For the second year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., a leading producer of glass containers for the food and beverage industries in the United States, along with its parent company, Saint-Gobain, as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Saint-Gobain’s accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 18. No other manufacturer of glass containers has ever received the Partner of the Year award.
“Saint-Gobain is leading the fight against climate change through greater energy efficiency,” says Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. “Saint-Gobain’s robust energy management program is a model for others and affirms that energy efficiency is our most cost-effective climate strategy.”
The Partner of the Year Award recognizes efforts to use energy efficiently in facility operations and to integrate superior energy management into overall organizational strategy. Award winners are selected from more than 17,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.
Through a wide range of energy-awareness programs, process improvements, and energy management practices in 2009, Saint-Gobain businesses in North America were able to decrease their energy intensity by 2.2 percent. The company’s overall energy-use reduction equated to a savings in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 70,000 tons.
“We’re extraordinarily proud to receive this award for a second consecutive year,” said Joseph R. Grewe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Containers. “This recognition continues to reaffirm and validate the strategy we’ve adopted to reduce our energy costs and our carbon footprint.”
As part of its overall business strategy, Saint-Gobain Containers has established various environmental objectives for its business, including the reduction of carbon dioxide and other air emissions, water consumption and waste. A vital element in helping achieve these objectives is the need to increase the availability of recycled glass, called cullet. Using cullet in the manufacturing process saves raw materials, reduces the demand for energy, and results in further decreased emissions.
As a member of the Glass Packaging Institute, Saint-Gobain Containers is supporting an aggressive goal of using 50 percent recycled content in its manufacturing process by 2013. In order to realize this goal, Saint-Gobain Containers is working with its suppliers and government officials to find ways to increase cullet availability. Additionally, Saint-Gobain Containers has created an educational program to increase recycling awareness among children. Featuring the animated Captain Cullet, the program has been presented by employees of Saint-Gobain Containers to more than 5,800 children in classrooms and at special events in eight different states. Saint-Gobain Containers has the goal of reaching over 10,000 students in 2010. A link to the program materials can be found on the home page of Saint-Gobain Containers’ Website.
Through these efforts, Saint-Gobain Containers is confident it will be able to meet or exceed its goals. In 2009 alone, Saint-Gobain Containers utilized enough recycled glass to save nearly 11.5 million cubic feet of landfill space. These recycled containers laid end-to-end would circle the earth 13 times –or enough to reach the moon and start a return trip.
Saint-Gobain Containers also became a member of the EPA’s Climate Leaders program in 2009. As part of its voluntary commitment, Saint-Gobain Containers has pledged to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent per ton of formed and finished glass by 2012.
About Saint-Gobain Containers
Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. (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.
With more than 1,000 subsidiaries in 59 countries, Saint-Gobain is the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of building materials, and a leader in the production of high performance materials and glass containers. Founded in 1665 and headquartered in Paris, Saint-Gobain had worldwide sales of $51 billion in 2009 and employs approximately 209,000 people. In the U.S. and Canada, Saint-Gobain employs approximately 19,000 people, and had sales of $7 billion in 2009. The company has approximately 150 manufacturing plants and more than 150 distribution outlets throughout North America. Saint-Gobain has been an ENERGY STAR partner since 2005.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR (energystar.gov) was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. More than 17,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses.
About Climate Leaders
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, setting aggressive reduction goals, and annually reporting their progress to the EPA to create a credible record of accomplishment.