Supporting industrial efforts to embrace low-carbon manufacturing processes
European Environment and Resource Efficiency funding programmes
The EU manufacturing sector is challenged by strong global competition and ambitious EU environmental & climate policies. In order to remain competitive and to provide the greatest possible contribution to the move towards a competitive low-carbon economy, European-based flat glass manufacturers endeavour to use best available techniques in all their manufacturing facilities with a view to minimizing the environmental impacts of their operations.
Because of the long length of investment cycles in the flat glass industry and the continuous production process, substantial improvements to manufacturing sites can only be operated when installations are stopped in most cases, i.e. during ‘cold repairs’, at the end of a 16 to 18 years production cycle. In this context, it is of high importance that best available techniques are applied during these ‘cold repairs’ to ensure sustained energy and GHG savings and reduced environmental impacts. The implementation of energy efficient production processes also concurs to reducing production costs, thus contributing to industrial wealth in Europe.
In the state of current knowledge, only incremental improvements to manufacturing processes and a few innovations have been identified by the flat glass industry to further reduce its environmental impacts per output unit. It is therefore important that these innovations are tested in real conditions and rolled out in manufacturing sites. In order to support the premium involved with these technologies and to help overcome uncertainty, EU financing instruments should be activated.
EU programmes such as the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action 2014-2017 and the SILC II (Sustainable Industry Low carbon) programmes are useful financial instruments supporting environmental and climate action projects throughout the EU.
Glass for Europe therefore calls upon the European Commission and experts analyzing proposals to keep in mind the importance of industrial projects seeking to invest in innovative green technologies for flat glass manufacturing.