Glass is a sustainable packaging material, which is manufactured from natural raw materials and is optimally recyclable. Environmentally friendly business is therefore a fixed component of the Group’s business philosophy and core business. The company endeavours to reduce its environmental footprint every year, as customers and consumers increasingly expect transparency with regard to environmental impact and the traceability of glass packaging. The glass industry, which can make a major contribution to energy efficiency and climate protection because of its substantial energy consumption, is also subject to increasing regulatory pressure.
The relevant parameters for the environmental footprint of glass production include production technology, energy consumption, the weight of the manufactured glasses, the proportion of used glass processed, and distance and mode of transport. Vetropack therefore works continually at making the production steps more energy efficient, increasing the proportion of used glass and making the glass containers lighter without impairing the quality and safety of the products as a result. Vetropack also pays attention to reducing water consumption and generating as little waste as possible.
Vetropack works at various levels to live up to this aspiration. The company promotes environmentally friendly innovation via internal specialist groups, invests in new technologies, compiles environmental figures across the Group and is involved in international bodies. Through its involvement with the “International Partners in Glass Research” (IPGR), Vetropack encourages research into environmentally friendly technologies, such as CO2-neutral glass production, which could be achieved through the use of renewable electrical energy to melt used glass and the other raw materials. Other initiatives look at approaches to increase the collection rate with the aim of increasing the proportion of used glass in production.
Environmental key indicators
Total energy consumption in GWh
Natural gas 1)
Specific energy consumption in MWh/t 2)
Greenhouse gas emissions in tCO2e 3)
Scope 1 (heat & process emissions) 4)
Scope 2 (electricity)
Specific greenhouse gas emissions in tCO2e/t 2)
Material consumption: recycled glass
Used glass green
Used glass brown
Used glass white
Water in m 3 5)
Total water withdrawal
1 402 519
Municipal water supply
Total water discharge
1 268 790
Waste disposal in tons
Recycling (sporadic) 6)
Incineration or landfill (ongoing)
Incineration or landfill (sporadic) 6)
1) Incl. 4.5 GWh heating oil in 2019 (4.8 GWh in 2018)
2) Per tonnage of glass produced that satisfies all quality and safety requirements thus qualifying for sale.
3) Greenhouse gas inventory calculated in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
4) Process emissions result from chemical reactions throughout the glass manufacturing process.
5) Water withdrawal and discharge is only being reported since 2019.
6) Waste not generated every year from ongoing operations (e.g. furnace repairs)
Data basis: All Vetropack production sites. Energy consumption from diesel generators and other combustible or motor fuels is not included as it is irrelevant when compared to the overall energy consumption.
Total energy consumption (GWh)
Greenhouse gas emissions by source (t CO2e)
Mixing ratio raw materials and used glass
Increasing the energy efficiency of glass production
Glass production is associated with substantial expenditure of energy, which is incurred above all in the operation of furnaces. This is why efficiency measures are not only of benefit to the environment but also to the bottom line. The greatest leverage in the reduction of specific energy consumption comes from the repair or construction of a new furnace. With each refurbishment Vetropack tries to achieve two things: an increase in efficiency of usually around 10 to 15% and a longer useful life. This ensures that Vetropack’s investment projects always involve state-of-the-art technology.
In 2019, the company refurbished the furnaces in Nemšová (Slovakia) and in Gostomel (Ukraine). The specific energy consumption of both furnaces was cut, which led to a reduction in CO2 emissions.
Key indicators furnace refurbishments
Furnace in Nemšová and furnace in Gostomel
Maximum capacity (t/day)
Energy consumption (GJ/t)
Melting area (m2)
No. of forehearths
NOx emissions (mg/Nm3)
The energy management system developed especially for Vetropack measures the energy consumption of all glass production facilities, allows it to be managed and potential improvements identified. The system was tested in a three-year test phase in Croatia, meaning that the first results have already been obtained at the plant in Straža. With the introduction of the energy management system in all plants, Vetropack will further expand its measurement of energy consumption in 2020 to be able to implement even more effective energy saving measures in future.
Optimising use of raw materials
A high cullet content is key to environmentally-friendly glass production. The proportion of used glass accounts for up to 80% of processed raw materials in some plants. Across all plants the proportion of used glass was 55% in 2019. Vetropack focuses on measures that increase collection rates since the availability of high quality used glass remains a key matter of consideration for the Group. In many countries collection rates are far lower than in Switzerland and Austria for example. The quality of cullets can lead to problems if they are contaminated with foreign substances, such as ceramics.
Cullet share in the glass production
Although the political will to improve the collection of used glass is not to be found everywhere, Vetropack is optimistic with regard to the future. The collection rates prescribed by the European Union for glass will increase further, meaning that more used glass will find its way into the recycling process. This will ensure that more cullets are available.
Cullet ratio for glass production 2019
(by Group Company)
Cullet ratio for glass production 2019