s closed-loop system, which calls for the reduction, re-use and recycling of elements. 

Our 2030 Goals

Learn how each of these goals aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Circular Economy principles are central to our vision of driving an efficient business that minimizes waste and resource use and maximizes material re-use. Here is how we are doing our part to advance circularity:

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Related Goal

Send zero waste from our operations to landfill.

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Related Goal

Reduce packaging material use by making our aluminum and steel cans 10% lighter in weight.

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Related Goal

Support increased metal packaging recycling rates in our major markets in collaboration with industry associations and other partners.

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Related Goal

Maintain or improve the industry-wide average of recycled content in metal cans and transit packaging products in collaboration with suppliers, industry associations and other partners.

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Related Goal

Increase the recycled content of the plastic strapping we make by 10% globally.

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Taking Action

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We are dedicated to securing the future availability of natural resources and unlocking more value from the limited resources we have. We will achieve our Optimum Circularity goals by taking these initial actions:

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Related Goal

Zero waste to landfill

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  • Improve our understanding of the waste generation analytics from our global operations.
  • Enhance our waste reduction culture.
  • Collaborate with suppliers and other partners to increase waste re-use.
  • Validate and verify disposal practices.
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Related Goal

Lightweighting

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  • Extend the lightweighting program that is currently being deployed by our European team to a global scale.
  • Share best practices across our Company and provide any needed technical support to maintain the performance of our products.
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Related Goal

Recycling rates

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  • 2030 Global Recycling Goals: Aluminum Beverage Cans
    • Asia Pacific
      • Work with industry groups to establish country-wide recycling rates in the three major markets in which we operate: Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Establish 2030 recycling rate goals by the end of 2025.
    • Americas 
      • U.S.: In line with our industry partners, strive to achieve: 70% by 2030, 80% by 2040 and 90% by 2050.
    • Mexico: Continue to maintain >90% through 2030. Work with industry partners to establish a country-wide recycling rate.
      • Brazil: Continue to maintain >97% through 2030.
    • EMEA
      • Crown will work with industry partners throughout the EMEA region to strive for an 80% recycling rate in the countries in which we operate.
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Related Goal

Recycled content (metal cans and transit packaging)

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  • Collaborate with our suppliers of steel and aluminum to improve the circularity of our materials.
  • Continue supporting the improvement of the industry-wide recycled content average in metal packaging and transit products (paper, steel and plastic).
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Related Goal

Recycled content (plastic strapping)

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  • Increase recycling capacity at recycling centers.
  • Source recycled material, both internally and externally supplied, at strapping centers.

Our Sustainability Stories: Progress in Practice

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Our employees and operations around the world are already doing their part when it comes to climate action. Here are just a few examples of how they are making a difference:

Da Nang, Vietnam

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Reusing scrap plastic pallets and packaging as wall protection in its manufacturing facility became a creative way for this team to repurpose materials and save them from landfill. In addition to reducing solid waste, the plant also took steps to reduce its hazardous waste levels by over 60%, minimizing our operational impact.

Korinthos, Greece

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Recycling old line equipment allowed this team to place 138 tons of non-process scrap metal back into circulation, aligning with our goals to promote resource reuse and raise material recycling rates. The facility also reduced its consumption of compounds and lubricants applied along the production line by a respective 4.5% and 13%, minimizing waste levels. 

Guadalajara, Mexico

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Installing a new pump and filtration system helped this team make a major change in its production process, effectively recovering and recycling refrigerant rather than disposing of the substance. This recapture extends the lifespan of the refrigerant, supporting a more circular manufacturing line.  

UN Sustainability Development Goals

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In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly annonunced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address global changes and set a blueprint for action to achieve the goals by 2030.

Our sustainable priorities are aligned with the SDGs so that our actions can contribute to a greater collective impact. Learn more about our alignment with each goal here.

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An icon for UN SDG #9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. It depicts three boxes stacked on top of each other against an orange background.
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An icon for UN SDG #12 - Responsible Consumption and Production. It depicts an infinity symbol with an arrow against a brown background.
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An icon of UN SDG #13 - Climate Action. It depicts a drawing of an eye with a drawing of a globe in the middle against a dark green background.
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An icon of UN SDG #17 - Partnerships for the Goals. It depicts 5 circles overlaying each other against a dark blue background.

Additional Resources

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Have questions about our approach to climate action? Contact us at sustainability@crowncork.com.