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The Italian glass roadmap for decarbonization

The challenge of decarbonization is the main goal of the Italian glass industry. To achieve this goal, the industry is adopting a multidimensional and coordinated strategy along the entire value chain.

Five goals for green glass

The decarbonization program involves several initiatives, including:

  • the electrification of facilities;
  • increasing energy from renewable sources;
  • the use of new low-carbon fuels;
  • lightening packaging to limit emissions associated with production and transportation;
  • increasing the use of cullet in production. By 2022 alone, more than one million tons of direct emissions were saved as a result of this solution.

Incentives for organized decarbonization

In the 2021/2022 biennium, investments in reducing consumption and emissions have charted a clear paradigm shift, which must now be backed by incentive systems to support companies, similar to what has happened in Germany and the United States through the approval of economic aid plans.

The sustainability report compiled by Assovetro, the Association of Glass Industrialists, highlights the green commitment of companies in the sector: 68 percent of the sample analyzed has formalized a roadmap for decarbonization by 2030 or 2050.

The achievements

The Italian glass industry is of strategic importance on a continental scale, accounting for 21.3% of European packaging production. A figure that can and should influence the allocation of support plans in favor of decarbonization projects.
In 2022, the share of renewable energy in total consumption marked a +1% over the previous year, exceeding 11%.

The industry, between 2016 and 2022, managed to achieve important results in limiting water consumption (39%) and reducing emissions not only of CO2 but also of NOX (41%), SOX (49%) and dust (53%).
In addition, the average weight of wine bottles has decreased by 12% in the last decade, while the use of cullet in the production of dark packaging has reached 85/87%.

The impact of the crisis

Inflation and the geopolitical crisis have triggered a consumption crisis that has also had some repercussions on the packaging industry. In 2023, hollow glass production decreased by 5.3 percent for bottles and 0.9 percent for jars.
Also negative is the export result for bottles and jars, by -18.3 percent and -30 percent, respectively. In contrast, the situation is less worrying for imports: -11.6% for bottles and +5.5% for jars.
But it is right to keep attention high and demand a system of incentives that takes care of and pushes the value of a supply chain that is a symbol of Made in Italy excellence.


Read also: The anti-conditioner glass: a research from the University of Notre Dame
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