Defining Materiality

We conducted our first Sustainability Materiality Assessment in 2017 in accordance with GRI’s guidelines. This exercise identified a set of environmental, social and governance focus areas that our stakeholders care about and that intersect with our business. These focus areas were identified with the input of nearly 100 internal and external stakeholders and were listed in our Materiality Matrix in that report.

For this report, we have revisited the assessment completed in 2017 and updated it. Our process included three main steps:

  1. Identification

    We expanded our 2017 assessment to reflect the following changes since our last report:

    • Key changes in our business, with the most notable being the acquisition of Signode Industrial Group, now known as our Transit Packaging Division.
    • Alignment with GRI Standards, the latest reporting guidance offered. Our 2017 report was developed in accordance with G4 guidelines.
    • Other changes related to our business, customers, public policy, the context in which we do business and the evolving expectations of key stakeholders.

    The majority of the feedback we received from stakeholders in 2017 remains relevant – there were no major changes in material topics. We augmented the data collected from our previous assessment by conducting in-depth interviews with Company executives from around the world and all of our product lines, surveying employees, reviewing the sustainability priorities of customers and peer companies and researching key topics affecting the industry.

Material Topics

Responsible Business Practices

  • •  Business ethics and governance
  • •  Compliance with ESG expectations
  • •  Responsible sourcing

Product Responsibility

  • •  Product quality, safety (including food safety) and stewardship
  • •  Package lightweighting
  • •  Customer satisfaction

Labor Practices

  • •  Employee health, safety and wellness
  • •  Employee relations and engagement
  • •  Diversity and inclusion


  • •  Energy and carbon footprint
  • •  Increasing the recycling rate of packaging materials
  • •  Water management and scarcity
  • •  Waste reduction and management
  • •  Resource scarcity


  • •  Cost reduction (including operational excellence)

Customer Engagement

  • •  Ongoing dialogue with customers to ensure alignment on sustainability


  • •  Business model/sustainable innovation, product innovation


  • •  Regulations and policies related to chemical, waste, recycling and other issues that customers expect suppliers to comply with


  • •  Consumer education about the sustainability of metal packaging and recycling practices
  • •  Community involvement, including support of nonprofits
  1. Evaluation

    Our evaluation process included assessing reports outlining the environmental, social and governance stakeholders for the industry and analyzing our business plans, strategies and key risk assessments. Industry peers and enterprise customers were also benchmarked as part of this analysis.

  2. Prioritization

    While all the topics identified as part of this process are important, six of the most “material” issues were selected as among the most critical to manage on a continuing basis and have been featured in this report.

    Several of the other areas that were deemed to be material will serve as the foundation for our next set of formal sustainability goals.