Some of our facilities in 14 countries around the world are located in densely populated areas, while others are located away from population centers (for example close to our customers in wine-producing regions). We are committed to protecting this wide range of environments.
Verallia aims to :
- Incorporate environmental factors into every stage of our activities
- Anticipate environmental risks
Our environmental policy is based upon four key priorities:
The use of recycled glass (in the form of cullet) in our process brings major environmental benefits – for each additional 10% of glass cullet that goes into our process we use 3% less energy and produce 5% less CO2.
Using cullet in our furnaces also means that we consume fewer natural resources, since the cullet takes the place of the natural raw materials used to make glass (sand, limestone and soda ash). Recycling one metric ton of cullet enables us to save an average of 1.2 metric tons of raw materials.
The proportion of recycled glass that goes into our furnaces has increased significantly in recent years and can now account for up to 95% in certain furnaces.
We have been working to reduce CO2 emissions for several decades now, using three primary methods :
- Continuously increasing the percentage of recycled glass (cullet) used in place of new raw materials in glassmaking furnaces
- Reducing the consumption of energy from fossil fuels
- Reducing electricity consumption.
We are taking steps to reduce our energy consumption in a number of key areas, notably by optimising the operation of our furnaces within the scope of our world-class manufacturing program, and by leveraging technical innovations such as the optimization of the use of compressed air in our production facilities.
Alongside our continuous improvement program we are working on a range of R&D projects to further reduce our fossil energy consumption, notably by designing new concepts of feeders, by optimizing the ventilation system used for cooling the forming moulds for IS machines, or by optimizing the energy consumption of annealing lehrs.
Our company is partnering with potential suppliers of renewable energy, and in particular biomass, with the intention of using renewable energy to power glass furnaces.
In Champagne (France), for example, Verallia is leading a R&D project titled BioViVe (from the French for « Vineyard biomass for glass melting ») whose objective is to replace fossil fuels used in gas-fired furnaces with a synthetic gas (or syngas) obtained from wood-by products of vine pruning and uprooting activities.
Water is an important resource, which we use mainly for cooling installations that operate at high temperatures. However 17% of our sites are located in « water stress » zones.
To limit the volume of water we extract, we use closed-loop systems at our industrial facilities whenever possible. Where a closed-loop system is not in place, water is systematically treated before being discharged into the environment.
We are currently developping a sustainable water management policy which will be gradually rolled out to all sites with the aim of minimizing the impact of our activities on water resource.
Our industrial risk management policy is based upon three complementary approaches: