A masterclass in minimising environmental impact with a sustainable mindset

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Author: Sandra Santos, CEO, BA Glass


Sustainability is a top priority for companies in today’s business landscape. In our pursuit to be as transparent as glass, BA Glass has a well-established sustainability strategy that has been part of its organisational culture for over 20 years. A sustainability strategy that is based on six key pillars – people, social accountability, shareholders, environment, consumers and customers – which strengthen and motivate us daily, to do more and to never stop trying new things, driving us to set and meet ambitious targets.

Our sustainability journey starts with the very essence of what we produce: glass. As glass container producers, we embrace the time-honoured human tradition of glass, driven by its unique properties: non-polluting, non-deforesting, inert, non-contaminating, reusable, and infinitely recyclable. This ambitious strategy has guided us to be the only glass packaging company to reach the highest score – an A – in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), joining a group of only 299 companies in the world. CDP is a not-for-profit organisation that runs the global disclosure system across value chains to manage their environmental impacts.

In 2020, we set an ambitious target of reducing CO2 emissions by 50 percent (scope one and two) until 2035 and received its official approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a prominent organisation that promotes the establishment of ambitious science-based emission reduction targets, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. In just two years, we decreased by 20 percent the CO2 emissions per ton of glass produced, in direct and indirect emissions, scope one and two. With a clear vision for reducing our carbon footprint, we have embraced numerous actions and initiatives, namely the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. This energy shift was notably accelerated by the installation of 80,000 m2 of solar panels, resulting in a significant reduction of more than 4,100 tons of CO2 emissions every year.

The integration of cullet (recycled glass) into our production process represents a significant part of our ongoing efforts to minimise our environmental impact. Thanks to its characteristics, glass is 100 percent recyclable, forever. It can be incorporated into the production of new glass containers without any loss of its original qualities. This not only reduces the need for additional raw materials, but also leads to substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. We embraced numerous initiatives to increase the glass collection in all the countries in which we have production facilities, aiming to reach a 90 percent collection rate, a powerful initiative under the Close the Glass Loop, driven by the European Glass Association where BA has two board seats. Aside from recycled glass, another crucial aspect of our strategy is the reduction in weight of bottles and jars, which directly impacts our carbon footprint. In 2022, our innovative lightweight designs led to an impressive reduction of 2,500 tons of CO2 emissions (scope one and two), significantly minimising our environmental impact. Two years ago, we launched PURE, our sustainable brand.

PURE was created with the aim of making glass more environmentally friendly through conscious design, where nature comes first in every part of the creation process. As a result, we are challenging customers and brand owners to review their options on packaging design, embracing more sustainable options. Although our emissions in scope one and two are higher than in scope three, we are also devoting resources to reduce indirect emissions. Many initiatives with transport companies are being developed, and we are very optimistic concerning the significant CO2 reductions ahead. We are partnering with our suppliers in this common journey, debating their carbon reduction action plans and remain willing to actively participate in their initiatives. All these accomplishments, on our journey to be more sustainable, were possible due to the support of our shareholders.

Over the last three years, they have allocated €22m specifically for the development of technologies aimed at reducing emissions and minimising environmental impact. An example is the development of the ECO Furnace, an innovative new technology that will allow us to reduce the use of gas by green energies. This substantial investment in R&D projects underscores their dedication to driving positive change and securing a sustainable future. Besides the environmental concerns, BA’s sustainability journey goes beyond environmental responsibility. We aim to foster a positive impact on our employees and the communities where we operate. Our top priority is to empower our people by going beyond what we produce, creating career opportunities and promoting the development of their skills, through training programmes and enriching experiences that enable individuals to take on new challenges and expand their thinking. Moreover, we are always seeking to create a positive impact within our communities. Our ‘Glass Seeds’ project aims to promote equal opportunities and meritocracy in our local communities through educational support.

For BA, sustainability goes far beyond the production of glass packaging. It is about having a green and sustainable mindset in every action we undertake. Through our long-term commitment and with an ambitious roadmap, we believe that we are not just envisioning a more sustainable future, we are actively shaping it, aiming to be as resilient and eco-friendly as the material we produce – glass!



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