The West Styrian glass manufacturer Stölzle-Oberglas impressively proves that even energy-intensive industrial companies have a green thumb.
In 2018, a huge rooftop photovoltaic system went into operation, which had been installed by the Austrian company Oekosolar PV on the eight roofs of the Stölzle warehouses.
Each of the eight individual PV systems has a nominal output of around 200 kilowatts peak, so a total of 1.6 MW peak, which corresponds to 25% of the electrical power which is required by the Austrian glass plant at peak times.
“This is the first photovoltaic system which was installed in the Glass Group, but we are confident that this project will be extended to other Stölzle plants as well, as we already see that we can compensate quite a bit of our carbon footprint through such green initiatives”, confirms the Group’s CEO Georg Feith.
The huge photovoltaic project has only been one of more initiatives, set up by Stölzle recently. Besides this, all plants of the Group strive to optimize their energy consumption and the recovery of waste heat of the furnaces.
At the Austrian glass plant, a very efficient waste gas heat exchanger was implemented in 2015. It recovers the waste heat from the two melting furnaces used in the glass production and feeds it into the district heating network of Energie Steiermark. This results in compensating for 4,300 tonnes of CO2 every year.
The Glass Groups initiatives to compensate the CO2 emissions caused in glass production are manifold and have increased over the past years. “We know, that there is no planet B – Being aware of the high energy consumption related to glass production, we have invested consistently in technologies and facilities which help compensate our carbon footprint,” says Feith.
In September 2018 the Glass Group has gained international recognition for its manifold CSR efforts and has been awarded SILVER by ECOVADIS.
Since 2018, the French site Stoelzle Masnières Parfumerie has been using solely electricity from renewable origins in the plants premises. The average environmental benefit of this change to green energy results in a reduction by 51 % across 10 defined indicators on water, soil and air. In the French site, a second milestone in the field of sustainability has been achieved by developing an innovative glass finishing technology, the so called Quali Glass Coat 2.0 which helps avoid more than 550 tons of CO2 per year – compared to a standard liquid paint decoration. Just imagine, this would mean compensating the CO2 emissions of 430 flights Paris-NY-Paris.
Stölzle Glass Group belongs to the privately owned CAG Holding, which operates in various fields, such as glass and aluminium packaging, roof construction etc.
Since 2018, the Holding includes three Biomass power plants, located in Austria, as well. These plants generate 170,000 MWh of green electricity and 450,000 MWh of green thermal energy per year from local biomass. Summed up this corresponds to 2/3 of the total energy consumption of all six European glassworks of the Stölzle Glass Group.