Sustainability and Products

Architectural Products

Our Architectural Products play a vital role in improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. They also offer other advanced functionality, protecting against fire, insulating against noise, safety and security, privacy, decoration and even self-cleaning properties.

Please refer to the "Architectural" website.

Affordable Clean Energy

With our solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power glass range, we help to generate renewable energy reducing CO2 emissions significantly.

Our range of solar glass products includes NSG TEC™ and Pilkington Optiwhite™.

NSG TEC™ is a group of products, including a comprehensive range of TCO glass (Transparent Conductive Oxide coated glass), optimized to suit a variety of thin film photovoltaics (PV) modules.

In this context NSG Group invests in additional production capacity of TCO (transparent conductive oxide) coated glass in Malaysia to support the growing solar market. The investment is to support the expansion strategy of First Solar, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of thin-film solar panels that has a long-standing partnership with NSG Group. In addition to its existing facilities in Vietnam and Malaysia, First Solar is constructing a new manufacturing plant in India, which is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2023.

At the same time NSG provides space for solar PV installations, for example a 1.4 MW photovoltaic solar array at its Rossford, Ohio facility, which supplies about 2.5 million kWh of renewable energy annually, delivered by AEP. "AEP OnSite Partners is focused on delivering energy solutions that best fit the unique needs of our customers and help them reach their sustainability goals," said Greg Hall, Executive Vice President, Energy Supply, AEP. "We look forward to our continued partnership with the NSG Group."

Pilkington Sunplus™ BIPV window and a PV spandrel solution that allows a building to generate energy as an environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional energy sources.

Pilkington Optiwhite™ is a range of extra clear low-iron float glass products with very high solar transmittance, offering improved solar energy conversion and consistent performances. This range of low-iron glass products is suitable for use in thin film photovoltaics, concentrated solar power technology, solar thermal collectors and solar mirrors.

Stakeholder Interview

First Solar

A sustainable energy future with the NSG Group

First Solar is the world's leading manufacturer and distributor of thin-film solar panels. The company's solar panels, which use cadmium telluride (CdTe) as opposed to the more common crystalline silicon, feature the most eco-efficient solar panels available today with the lowest carbon, water footprints and fastest energy payback time (EPT)*. NSG Group have interviewed Michael Koralewski, Chief Supply Chain Officer of First Solar, one of the largest customers of TCO coating provided by the NSG Group, about their journey towards a renewable energy society and their expectations of the NSG Group.

*Energy payback time: the operating period required before the same amount of energy is saved by power generation as is input during the lifecycle.

What is First Solar's roadmap to a renewable energy society?

First Solar's vision is to lead the world's sustainable energy future. Even as we embark on a journey of rapid growth, we remain true to our core principles, especially our commitment to Responsible Solar. Not all solar power is created equal, and we stand apart from most of the industry in understanding our responsibility towards the planet, the community, and our customers. We are driven by a desire to make better solar that does not pay lip service to sustainability but embodies it. Solar that considers the social and environmental impacts and works hard to make people’s lives healthier. Solar with no tolerance for the use of forced labor, either in its manufacturing or its supply chain. This is solar that meaningfully supports the fight against climate change, and we are proud to embrace our role in producing it to power our societies’ renewable journey.

What are the expectations of NSG Group in the company's roadmap for sustainability?

NSG and First Solar share a long-standing global partnership spanning multiple markets, including the United States, Malaysia, Vietnam and now India. As a supply partner for over 20 years, we value NSG's ability to be agile and support our growth plans. This has been especially crucial as we invest in rapid growth, underpinned by a strategy of locating new manufacturing capacity close to demand while also diversifying and localizing our supply chains. For instance, NSG's ability to supply US-made glass has helped support our manufacturing expansion in the United States.

First Solar's Solar Panel Manufacturing

Sustainable Cities and Communities

NSG Group's broad solar control glass range can help reduce unwanted heat gain to avoid unnecessary energy consumption for air conditioning. And they help to save CO2 across the world with our insulating low emissivity products.

