Worlds First Zero Carbon Production of Flat Glass
With record high temperatures being seen around the world and global warming becoming an ever more important topic for us all, the process of producing glass with as little impact on the planet as possible continues to heat up, with the announcement that Saint-Gobain has become the first float glass manufacturer in the world to achieve zero-carbon production of flat glass in its Northern France manufacturing plant in Aniche.
This follows Pilkington UK's announcement, that it has become the world’s first flat glass manufacturer to fire its furnace on 100% biofuel. The sustainable biofuel was made from organic waste materials and powered the St Helens glass manufacturer’s furnace entirely for four days, producing 165,000 m2 of the lowest carbon float glass ever made. Pilkington are now part of the Japanese-owned NSG Group, says the biofuel emits around 80% less CO2 than conventional glass production.
Statement from Saint-Gobain
"Saint-Gobain has become the first player in the world to achieve zero carbon production of flat glass. This technological feat was achieved last week by using 100% recycled glass (cullet) and 100% green energy, produced from biogas and decarbonised electricity. It was implemented for one week in Saint-Gobain's flat glass manufacturing plant in Aniche, northern France. By mobilizing the network of partners developed by Saint-Gobain, the focus was placed on circularity, with the use of 100% cullet from end-of-life glass from renovation or demolition sites and from production offcuts. The Group's industrial and research teams succeeded in adjusting all of the furnace's technical parameters to this dual challenge of operating with 100% recycled material and 100% biogas, while ensuring the right optical quality of the glass. This pilot production demonstrates Saint-Gobain's capacity for innovation throughout the value chain. This achievement is a clear demonstration of Saint-Gobain's commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. It complements the Group's investment announced last year to build the world's first carbon neutral plasterboard plant in Norway. It further strengthens the Group’s position as the worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction and its leading role in helping to build a carbon-neutral economy.
Worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. Its integrated solutions for the renovation of public and private buildings, light construction and the decarbonisation of construction and industry are developed through a continuous innovation process and provide sustainability and performance. The Group’s commitment is guided by its purpose, “MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME”. €44.2 billion in sales in 2021 166,000 employees, locations in 75 countries Committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050"
Contrary to popular belief glass is a sustainable, fully recyclable material which can provide great environmental benefits. In many of its application glass can help to save energy. The most obvious is high efficiency glass sealed units for windows and doors. Glass is a global resource efficient material, which is made of sand and glass waste called cullets. Glass is a fully recyclable material that can be recycled in close loop over and over again.
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