Glass is a sustainable packaging material, as it is manufactured from natural raw materials and is optimally recyclable. However, there is great potential for improvement when it comes to organising the industry as a whole to be more sustainable in the long term. Vetropack aspires to shape this transformation and develop into a glass producer that is known throughout the industry for its environmentally friendly practices and products. Under the heading “Clearly sustainable”, this has been set out as an important objective of the new Strategy 2030.
The company has established relevant key figures and short, medium and long-term targets to make progress measurable and compare itself with its competitors. The main key indicator for checking this is CO2 emissions per tonne of glass produced. The company is aiming to cut CO2 emissions by 30% from 2019 to 2030.
The interest of consumers in ecological products is constantly increasing in many places. The packaging of many consumer goods – especially foodstuffs – is receiving a great deal of attention. Vetropack‘s customers prioritise this topic accordingly. On the one hand, they are interested in more sustainable packaging solutions, but on the other hand they are also very concerned about transparency with regard to the ecological footprint of packaging as part of the product they offer. This is where Vetropack can support its customers with sound data on the impact of their products on the environment. Vetropack developed an application from the industry organisation FEVE (“The European Container Glass Federation”) in-house specifically for this purpose.
The glass industry, which can make a major contribution to climate protection because of its substantial energy consumption, is also subject to increasing regulatory pressure. Vetropack therefore endeavours to reduce its environmental footprint every year. To live up to this aspiration, the company works continually at making the production steps more energy-efficient, and therefore more CO2 efficient, and increasing the proportion of used glass. Vetropack also participates in various research projects investigating new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in glass production, for example as part of the “International Partners in Glass Research” (IPGR).
Environmental key indicators0)
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) 5)
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
Total water withdrawal
1 319 963
1 347 987
Municipal water supply
1 001 124
1 001 577
Total water discharge
1 227 932
1 267 950
Waste disposal in tons
Recycling (sporadic) 6)
Incineration or landfill (ongoing)
Incineration or landfill (sporadic) 6)
0) Data collection and methods for analysis have been optimised.This changes some of the information on results in 2020.
1) Incl. 10.6 GWh heating oil in 2021 (3.8 GWh in 2020)
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) For the first time, Emissions für 2020 and 2021 are calculated acc. to "market-based approach".
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
Energy efficiency and renewables
Glass production involves a large amount of energy, primarily caused by the operation of the furnaces. In 2020, Vetropack set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of glass produced by 30% by 2030 compared to the base year 2019. The starting points are energy efficiency and renewable energies.
The greatest leverage for reducing specific energy consumption is therefore always found in the repair or new construction of a furnace. With every refurbishment, Vetropack tries to achieve energy efficiency improvements of around 10% to 15% as well as a longer service life. To ensure that this is achieved, Vetropack always implements these investment projects using state-of-the-art technology. Such efficiency improvement measures not only have an ecological benefit for Vetropack, but also an economic one.
In 2021, a new furnace was built at the plant in Hum na Sutli, Croatia. Specific energy consumption was successfully reduced by 15% through this measure. It also resulted in a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.
Vetropack plans to introduce an energy management system developed specifically for the company at all of its plants by 2023. This system is designed to optimise the management of energy consumption and make potential for improvement more readily identifiable. In the year under review, a corresponding system was introduced at the plants in Croatia and Pöchlarn. Furthermore, the potential for energy-saving measures is currently being surveyed in cooperation with the University of Leoben.
Parallel to the gradual progress in energy efficiency, the share of renewable energy sources is being increased. In the year under review, for example, the decision was made to switch to “green electricity” by 2025.
Climate-neutral logistics by 2030
Vetropack also has ambitious goals for logistics and mobility – the company wants to make its logistics climate neutral by 2030. In the year under review, the company analysed the CO2 emissions of all shipments in the last three years. Based on this analysis, Vetropack developed measures such as switching vehicles and the forklift fleet to alternative drive systems. It is also investing in optimising the supply chain.
In its own operations, Vetropack plans to switch all forklifts throughout the Group to natural gas or electric drive systems by 2024. Substantial investments are required to achieve this, especially as the necessary infrastructure, such as for charging, must be provided. For the procurement of new company vehicles, only electric or hybrid vehicles are considered since 2020.
Optimising use of raw materials
A high proportion of recycled cullet is indispensable for ecological glass production. At Vetropack, the proportion of used glass accounts for up to 85% of the processed raw material volume in some plants. Group-wide, the proportion of waste glass was 53% in 2021. Vetropack has set itself the goal of achieving a cullet content of 70% by 2030. However, the availability of high-quality used glass remains a major challenge. In many countries, collection rates are significantly lower than in Switzerland and Austria, for example. The quality of the cullet can also lead to problems if it is contaminated with foreign materials such as ceramics. This is why Vetropack promotes measures that increase collection rates and cullet quality.
Share of used glass 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 used glass is available.
Used glass ratio for glass production 2021
(by Group Company)
Used glass ratio for glass production 2021