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Responsible behaviour globally

Sustainability deals with global and regional issues concerning the environment, the economy and social responsibility; our sustainability pillars. Ambitious sustainability targets are included in our long term strategic planning. Our aim is to reduce any negative environmental impact whilst remaining economically sustainable and socially responsible.

Ardagh’s goal is to become the leading supplier of inherently sustainable packaging. For instance, a number of our glass facilities operate furnaces that use 90% recycled glass, which is regarded as a benchmark for glass production worldwide. Both glass and metal are permanent materials and are therefore infinitely recyclable without any loss of quality.

Our environmental initiatives

Our sustainability strategy is based on taking a proactive approach to our three ‘Pillars of Sustainability’ – Environmental, Social and Economic. Consideration of each of these pillars is crucial as they are all interlinked and have an impact on each other. We need sound economic performance in order to invest in social and environmental activities.

We also need to have robust environmental and social practices in order to be competitive and successful in our business. We take sustainability seriously and we strive to achieve change and implement supportive initiatives that aim to be rewarding on all levels.

Environmental Sustainability

Protecting our environment

Ardagh Group is a worldwide company. The impact of what we do and how we behave is far-reaching. Production on a scale such as ours brings enormous environmental responsibilities, and we take these seriously, both globally and locally. That is why we identify, control and measure all our activities, doing everything we can to reduce their environmental impact. We keep energy consumption and emissions to a minimum, maximise our recycling rates, optimise the use of secondary packaging materials and manage waste appropriately, by avoiding use of landfills and limiting water usage.

Glass and metal are both permanent materials. They form part of what is referred to as a ‘circular economy’ – where materials can be infinitely recycled in a closed loop without any loss of quality. As a result, metal and glass are regarded as ‘permanently available’. The materials are not lost as long as they are recycled into another metal or glass product. Ardagh initiatives that focus on recycling – both of our source materials and within our facilities themselves – showcase our commitment to energy efficiency. Effective environmental management systems are in place at all Ardagh sites.

Social Sustainability

Supporting local communities

We have a strict Corporate Social Responsibility policy that is implemented everywhere we operate. It provides guidelines on social and ethical best practices, offers clear direction for decision-making in complex situations and encourages all employees to actively support the company's goal of setting a new standard in CSR. A key part of our policy is the Community Involvement Project. Our target of this is to have at least one meaningful community project (an example of which is a waste heat capture initiative that sees local homes and businesses benefit from the waste heat generated by the furnaces at a nearby Ardagh facility) at every Ardagh site in the near future.

Ardagh Group has been a member of SEDEX for several years and has sites from both the glass and metal businesses registered. Sedex is a social and ethical platform which aims to increase transparency in the supply chain. Companies register their production plants and complete plant-specific questionnaires covering four areas: labour, health & safety, business ethics and the environment. Added to this, we have also made a declaration to our customers to ensure conflict-free mineral sourcing. Our suppliers need to demonstrate traceability and accountability of the raw materials they supply us.

Social Sustainability

Building a sustainable future

The economic stability of Ardagh has an impact on our employees, local communities, customers, suppliers, investors and other stakeholders. That’s why we continually invest in systems and processes that improve the efficiency of our operations, reduce costs and increase competitiveness. One initiative, for instance, promotes customer and supplier partnership programmes in order to strengthen relationships along the supply chain.

Another initiative led us to develop a sophisticated process of preheating our glass raw materials to give energy savings of up to 15%. The system, which heats the batch to 300°C, cost in the region of €2m per site and so far has been introduced in five facilities, with a further three planned over the coming years. This investment in environmentally friendly systems forms part of our long-term sustainability strategy.

Permanent materials are classified as materials that once produced can be infinitely recycled or reused without any loss of quality