Two Environmental Awards for Steklarna Hrastnik
Steklarna Hrastnik participated with two projects in the tender for the environmental awards, which was jointly organised by the Finance newspaper and the Slovenian Environmental Fund (Eco Fund). Steklarna Hrastnik was the winner in both the Environmentally Friendly Company category and the Environmentally Friendly Glass Melting with Hydrogen Combustion category.
The objectives of the glassworks focus on improving energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact. This is achieved by investing in innovative solutions that are associated with the utilisation of waste heat, replacement of fossil fuels with environmentally friendlier resources, increased utilisation of melting furnaces, and other solutions. “Our investments and endeavours reduce the glassworks’ environmental impact. Working together with other stakeholders, we are helping to create an environment for a better tomorrow. I am proud of our achievements, which confirm that we often break new ground in the field and serve as a role model to other glassworks at global level. This would not be possible without a dedicated team,” said Peter Čas, General Manager of Steklarna Hrastnik on the occasion, adding: “I am pleased that our endeavours have been recognised by the professional and business public in Slovenia.”
Every year, Steklarna Hrastnik sets measurable and assessable environmental and sustainable goals, which allows it to continually monitor its performance and raise its ambitions towards increasingly better results. This would not be possible without innovative employees, the majority coming from the Municipality of Hrastnik, and the company is therefore even more aware of the importance of a responsible and sustainable attitude towards the environment.
Below is a description of the two winning projects, as prepared by the awarding body.
“The software solution at Steklarna Hrastnik enables flexible energy management and optimised local production of hydrogen from renewable resources. Such solutions do not exist in the market for the glassmaking industry. Steklarna Hrastnik developed a process in which hydrogen, which is obtained with electricity from its own solar power plant, partially replaces the use of natural gas in glass melting. It also developed a software solution which is important for the inclusion of the production of hydrogen in the work processes. Without the software solution, the device for the production of hydrogen, the electrolyser, would fill and empty the hydrogen tank with regard to the level of the hydrogen in the tank. This would mean frequent use of electricity from the network, instead of the own solar power plant, while on the other hand, excess electricity from the photovoltaics would frequently remain unused for the production of hydrogen. The software solution has been entered in the contest for the environmental awards conferred by the Eco Fund and the Finance daily newspaper, in the environmentally friendly product category.”
“The smart packaging glass (E-bottle) developed by Steklarna Hrastnik is equipped with electronic components for radio-frequency identification with built-in monitoring elements. The components cannot be removed, but can be reused. This type of packaging is requested by customers who want to be fully informed about the characteristics of the product, while also reducing the environmental impact. Brand owners use smart packaging to inform their customers about the product, personalise the user experience, use new communication channels, develop new marketing instruments, and other.”