Saint-Gobain Containers Inc., a leading producer of glass containers for the food and beverage industries in the United States, has pledged to reduce its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 16 percent per ton of formed and finished glass by 2012. This pledge was made as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Climate Leaders program, which Saint-Gobain Containers joined earlier this year.
"Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through the Climate Leaders program further confirms our corporate-wide focus on improving the global environment while increasing the efficiency of our operations," said Brian Jaggernauth, Vice President, Energy and Sustainability of Saint-Gobain Containers.
Climate Leaders is an EPA industry-government partnership that works closely with companies on a voluntary basis to develop comprehensive climate change strategies. Partner companies commit to reducing their impact on the global environment by completing a corporate-wide inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions based on a quality management system, setting aggressive reduction goals, and annually reporting their progress to EPA. Through program participation, companies create a credible record of their accomplishments and receive EPA recognition as corporate environmental leaders.
"As a Climate Leaders partner, Saint-Gobain Containers is demonstrating its commitment to establishing a low-carbon economy by setting a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions," said Susan Wickwire, Chief of EPA's Energy Supply and Industry Branch.
Saint-Gobain has established worldwide environmental objectives for its businesses, including the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, water consumption and waste, as well as the completion of a Life Cycle Analysis for each product line. In line with these objectives, Saint-Gobain Containers is working to substantially increase the availability and use of recycled glass, called cullet, in its process.
Using cullet in the manufacturing process saves raw materials and reduces the demand for energy. Saint-Gobain Containers, as a member of the Glass Packaging Institute, is supporting an aggressive goal of using 50 percent recycled content in its manufacturing process by 2013. Last year, Saint-Gobain Containers utilized enough recycled glass to save nearly 11.5 million cubic feet of landfill space. These containers laid end-to-end would circle the earth 13 times – or enough to reach the moon and start a return trip.
While this level of utilization represents improvement over time, Saint-Gobain Containers would have used a lot more cullet, if available. Further, Saint-Gobain Containers recognizes that there are challenges and opportunities associated with improving cullet recycling (e.g. quantity and quality) and is committed to supporting various private and governmental programs and technologies.
"We're pleased with these initiatives that will result is a more sustainable process and product," said Jaggernauth. "Setting this formal goal for greenhouse gas reductions and using more recycled glass in our production will be a strong benefit to the environment and our company."
In addition to the Climate Leaders program, Saint-Gobain Containers is active in other environmental stewardship programs. Earlier this year, Saint-Gobain Containers, along with its parent company Saint-Gobain was named as the 2009 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the EPA. The award recognizes outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Saint-Gobain Containers is the first glass manufacturer to receive the Partner of the Year award. Saint-Gobain is also among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, according to Innovest Strategic Value Advisors.
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About Saint-Gobain Containers
Saint-Gobain Containers Inc. (www.sgcontainers.com) is the second largest glass container manufacturer in the United States and serves the wine, beer, beverage, spirits and food container markets with 13 strategically located plants, supported by a state-of-the-art machine shop and distribution center. Saint-Gobain Containers is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, an international industrial group based in Paris, France, and the largest glass manufacturer in the world.
About EPA Climate Leaders
As the country's largest greenhouse gas goal-setting program, Climate Leaders is an EPA industry-government partnership that works with companies to develop comprehensive climate change strategies. Launched in 2002, the program has expanded from 11 charter members to 284 companies that represent more than eight percent of total annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Program partners represent a broad range of industry sectors and companies with combined annual revenue equal to 12 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. More about the program: www.epa.gov/climateleaders.