Among the upheaval caused by the Brexit vote – and the restructuring of ministerial departments – British Glass is urging both government and glass manufacturers to keep win-win decarbonisation and energy-efficiency measures central to business strategy.
The UK government initiative to create the Energy Efficiency and Decarbonisation Roadmaps 2050 began in 2014 – working with seven energy-intensive industries to realise measures that will help the UK meet its legally binding target of an 80% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050 (against the 1990 baseline).
British Glass has played a central role in working with the glass sector from the start – coordinating input from the glass industry, sourcing data and bringing together the necessary expertise to ensure a realistic and sensible approach for industry.
British Glass’ environmental advisor Valli Murthy said:
“Adopting a voluntary action plan, that the glass sector has shaped, gives us a stronger negotiating position in future policy development, a competitive edge in the green economy and resilience to energy cost fluctuations.”
In light of the vote to leave the EU, and the restructuring of government departments announced last week – British Glass’ coordinating role could be more important than ever. The newly created Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – to be headed by Greg Clark MP – has taken on all of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) remit as well as the decarbonisation and innovation brief of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
This will inevitably disrupt momentum and continuity for the work in progress. British Glass – the only organisation to have been involved in every stage of the glass sector strand of the Decarbonisation Roadmaps work – is poised to brief incoming teams and ensure the industry’s positive contribution is sustained.
British Glass chief executive officer, Dave Dalton said:
“We’re hopeful the creation of BEIS signals a more joined-up approach to climate change. Up to now, the more punitive UK decarbonisation policy has delivered relatively few practical measures to actually reduce CO2 emissions from industry. A robust industrial strategy – with research and innovation at its core – is essential if UK manufacturing is to thrive in a global market that now has to account for carbon emissions as a real cost. British Glass is determined that support for energy-intensive industries, such as glass making, remains high on the new department’s agenda.”
Under phase II of the Energy Efficiency and Decarbonisation Roadmaps 2050 work, glass manufacturing companies are building a sector level, practical action plan made up of measures to benefit businesses and the environment. British Glass has established a steering group to prioritise and negotiate the extent, formulation and adoption mechanism for the voluntary action plan – due to be completed by December 2016. The group includes British Glass technical and environmental leads; representatives from two flat and two container manufacturers; government policy advisers and research expertise in process efficiency.
Alongside this, the British Glass Energy and Environment Committee continues to bring together glass industry experts and innovators to explore the technical detail of specific solutions. An example of is a waste heat recovery workshop (planned for autumn 2016) that will give British Glass manufacturing members the opportunity to quiz technology developers and providers and assess the potential benefit to their business.
The British Glass Environment and Energy (E&E) Committee works to make the UK glass industry sustainable and competitive for the future by proactively addressing policy, regulatory and legislative matters as well as actively pursuing technical innovation. The committee is made up of representatives from across the British Glass membership, and supported by British Glass subject experts.
British Glass members wanting to find out more about the Energy Efficiency and Decarbonisation Roadmap 2050 and the action plan, or the work of the E&E Committee should email firstname.lastname@example.org