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We must decrease GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions to combat climate change. The Group is working on multiple fronts to reduce its energy consumption: increasing the percentage of cullet in products, changing raw materials, optimizing product and packaging designs, and replacing furnaces that run on fossil fuels with low-carbon models.
Before measuring progress, you have to know your starting point. This is why we conducted our first carbon footprint analysis in 2009 with the assistance of the consulting firm Carbone 4. The second assessment, conducted in 2019, again with Carbone 4, highlighted our progress: we had reduced our GHG emissions by 11%
over the space of 10 years.
This assessment also resulted in a detailed analysis of the sources of our emissions. Our carbon impact is due mainly to the energy consumed in the glass-melting process: our furnaces must heat raw materials to a temperature of approximately 1,500°C (2,700°F) to melt them. This knowledge formed the basis of our road map to gradually decarbonize our operations across the entire value chain.
This road map, drawn up with the assistance of Carbone 4, should enable us to gradually reduce CO2 emissions in both upstream and downstream operations. The strategy is to prioritize reducing emissions from the manufacturing process while also working on induced, direct (Scopes 1 and 2), and indirect (Scope 3) emissions, recognizing that the latter accounts for 40% of our emissions.
The objectives are ambitious: reduce the emissions of our manufacturing processes by 45% before 2035 and by 36% across our entire value chain (Scopes 1, 2, and 3). Looking towards 2050, we want to continue our efforts and encourage innovations with the goal of getting on track with the 2°C reduction trajectory. For us, this means achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
The main pathways for improvement are a continuation of the actions we have already embarked on:
A concrete, detailed action plan has been drawn up for each site, and the carbon impact of each solution proposed in the plan has been measured. The aim is to identify the levers for improvement that employ reliable, affordable technologies.
To improve air and water quality, Saverglass designs and rolls out solutions designed to minimize its other emissions (NOx , SOx and particulates), and to better manage its effluents.
Saverglass’s furnaces are equipped with regenerators that recover energy from hot gases and the best technology available to limit the
environmental impact of airborne emissions. And the last 20 years have produced tangible results.
All our acid-etching decoration sites are fitted with the innovative system developed by the Saverglass team for the Coulommiers site in 2011. The system was first replicated at the Arques factory in 2014, then at the Acatlán de Juárez site in Mexico in 2019. The acid-etching decoration units significantly reduced their environmental footprint with advanced, less-polluting technology and controlled rinse water release systems.
Our objective is to produce our bottles sustainably by limiting the resources we consume and the waste we generate. In addition to using cullet, a recycled material,
at Saverglass we strive to optimize how we use raw materials in the manufacture and decoration of our bottles. This philosophy guides our efforts to improve the efficiency of our manufacturing processes. At the same time, we have instituted a circular economy policy to authorize the recycling and/or reuse of packaging.
The Group's resource optimization approach is applied to all of its raw materials and is common to all of its sites.
The use of cullet (recycled glass from collected household glass) in the colored glass production process follows the European recycling target of 90% in 2030 and corresponds to the maturity of the recycling market in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico. It has major ecological advantages. It reduces the use of natural resources, given that cullet can replace raw materials such as sand, lime, or soda. Using cullet also saves energy as it melts faster and at a lower temperature than natural raw materials. It is a cost-effective and efficient solution for reducing emissions with no degredation of the quality of the glass produced.
In accordance with its policy of excellence and superior quality, in a market where extra-white cullet is virtually absent, the use of cullet for producing extra-white glass ranges must follow a strict process. Because cullet is made of colored recycled materials, it gives a tint to products that use it in their production. Consequently, not all glass colors accept the same proportion of cullet. The darker the color , the more cullet can be added to the manufacturing process. On the other hand, the clearer the glass, the less suitable this process becomes.
The use of bio-sourced, low-carbon materials is also part of the raw material optimization approach. Saverglass uses short supply chains.
We need water to cool our furnaces. In 2021, to use less of this resource, Saverglass identified best practices for further limiting its water consumption and rolled them out at its different sites. One of the best practices identified was setting up rainwater collection systems.
The Feuquières plant for example now meets 60% of its water needs using rainwater collected from its roofs. At the same time, this measure has dramatically reduced
drinking water consumption at the plant.
As far as packaging is concerned, the Group is striving to find the most environmentally friendly solutions. Saverglass' ambition is to achieve "zero non-recycled plastic". A circular economy policy has been introduced to all sites with circuits allowing the recycling or reuse of packaging. VMF standard wooden pallets are reusable. Saverglass collects, sorts and cleans pallets from its clients, extending the life of the pallets. In tonnage, they represent 50% of recovered material. In addition, Saverglass, with the help of a supplier, recovers the inserts (plastic packaging to protect the bottles during transport) so that they can be reused in the creation of new packaging.
Saverglass has also significantly increased its use of translucent pallet covers made from recycled plastics, replacing the transparent covers that require a virgin raw material. The decrease in the weight of these pallet covers has resulted in a 15% gain in thickness for double-wrapping. This represents a saving of almost 200 tonnes of polyethylene per year. Similarly, the partial transition to single-wrapping, instead of 2 covers, has reduced thickness by 40%, which represents a saving of 100 tonnes of polyethylene per year.