Designing greener glass packaging for customers
Saverglass’ goal is to meet the needs of its market segment—luxury, top-of-the-line bottles—with functional, cost-effective and sustainable bottles. Glass is unique among packaging materials in that it can be recycled without loss of volume or material performance. These attributes make it particularly attractive to customers looking for high-quality, sustainable packaging. Saverglass products have a high level of recycled content. Here are some of the ways Saverglass is meeting its sustainable commitments:
Eco-design. Saverglass adopted an eco-design approach in developing new products for its customers. This approach takes a container’s environmental impact into account at all stages of its life cycle. The aim is to continue creating special, unique and refined containers using innovative design while using a minimum amount of resources, such as glass weight, dimensions and packaging components.
Coating decorations. In one of the first successes for the eco-design technique, the company developed water-soluble varnishes to re-create glass color and acid-etching matches, in lieu of using traditional enamel decoration, by improving both materials and the screenprinting technique. The new coatings use low-temperature curing, cutting energy demand for this step in half. No heavy metals are required, lowering the amount of liquid waste and issues with compliance with European and American regulations related to volatile organic compounds. This greener alternative, called Savercoat, was recognized with an Apave Environment Award. In 2016, the first year of Carlyle’s investment, 73% of products made by Saverglass have selected screenprinted glass with organic inks instead of enamels.
Reduced resource use. Saverglass uses furnaces fitted with a regenerator that recaptures energy from the gas fumes and are cooled by rainwater collected from facility roofs. The company has cut 300 tons of polyethylene use per year by using thinner and more recyclable packaging on shipments. It also encourages sea shipping, which is less carbon-intensive than alternatives and now represents 32.6% of supply. Further, 100% of the waste glass produced at Saverglass facilities is recycled on-site.
Air emission reductions. Saverglass seeks to further reduce energy and air emission by improving employee practices through tools such as the ISO 50001 standard and equipment upgrades, which new capital from Carlyle will support. For example, newly installed Low-NOx burners have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by 40% to 50%. Installation of electro filters in each furnace has reduced the environmental impact of air emissions by up to 90%, including the capture of heavy metals. In addition, the facilities treat sulfur oxides through a lime-injection process and have begun to convert from propane to lower-carbon natural gas as a lead source.