Fortune 500 giant O-I Glass has released its 2021 Sustainability Report. The report highlights the progress made by the glass manufacturer towards sustainability and its business strategy concerning the incorporation of such practices. The article also vividly describes the sustainable firsts achieved in the industry by O-I.
The report details how O-I introduced structural changes and upgrades in 2020 to promote sustainability, including the appointment of the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. O-I focused on creating an integrated approach that would involve the company as a whole and engage all its processes.
Glass production is an energy-intensive process that produces a number of pollutants that pose considerable risks to not only the environment but humans as well. O-I reinvented its production process and introduced innovative solutions to tackle the issue. The company installed several upgrades at its Villotta plant in Italy, transforming it into a model of energy-efficient glass manufacturing. The enhancements reduced the plant’s nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by 70 per cent, significantly improving its sustainable footprint.
O-I was also the first glass manufacturer to have an approved Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) emissions reduction target. SBTi uses a science-based target setting to guide companies in adopting climate-friendly practices in their bid to transition to a net-zero economy.
The manufacturing giant has made it clear that it does not believe in the paradigm of single-issue successes. Sustainability for O-I is a complex ecosystem that requires the management of multiple variables. A holistic approach that focuses on all variables is the company’s mantra.
According to Randy Burns, Chief Sustainability Officer, O-I Glass, sustainability is all about the balance between the needs of society and the planet. “We need to help brands and consumers to look beyond linear, one-issue claims to sustainability and begin to embrace balanced and holistic thinking to advance the true sustainability and circularity for the packaging industry,” he remarked.
O-I’s future goals are also stated in its 2021 Sustainability Report. Water reduction, the inclusion of renewable energy, recycling and zero-waste production have been listed as part of its new sustainability goals achievable by 2030.
This statement by Randy Burns has captured the essence of O-I’s sustainability approach: “O-I’s vision and journey for this sustainable future is not a blue-sky vision. It is here, today.”