Manufacturing a sustainable future

September 2016

Encirc is a market leader in glass container design, manufacturing, bottling and logistics solutions for the UK and Irish food and beverages industries. With almost 1,200 employees, the company produces more than 2.7billion glass bottles and other containers annually, and can fill up to 250 million litres of bulk shipped beverages every year.

Having been acquired by Spanish firm, Vidrala, in 2015, Encirc is now part of the fourth largest glass manufacturer in Europe. Controlling a third of the UK glass market, the company has a continual focus on minimising the impact of its operations and supply chain, which led to it winning the Sustainable Manufacturing category at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2015

From a business perspective, Encirc’s sustainability initiatives have given it a unique selling point and the business is able to significantly reduce its own operating costs as well as helping customers protect their profit margins.

Manufacturing a responsible future
Statistics from Eurostat suggest the manufacturing sector is accountable for around a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. With this in mind, reducing the industry’s carbon footprint as we move into 2017 must be on the agenda for all businesses, large and small.

Sustainability is a major focus in all areas of Encirc’s operations and the company is leading the way with a holistic approach that supports the creation of a more environmentally friendly future.

Meeting every need
A key advantage Encirc offers its customers is its ability to manufacture, bottle, store and transport products from one purpose-built site, resulting in considerable carbon savings for customers. Encirc is also an advocate of bulk shipping methods, which for customers bottling in the UK, can result in up to 375g CO2 savings for every 75cl bottle of wine shipped into the country

Keeping green
A fundamental part of Encirc’s ethos is minimising the impact of its products. Over the last nine years, the business has reduced the average weight of the bottles it produces by 15 per cent, saving over 55,000 litres of water and cutting the businesses CO2 emissions by more than 60 tonnes per year. Encirc also uses up to 90 per cent recycled cullet to make its containers, reducing the amount of energy required to melt the raw materials.

To ensure waste is kept to a minimum throughout manufacturing, any products that don’t meet specification are returned to the furnace.

Investing in the future
Encirc continues to invest in its facilities to ensure the most sustainable practices to increase efficiency. Thanks to modifications to Encirc’s bottle warehouse, tall pallets for bottle storage can now be catered for which reduces the amount of plastic shrouding required to protect the bottles by 146,000kg.

Encirc’s ability to produce quad gob, 12 section (48 bottles in a cycle) for smaller bottles and triple gob 12 section for food and wine containers ensures a significant reduction on energy consumption at the same time as increasing manufacturing capability.

Supporting the wider industry
Encirc has always placed an importance on its role in supporting the wider industry, which is demonstrated through the work of The Encirc Academy. The Academy provides specialist training for the global container glass making sector, offering tailor-made technical and service assistance packages that enable manufacturers around the world to optimise product quality and plant efficiency, while streamlining their production costs.

Its services include audits of production lines and organisational structures to identify areas for improvement, as well as comprehensive guidance on standardising production line procedures and implementing lean manufacturing processes throughout a plant.

Reducing mileage
Another recent development at Encirc has been the launch of a new rail head at the Elton site, which is currently being used to transport sand and other raw materials, such as cullet, directly to the plant. This will reduce carbon emissions by 242,445kg/year and annual mileage by around 1,010,000km, while a new cullet contract will mean that more than 50 per cent of all raw materials are now brought to site by rail.

Moving forwards
Encirc understands the importance of environmental responsibility to its customers and actively highlights the benefits of its unique and sustainable manufacturing and logistics solutions in its marketing. A customer relationship survey carried out in 2015 revealed that 77 per cent of respondents chose to work with the company based on its commitment to sustainability.

With such a high percentage of customers citing Encirc’s sustainable credentials as reasons for working with the business, it is clear that Encirc’s holistic approach is helping set it apart, making it a clear leader in glass container design, manufacture, bottling and logistics.

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