An industrial renaissance of the European flat glass industry is necessary, according to a new policy manifesto from Glass for Europe. Ahead of the next mandate of the European Commission and Parliament, Glass for Europe’s Industrial Renaissance sets out policies and measures that need to be developed in the next five years to trigger this renaissance.
Whilst recognising that intensive research and development efforts in both manufacturing and product innovation have contributed to progress towards a low carbon economy, the manifesto acknowledges that demand for flat glass products fell sharply as a result of the severe economic downturn. The emergence of new competitors at the EU borders - not subject to the same environmental measures - is increasing pressure on Europe’s manufacturers.
Glass for Europe is the European trade association for manufacturers of building, automotive and solar-energy glass and represents 90% of Europe’s flat glass production.
“We strongly believe that there is a future in Europe for the manufacturing of high-tech glass products", commented Bertrand Cazes, Secretary General of Glass for Europe, "but this requires a shift in EU policy and the implementation of very concrete measures."
Some of the proposals laid down in the manifesto include the development of a window energy labelling scheme to support the market uptake of advanced glazing solutions and the promotion of glass recycling to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions from glass manufacturing. More broadly, it calls on EU policies that ensure a level-playing field between EU and non-EU manufacturing. Glass for Europe believes this is essential to retain advanced manufacturing processes and jobs in Europe.
For more information on the manifesto, please click here.