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Leading Global Glass Manufacturer Implements 3-Part Plan for a Sustainable Future Throughout the Industry

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With 10,000 employees, 34 glass production facilities in 12 countries and manufacturing upwards of 17 billion glass bottles and jars per year, Verallia, the world’s third largest producer of glass packaging for the wine, spirits and food industries, has roots that go both deep and wide.

The Wine Industry Network (WIN) talked with Felix Lamolinerie, CEO of Verallia USA, about how the company began, and its evolution into a sustainability leader for the worldwide glass industry.

History

The company’s origins come from the establishment of the Vauxrot glass facility in France in 1827.

With its 200 years of know-how, Verallia, the preeminent industry leader, is seizing the initiative to redefine how glass is produced, reused and recycled in order to ensure that it is the world’s most sustainable packaging material into the foreseeable future.

“Sustainability has been incorporated into the mission of our company,” confirms Lamolinerie. “Our goal is to close the loop from production to reuse indefinitely and reduce or eliminate carbonization across the board.”

Scott Defife (Glass Packaging Institute) and Felix Lamolinerie (Verallia USA).

Lamolinerie reports that in line with their commitment to sustainability, Verallia is focusing efforts on reducing its Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. This initiative reflects the company’s dedication to environmental responsibility.

Emissions Reduction

Scope 1 refers to direct emissions; the CO2 emitted within the perimeter of the plant (carbonated raw materials, heavy and domestic fuel oil, melting and non-melting natural gas).
Scope 2 involves indirect emissions, those that come from the electricity needed to run the facility.
Scope 3 identifies indirect emissions that come from greenhouse gases related to other phases of a product’s life cycle and not directly related to the plant’s operation.

Verallia has pledged to a 46 percent reduction in Scope 1&2 CO2 emissions by the year 2030, to drop Scope 3 emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and to have Net Zero Scope 1&2 CO2 emissions by the year 2050*.

To achieve those goals, Verallia is proactively working to decarbonize its operations:

  1. Switching to electric furnaces for flint glass and hybrid furnaces for all other packaging. Hybrid power will operate on 80 percent electricity and 20 percent gas, instead of the opposite ratio that has been used until now.
  2. Reduce carbon footprint by increasing the amount of cullet (crushed glass that can be re-melted) used in furnaces.
  3. Switch to renewable and low carbon fuels. Verallia’s goal is to operate on 60 percent certified or renewable low carbon electricity by 2025 and 90 percent by 2040.

“Our process is three-fold,” Lamolinerie emphasizes. “We’re focusing on decarbonizing, on cullet increases and the end product itself – lightweight bottles.”

Innovations in Bottle Design

Verallia continues to answer the industry demand for more lightweight, environmentally responsible bottle design by introducing what Lamolinerie calls a true industry disruption: the Bordelaise Air 300 g.

With the remarkable weight of just 300 grams (10.58 oz), Verallia has designed the Bordelaise Air 300 g to be one of the lightest bottles of its type ever produced, while preserving the iconic shape and style of the classic Bordelaise bottle that makes the wine and region famous.

“We’ve spent years on focused research and development to determine how to lightweight our products,” Lamolinerie points out. “We are now able to do it on medium and premium wine and spirits bottles as well, while retaining the aesthetics of the design. Lightweight no longer means cheap.”

For more information on Verallia, its sustainability initiatives and the Bordelaise Air 300 g, go to: https://us.verallia.com/s/.

*Verallia CSR Report 2022.

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