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.
Recent examples of this include the new coloured-glass production facility at the Croatian Vetropack plant in Hum na Sutli which has not only resulted in a significant increase in capacity, but also allows for better working conditions, higher productivity and lower energy consumption. This strengthens the competitiveness not only of Vetropack Straža, but also of the entire Group.
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. New group-wide innovation center
The Innovation Centre launched in 2020 at the Pöchlarn site in Austria was further expanded and was integrated organisationally into the Technology and Production division from January 2022. The research focus of the Innovation Centre will be on process and product development as well as digitalisation. A further increase in staff is planned for this purpose. Current projects are working on, for example, the possibilities for CO2-reduced production of container glass, the development of new process technologies for the production of lightweight glass packaging, and the development of digitalised glass bottles that enable complete life cycle transparency and traceability. This is relevant not least because of the trend towards multiple use of glass packaging.