Energy and Resource Usage

Energy and Resource Usage

Glass manufacturing is an energy-intensive process. However, energy usage is offset by the significant contribution that advanced Pilkington glass products make to saving energy and the sustainability of the business.

Consumption of fuel rose in 2005 due to a nine per cent increase in glass production, a consequence of the new float line in Brazil and other furnaces being fully operational, with no rebuilds or hot holds taking place. In the UK and South America, because of cost increases and supply problems, some switching from natural gas to heavy fuel oil occurred.


When allowance is made for the increased production and the normal decrease in efficiency expected as furnaces age, the overall use of energy is less than anticipated, reflecting the success of energy saving programmes.

Diesel oil usage reported in the charts is predominantly that used in the manufacturing process. However, the North American Automotive aftermarket business, with over 100 branches, is also a significant user of diesel oil for distributing product by vehicle and consumed 6.5 million litres in 2005.

The use of electricity also increased as a result of the higher level of production activity. The proportion of electricity generated from renewable resources increased to 1.8 per cent.

Water consumption remained unchanged despite the higher levels of production, reflecting continuing progress during the year in water management. There were notable achievements amongst automotive plants, particularly at Witten, where specific water consumption was reduced by 27 per cent, but also at plants in Italy, Sweden and Finland.

The tonnage of recycled glass used fell, reflecting both the difficulty of obtaining reliable supplies of good quality cullet and the reduction in the volumes of cullet generated as production yields increased