Unwanted heat gain

NSG offers a wide range of products for solar control benefit, for example:

SenseComfort - The Smart Window by NSG Group. The Smart Window is an insulating glass unit with a special sensor developed by PHYSEE. The sensor measures the incoming light intensity and solar radiation. This information allows for continuous monitoring that the impact of the outdoor climate has on the indoor environment. This is essential in optimizing smart buildings so that they use as much light and heat from natural sources for a more sustainable, comfortable, and healthy working environment.

NSG Group announced that the energy-saving electrochromic (dynamic light control) window "View Smart Glass" was adopted for the first case in the new "Kudan Kaikan Terrace" (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) in Japan. This new office building opened on 1 October 2022. The modern window can change the transmittance of visible light, UV rays, and solar radiation to a minimum of 1% without using any blinds or sunshades.

Pilkington Solar-E™ is a range of good solar control performance on-line coated glasses offering low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), low reflectivity, reduced glare and low-emissivity.

The Pilkington Suncool™ Range comprises our highest performing off-line coated, solar control and low-emissivity glass products.

Insulating low emissivity products

NSG improves the energy efficiency of domestic or commercial buildings around the globe, for example:

NSG Spacia™ is a unique Insulating Glass Unit which provides similar or better energy efficiency performance as an IGU unit, but in a much thinner profile, so it can be used in slim frames.

The Pilkington Optitherm™ Range are high performance, off-line coated low-e glass products specially developed for use in Insulating Glass Units (IGUs) to help with energy saving.

And of course we transform our business to produce all our product in a more sustainable way. For example:

NSG group is pleased to announce that it has decided to invest to update a glass furnace with two lines to produce rolled glass and float glass simultaneously, relocating current rolled glass production line in the UK to a float furnace in the same town. “Producing all glass out of the upgraded furnace, rather than running two, will save carbon emissions equivalent to taking 8,800 cars off the road each year,” according to Neil Syder, Managing Director of Pilkington UK. The project, supported by not-for-profit research and technology organisation, Glass Futures will benefit from a £3.7m grant via the government's Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IEFT), which helps cover the costs of industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects in the UK.

This is another significant progress in decarbonisation at a float line, which earlier in calendar year 2022 has become the world's first flat glass manufacturing line fired on 100% biofuel, as part of an industry trial to find sustainable alternatives to natural gas. UK Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: "These fuel switching trials, backed by over 7 million GBP in government funding, demonstrate how we are supporting industry to decarbonise and move away from relying on fossil fuels. This is vital to reducing emissions and driving forward the UK's green industrial revolution."

Biodiversity conservation

Against the background of recent climate change, the conservation and promotion of biodiversity has become an even more important global theme. Among other things, bird collisions on glass are now a worldwide problem and bird protection is a key social issue in many countries, including Germany. In Germany, bird-friendly construction is requested more and more or is even required in tenders for public spaces. We developed and designed an innovative glass solution; Pilkington AviSafe™, which greatly reduces the number of bird collisions with glass. The glass is fully transparent, with a unique patterned coating which reflects ultraviolet spectrum to ensure both safety for birds and an unobscured view for the human eye. Pilkington AviSafe™ has also been successfully tested by external third parties. Using our technology, we aim to create a society where humans and animals can coexist.

Stakeholder Interview

Michael Scheer

President of Flachglas Markenkreis GmbH*, Chairman of the Cooperative Board

“Pilkington AviSafe™ can meet all aesthetic and functional requirements such as thermal insulation, solar radiation control, bird protection and sound insulation in a single sheet of double glazing, contributing to the prevention of global warming and potentially saving millions of birds' lives."

*One of the largest associations of glass processors and double glazing companies in Europe

Providing environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing energy

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV for short) refers to an enhanced building component that is integrated into building facades to perform as a renewable energy generating material. Pilkington Sunplus™ BIPV Window and PV spandrel solutions enable buildings to generate electricity and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional energy sources. From May to July in 2023, the Company, together with ENEOS Holdings, Inc., East Japan Railway Company and YKK AP Inc. conducted a demonstration test in the Takanawa Gateway Station using transparent photovoltaic window panels developed by Ubiquitous Energy Inc. of the USA, in which ENEOS has invested and in which the Company is co-developing. The Group will continue to provide products that create an 'environmentally friendly environment'.

Provision of new low-carbon glass products.

