A highly energy-consuming process, glass bottle manufacturing has a big environmental footprint, in particular in terms of CO2 emissions. The production of a single 100-ml bottle typically composed of 200 grams of glass in a standard gas furnace (they are the most widely used) would result in 180 grams of CO2 emitted [1].

Committed to reducing its environmental impact, Groupe Pochet has announced the building of a 100% electric furnace in their Guimerville plant. Scheduled for July 2024, the work should be completed by the end of 2024.

Decarbonization plan

This new electric furnace is part of the Groupe Pochet’s global decarbonization plan, which aims to reduce its CO2 emissions and fight global warming. Since 2014, the Groupe Pochet has reduced its CO2 emissions by 32% by ton of fired glass vs 2011, in particular thanks to the renovation or reconstruction of several furnaces. The group aims to reach a 50% reduction by 2033.

To achieve these goal, Pochet will power the furnace with carbon-free electricity.

"This electric furnace will be the very first French furnace dedicated to luxury bottles. It will enable us to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions by producing a largely carbon-free glass that will guarantee the beauty of tomorrow," emphasizes Benoit Marszalek, Pochet du Courval’s Chief Operating Officer.

Decarbonization is one of the major challenges for the glass industry. Earlier this year, Verescence also announced the construction of an electric furnace in 2025 in its Mers-les-Bains plant.

More recycled glass

Another way to reduce the energy consumption of glass production, the use of recycled cullet in the process is also one of the options preferred by Pochet. Using one tonne of cullet saves 1.2 tonnes of raw materials and reduces energy consumption, as cullet is easier to melt than sand.

Like all other glassmakers, Pochet already uses its own production scrap in its manufacturing process. Actually, the main challenge is to increase the quantity of post-consumer recycled glass (PCR) without altering the legendary transparency of the glass signed by the company, which will celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2023. To achieve a 15% rate of PCR cullet, Pochet created a sorting loop dedicated to extra-flint glass, in partnership with Sibelco.

Capacity issues

The reconstruction plan of this furnace comes at a time of boom in demand for Pochet, which also plans new investments to continue the automation and ergonomic improvement of workstations for 2025. More than 400 additional staffs have been recruited at the Guimerville plant over the past year to respond to the increase in activity.