Sustainable management safeguards our business success
Sustainability and long-term commercial success go hand in hand. Operating sustainably secures our business success because energy efficiency and resource conservation result in cost savings that are commercially essential in order to be competitive.
For us, environmental protection is a factor for success in every way
- Sustainable production methods and sustainable products are currently highly popular
- Our customers expect to see environmental information about our products
- Action to increase energy efficiency has a positive effect on our CO2 balance and cost structure
- By using more used glass as a secondary raw material, consuming less energy and fewer materials, and optimising our waste management and emissions in the production process, we improve the environmental footprint of our glass packaging
Technical innovations and environmental projects
1. Energy-efficient and low-emission furnaces
Making glass requires high temperatures that are normally generated using gas as the energy source. Inside the furnace, the mixture of used glass and primary raw materials is heated to about 1600° Celsius. That is a very energy-intensive process. To ensure that we generate the required melting energy in an environmentally responsible way and permanently reduce our emissions, whenever we build a new furnace or carry out regular upgrading, we always use the latest technology. The most recent examples of this include the replacement of a flint glass furnace at the Czech plant, Vetropack Moravia Glass, and the installation of a new coloured glass furnace at the Austrian Vetropack glassworks in Kremsmünster.
Energy efficiency can be increased even further by using a special natural gas analyser connected to the main gas station. Based on the exact composition of the gas, this analyser measures and calculates its calorific value and this is used to control the gas supply to the furnace. Natural gas analysers are already in operation at the Swiss glassworks in St-Prex and the Croatian plant Vetropack Straža.
2. Seeing the light on sustainability: lightweight glass
Lightweight glass technology reduces the weight of glass packaging while retaining all the other benefits of glass. Lightweight glass is 100% recyclable with no loss of quality and is completely neutral in relation to the contents. The thin-walled glass containers are also just as stable as conventional glass packaging. The reduction in weight is good for the environment: fewer raw materials, reduced consumption of energy and materials, lower transport costs, lower CO2 emissions. Bottlers, retailers and consumers all benefit from this new lightness, as well as the environment.
3. Investment in a new waste gas purification facility
Our glassworks in the small Croatian municipality of Hum na Sutli is one of the region's biggest employers and is outstanding for its sustainable approach and operations. In May 2014, work began on a new waste gas purification facility which ensures that less dust and fewer harmful substances escape into the environment. As at our other sites, here, too, the thermal energy that is produced is now used to heat the office buildings and the plant itself.