We have recently launched a new architectural glass product, Pilkington Mirai™, which offers 50% less CO2e* (vs our standard glass product). The development of Pilkington Mirai™ was made possible through a series of technical world firsts and a holistic approach to sustainability. Even though glass is an endlessly recyclable material, as a leading glass manufacturer, we have a significant opportunity and responsibility to makechange™ in our industry and support the built environment by developing low carbon products such as Pilkington Mirai™ as part of the wider solution. We will continue to focus on developing and promoting sustainable architectural glass products. *EPD pending

Automotive Products

In recent years, the automotive industry has seen an increase in the importance of eco-cars, which are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through electrification. In parallel, automotive glazed areas continue to increase in size, driven by the design, safety and styling benefits of fluid shapes, enhanced external visibility, lighter interiors and a greater desire for occupant interaction with the environment.

NSG Group's superior press bending glass shaping technology and solar control products are fully capable of meeting the major changes in vehicle design brought about by this shift to an electrified powertrain, and are aiding the world's drive towards clean mobility.

Please refer to the "Automotive" website.


Electric vehicles produce no exhaust emissions so they are able to offer our world a cleaner means of transportation. NSG's solar control and Low-E glass are already used extensively in buildings to improve energy efficiency, and we can offer the same benefits for vehicles. Our vehicle-glazings can provide advanced solar control properties by absorbing or reflecting infra-red energy from the sun. Control of heat energy entering vehicles directly impacts air-conditioning usage leading to reduced energy consumption and CO2 output.

Low-Emissivity online coated glass

Battery-electric vehicles, for which demand has been increasing in recent years, often use large-area roof glazings to secure head space inside the vehicle and to enjoy panoramic vision, as the heavy battery is placed under the floor of the vehicle body. The perceived Achilles heel of using large glazed areas is the accompanying heat loading associated with a material that both transmits the suns heat, but also radiates heat that it has absorbed. The solution for a roof glazing is to utilize a low-emissivity coating as this has been proven to provide both high heat shielding and thermal insulation. These properties are ideal to both enhance passenger comfort and improve the energy efficiency of the climate control inside the vehicle. The low-emissivity coating is formed on the glass by NSG’s proprietary online Chemical Vapor Deposition float glass coating technology.

Over the years, NSG has developed the APBL (Advanced Press Bending Lamination) glass shaping process (which is suitable for high-precision windscreens and large-area roof glazings) and utilizes this process in combination with our low-emissivity coating. This capability allows NSG to provide large area low-emissivity roof glazings, with superior dimensional shape control for fitment to the vehicle, and high quality reflective optical properties.

Summer ➡
Inhibits the release of heat absorbed by the glass into the vehicle.

Winter ➡
Reflects heat inside the vehicle and suppresses dissipation of heat outside the vehicle.

Glazing with integrated antenna

As mobile communications, data processing and display systems rapidly evolve, the driving experience is increasingly being connected to both the local and global environment, with glazing becoming a natural medium and platform for this evolution. As the design of electronic communication systems advances, different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum continue to be developed and utilised. Besides its natural visible transmission, glass is also transparent to the frequencies for radio wave type communication. This electronic compatibility of glazing was first utilised by NSG antenna engineers as far back as 1970, when AM/FM was designed into windscreens in Japan. The desire to build more systems seamlessly into the vehicle as technology advanced has led to analogue TV, telephone, XM satellite radio, digital TV and DAB being designed in or on to glazings – which has allowed more aerodynamic designs, less assembled parts and lower component costs. NSG has antenna design capability and facilities in Japan and Germany to service and compliment future customer requirements.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

The future developments of on-glass antenna systems for Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) wireless sensors and Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) 5G antennae will support the evolution of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Connectivity between vehicles and their surroundings is primarily aimed at avoiding crashes, and developments in this field are being underpinned by legislation around the world. Increasing combinations of precise positioning, radar (long range, low light scenarios), cameras (to interpret objects), Lidar (medium range assessment) and ultrasonics (short range) coupled with increased computational power will enable the maturity of ADAS.

