Verallia Contributes to Saint-Gobain's ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence

Verallia North America, a leading producer of glass containers in the United States, is sharing in the honor of the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has been announced for parent company Saint-Gobain. All Saint-Gobain businesses in the U.S. are being recognized for their leadership in conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The award marks the third consecutive year the EPA has honored Saint-Gobain and U.S. subsidiaries like Verallia North America. In 2009 and 2010, the company was recognized as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year. Companies which consistently meet the Partner of the Year criteria are presented with the Sustained Excellence Award. No other manufacturer of glass containers has ever been honored as a Partner of the Year or presented with a Sustained Excellence Award.

The Sustained Excellence Award recognizes consistent efforts to use energy efficiently in facility operations and to integrate superior energy management into overall organizational strategy. Award winners are selected from organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program. The accomplishments of Saint-Gobain and its U.S. companies will be acknowledged at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 12.

“We're thrilled to be recognized by the EPA for a third year in a row,” said Joseph R. Grewe, President and CEO with Verallia North America. “We will pursue our objective to search for and implement prudent energy management technologies that improve the environment.”

The Sustained Excellence Award is the second honor from the EPA that Verallia North America has been associated with this year. In January, the company was also presented with ENERGY STAR certification for its distribution center in Fairfield, Calif. which is among the top 25 percent of high-energy performing facilities in the U.S.

"Saint-Gobain's robust energy management program is a national model," said Elizabeth Craig, acting director of EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs. "Effective energy management not only helps the bottom line, but it also is our most cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy."

Through a wide range of energy-awareness programs, process improvements, and energy management practices, Saint-Gobain businesses in North America were able to reduce their energy intensity (the amount of energy used to produce a unit of product) by 3.8 percent and reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by more than 131,000 tons last year. In addition, Verallia North America became a member of the EPA's Climate Leaders program in 2009. While the EPA is in the process of phasing out the program, Verallia North America remains committed to fulfilling its pledge to voluntarily reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent per ton of formed and finished glass by 2012.

Saint-Gobain also received praise for its employee energy-awareness programs. Through these efforts, its employees personally contributed to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 11,000 tons, the equivalent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from over 2,000 passenger vehicles. Additionally, Verallia North America has created an educational program to increase recycling awareness among children. Featuring the animated Captain Cullet, the program has been presented by Verallia North America employees to thousands of children in classrooms and at special events in 11 states, as well as online at www.captaincullet.com.

As part of its overall business strategy, Verallia North America has established various environmental objectives for its business, including the reduction of carbon dioxide and other air emissions, water consumption and waste. A vital element in helping achieve these objectives is the need to increase the availability of recycled glass, called cullet.

Using cullet in the manufacturing process reduces energy usage, saves raw materials, and results in further decreased emissions. In this regard, Verallia North America is supporting an aggressive goal established by the Glass Packaging Institute of using 50 percent recycled cullet content in its manufacturing process by 2013. In order to realize this goal, the company is working with its suppliers and government officials to find ways to increase cullet availability.

Through these efforts, Verallia North America is confident it will be able to meet or exceed its overall sustainability goals. In 2010 alone, the company utilized enough recycled glass to save nearly 12.8 million cubic feet of landfill space. These recycled containers laid end-to-end would circle the earth 15 times -or enough to reach the moon and return halfway.
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