We continuously strive to minimize energy input in all our processes, so that using our glass contributes a net benefit to sustainability.
Our energy usage
We use natural gas as the fuel of choice for glass melting. Furnaces are gradually being converted from heavy fuel oil to gas. Small quantities of diesel and LPG are used for space heating and back-up generators. See the graphs (LINK) for consumption details.
Initiatives to reduce energy usage
All initiatives are monitored by the Heads of SBUs and Group functions at six -monthly Energy Committee meetings, chaired by the Chief Operating Officer.
Energy management pilot plants
The concept of the energy pilot plants is to make a step change reduction in energy consumption by using energy more efficiently and effectively. Four pilot sites were launched in FY13 as phase 1 followed by seven phase 2 sites in FY15 and FY16. Five further pilot sites were launched in Japan, Vietnam and Brazil this year. Together these 16 pilot sites cover 66 percent of the NSG Group’s energy spend. Over 300 projects are under evaluation or being implemented.
Operational energy-efficiency projects
Our Operational Cost Saving (OCS) program regularly conducts a deep analysis of all energy projects. In FY16, OCS identified multiple projects able to deliver energy consumption and cost savings. Each NSG Group manufacturing site had at least one active OCS energy project; more than 100 energy-optimization opportunities were implemented, resulting in annual CO2 savings in excess of 30kt.
Major projects include furnace fuel combustion optimization, reducing electrical requirements of motors optimizing compressed air systems, energy sub-metering, energy-efficient lighting, fuel switching and cogeneration processes. Waste heat and energy metering is being used to develop projects, identify energy waste and manage tariffs. We have expanded the use of existing software to enhance basic metering capabilities.
A glass industry directory of potential novel technologies is being created, including recommendations for appropriate application at Group sites. The Group’s Sharepoint and face-to-face energy workshops provide learning and sharing opportunities.
We have achieved ISO 50001 certification across all operations in Germany, Italy, Finland, and most recently Automotive engineering. Investment in sub-metering hardware and software installations allows a high level of transparency in energy consumption and enables a sophisticated energy-planning process with improvement activities, target setting and frequent
reviews to be established.
Renewable on-site energy generation and alternative fuels
The use of a waste-derived biofuel oil instead of heavy fuel oil in a glass-melting furnace has cut CO2 emissions by 8kt per year.
Our Rossford technical center in North America produces about 7 percent of its own electricity with on-site photovoltaic generation. We have installed photovoltaic panels on the roof and former car parking areas of our German Weiherhammer plant.
Partnership with suppliers
We continue to partner with key suppliers to develop projects to reduce energy consumption in our manufacturing sites.
Innovation in cullet recycling
Our Watson Street plant continues to invest in plastic boxes to travel on floatliners with customer glass deliveries. The collected downstream processed cullet is diverted from landfill and, when re-melted, reduces energy consumption and raw material decomposition, saving 3,000 tonnes CO2 emissions per year.
Employee energy efficiency awareness
Our general energy awareness program requires a number of manufacturing teams to deliver significant improvements in operational energy efficiency. This includes compiling a Group-wide database of energy-saving projects.
A five-day, energy-training event in November 2016 involved 19 European delegates across all businesses. They covered numerous aspects of energy management and included a float plant audit. Examination success was required for certification and delegates had to submit a site energy audit and action plan for energy management projects within three months of course completion.