As these safety systems inside vehicles evolve to higher levels of assisted driving functions, glazing increasingly plays a key role due to its transparency at the key frequencies for operation. Features such as lane keep assistance, intelligent speed assistance and object recognition can be provided by camera systems mounted to the windscreen, which provides an optimal field of view, and is the ideal location choice. The design of the camera vision window, the precision shaping and bracket bonding are core NSG competencies and allow full capability to access this growing market requirement.

Infra-Red Reflective Glazing

NSG coated windshields reflect more than 30 percent of the sun's energy which is more than five times that of a standard glass. This particularly benefits the new generation of vehicles that are commonly designed with larger glass areas.

In addition to infra-red reflective coatings for windscreens, this type of coating can also be employed in combination with a low emissivity coating for rooflight applications, which provide further comfort and energy efficiency improvements for the vehicle. NSG has awarded business that employs this dual coating combination.

NSG Technology Features World’s First Full AR HUD + Solar Reflective Technology in the Luxury Class

The NSG Group was proud to announce their partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG to showcase their Augmented Reality Head Up Display technology on the Mercedes Benz S-Class model. As an additional innovation, solar reflecting technology that de-ices the windscreen using invisible heating was developed to work in tandem with the Augmented Reality display.

Another industry first has been the development and introduction of an Advanced Driver Assistance Camera System as part of the rear glass, to further enhance the mobile experience.

NSG’s continuous investment in advanced glass technologies have positioned the group to respond to expanding customer needs generated by the rapidly advancing technology for driving assistance systems. The launch of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class model is just one example of NSG Group’s global effort to meet current and future customer demands in the automotive glass market.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Photo courtesy: Mercedes-Benz Group Media

Heat-and-Noise Insulating, IR–attenuating Laminated Glass

The windshield of the Mercedes S-Class, side, and rear windows are all laminated with an acoustic membrane. The glass is also infrared-attenuating, so it can help block outside noise as well as the sun’s harsh rays.

Lightweight Glazing

Weight saving in vehicles helps them to achieve their CO2 emissions targets as well as or an increased range for electric vehicles. It is possible to achieve a 40% weight reduction in the glass component while also maintaining its solar and acoustic performance with no additional risk from debris impacts.

Creative Technology

Our glass technologies are used to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of products across a diverse range of market segments.

Glass is a high-tech material equipped with many properties such as being light, strong, fire retardant, non-conductive and resistant to chemicals. Our patented products are used in transmission belts to improve fuel consumption, for LED printers and optical communication that use less energy to operate, for industrial inspection equipment that contribute to reducing defective products, and for coatings to protect the longevity of our buildings and equipment. Our expertise in manufacturing ultra-thin float glass UFF™ contributes to the development of the next generation touch-screen devices.

Please refer to the "Creative Technology" website.

Glass Cord

NSG’s Glass Cord Business unit supplies glass and other synthetic cords for the reinforcement of timing belts. NSG’s Carbon Fibre cords reinforce a new generation of high power belts that are driving a revolution in personal mobility trends with the ever increasing adoption of electric bikes, electric motorcycles and e-scooters. As well as being a zero-emission vehicle, in comparison to chain the belts provide a more efficient, reliable and comfortable ride.

Glass Cord also reinforces the synchronous belt used on automotive Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) systems. These deliver a fuel saving of around three to four per cent, with a consequent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to other steering system technologies.

Reinforcing Cords are also used in factory automation applications due to their light weight and reduced energy consumption in comparison to the more traditional heavier steel cords.

Glass Flake

Infrastructural protective coatings containing GLASFLAKE® extends the service life of steel bridges by up to 10 times longer compared to conventional protective coatings. Use of GLASFLAKE® filled protective coatings reduces CO2 emissions produced by contractor blasting, coating and mobilization services and vehicle traffic diversions. Over time, GLASFLAKE® filled protective coatings also require less net energy to manufacture the blast media and the coating raw materials and finished goods.

A New Value-added Glass Product which Contributes to Reducing Society's Environmental Impact

MAGNAVI® was created as a result of environmentally friendly product development, using raw materials with a low environmental impact and reducing energy use and CO2 emissions during production. Its superior strength and modulus are expected to contribute to the saving of resources and energy and the reduction of waste materials and CO2 emissions through the reduction of weight of transport equipment components and application to rehabilitation pipes.

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