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O-I shortlisted for sustainability award

Glassmaker O-I has been shortlisted for a prestigious environmental award for its investment in sustainable technology in the UK.

The edie Sustainability Leaders Awards recognises and rewards true sustainability leadership and excellence across all business sectors. Its judges are key independent industry experts and look that show commitment, credibility and concrete results.

O-I has invested £25 million in its Harlow plant in Essex to create the UK’s most sustainable container glass plant using a radical combination of gas-oxy fired furnace and a cullet pre-heater. This is a UK first and only the third combination like it in the world.

The investment was driven by O-I’s sustainability goals, which include a target of reducing carbon emissions by 65% over a 2007 baseline.

Tim Neal, European environment health and safety director at O-I, says: “Our customers, especially the brewers we serve from Harlow, value the way in which glass contributes to the circular economy. Every investment we make aims to reduce the environmental impact of our glass bottles through innovation in manufacturing and container design.”

The new furnace system has transformed Harlow into the number one most energy and CO2 efficient glass furnace in the company’s 75 plants in 21 countries around the world.

In 2016, the new system will reduce Harlow’s direct CO2 emissions by 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes. Additional reductions can be expected in late 2016 when the benefit of the cullet pre-heater becomes apparent.

The investment has already secured new contracts from two multinational brewers. O-I’s new product innovation has also seen orders from both within the UK and export markets as diverse as Spain and Norway.

Jim Rankine, pperations lead for O-I UK says: “This is a tremendous endorsement of the work we have done in Harlow. During the project, we welcomed a total of 800 staff from 36 contractors, every one of whom was given a full induction and worked safely. We are very proud of the fact that there was not a single Lost Time Injury during the project – maintaining Harlow’s six year LTI free safety record.”

The edie Sustainability Leaders Awards are included in the highly regarded RSA accreditation scheme – one of only a handful of environmental schemes to be chosen for this honour. This means that award winners can gain further accolades on the international stage, as they are automatically given access to the European Business Awards for the Environment.

O-I will discover whether Harlow has won an award at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 25 January 2017.

18 November 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor-in-chief