Metal Packaging: Why Collaboration is Key in Advancing Sustainability

Emily Mullins

Sustainability in metal packaging;
Why collaboration is key 

In a challenging year, the drive towards sustainability in metal packaging remains as strong as ever, but if we are going to achieve ambitious goals, no organization can work in isolation. A collective commitment to sustainability is the way forward.

At Henkel, we are committed to purposeful growth with sustainability as a central focus. Within that context, we constantly seek new and innovative ways to enable our customers to achieve their sustainability goals in a proactive way.

Our aim is to ensure our use of new technologies and solutions in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings can contribute to solving current and future global environmental and social challenges in six key areas: social progress, performance, health and safety, energy and climate, materials and waste, water and waste water.

None of this is possible without broader collaboration with our clients and supply chain.

Global commitment to sustainability
in metal packaging


As I highlighted in my previous blog, global food and beverage brands are leading the way in the implementation of more sustainable solutions.  Pepsico is committed to designing 100% of their packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. Coca Cola launched its ‘’World Without Waste’’ vision in 2019, and Nestle also committed to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.

Global suppliers of beverage packaging are following that lead. In July, Crown Holdings launched their Twentyby30 strategic sustainability program, outlining twenty measurable environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals to be completed by 2030, across five pillars of action. Likewise, Ball’s 5 for 10, and the Ardagh Group’s three pillars of sustainability, both strive to balance environmental, social and economic issues.       

Collaboration is the key

As a key strategic supplier to the Metal Packaging industry, our focus is on making a positive contribution to meet all current and future regulatory requirements and assist our customers achieve their sustainability objectives, including:

  • Resource Efficiency:
    Henkel offers innovative technologies as well as process expertise which help our customers improve efficiency and performance; reduce usage of chemicals, water, and energy; and minimize spoilage throughout the aluminium and steel can production process.

  • Reduce Water Usage:
    Henkel’s latest can cleaners are not only fully biodegradable, but are compatible with ultra-filtration, enabling water reduction and reuse.  

  • Optimum Circularity – Enabling lightweighting and Increased Recycled Content in Metal Cans:
    Metal downgauging and changes in metal substrates, along with a variety of can sizes and shapes, puts a greater demand on the metal forming requirements in the drawing and ironing process used for beverage cans. Henkel’s high performing can-forming lubricants are integral to meet the challenges posed by metal down-gauging, deep drawing, and metal substrate changes. 

  •  Worker Safety and Chemicals of Concern:
    Keeping pace with changing regulations and with an eye on the future, Henkel innovates to ensure regulatory compliance and to address future substances of concern. For example, enormous effort has gone in to developments to address regulatory issues such as BPA in coatings, and the upcoming EU ban on chromium VI, by developing and extensive testing of non-BPA coatings for metal packaging, non-chrome passivations for tinplate steel, and commercializing non-chrome pretreatments for aluminum can end stock.

Together, we can make a positive contribution towards shared strategic goals in metal packaging and sustainability.

For additional information on Henkel Metal Packing solutions, please visit our website or watch our Web-Seminar covering solutions for emerging trends in metal packaging.

Emily Mullins

As the Global Market Strategy Manager for the Surface Technologies segment of the Metals business, Emily is responsible for developing global business and product development strategies based on trends and innovations in the industry, such as the drive for more recyclable and sustainable products and more efficient production processes. With a background in chemical engineering and almost 20 years of experience in the industry, she offers a wealth of product expertise to both internal stakeholders and external customers.

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