SAPULPA, Okla., Oct. 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verallia North America, one of the leading glass container manufacturers for the food and beverage industries in the United States with 13 facilities, recently celebrated the Sapulpa, Okla., glass packaging facility's receipt of the ENERGY STAR Plant certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Sapulpa is one of only three of the 46 U.S. container glass facilities to earn this designation. The other two recipients are also Verallia North America facilities – one in Madera, Calif., and one in Milford, Mass.
Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, Oklahoma Secretary of Environment Gary Sherrer, Oklahoma State Senator Brian Bingman, Oklahoma State Representative Mark McCullough and Patrick Kelly, ENERGY STAR Coordinator Region 6 with the EPA, joined the presentation, along with a number of other state and local elected officials, community leaders, customers, union representatives and employees.
"Verallia North America is pleased to accept EPA's ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts in Sapulpa," said Joseph R. Grewe, President and CEO of Verallia North America. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs."
Since its groundbreaking 100 years ago this month, the Sapulpa plant has been a vital part of the community's fabric. The business has evolved over time and, today, in the three-furnace facility, its 345 employees make more than 3 million endlessly recyclable bottles each day for several well-known beer and beverage industry brands. After installing a better-designed, energy efficient furnace in June 2010, the plant has been able to improve its energy efficiency by 38 percent. The combination of major capital investments along with its efforts to improve its compressed air and lighting systems, has earned the Sapulpa facility a place among the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.
"Improving the energy efficiency of our nation's industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment," said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. "From the plant floor to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA's ENERGY STAR certification."
One of the areas in which the Sapulpa plant continues to focus is regarding its use of recycled glass (cullet) to replace virgin raw materials, along with reducing energy consumption and air emissions.
"Unfortunately, there is virtually no Oklahoma cullet available," said Grewe. "This certainly puts the Sapulpa plant at a disadvantage, since what cullet it is able to acquire is shipped in from out of state at great expense. That combined with a customer base that is almost exclusively out-of-state, translates into a high level of shipping expenses on that side of the business equation, too.
"We need everyone's help to increase cullet availability because far too many of the glass bottles and jars we produce each year end up in landfills or as litter," continued Grewe. "We are working with our suppliers across the United States to capture and recycle more cullet, and with government officials and other stakeholders here in Oklahoma to find ways to improve waste stream recovery in order to increase cullet availability – making glass bottles and jars a true win-win-win for our customers, for the Sapulpa plant and for the planet."
During the event, Senator Bingman and Representative McCullough presented Grewe and Steve Cedoz, Sapulpa Plant Manager for Verallia North America, with a Citation of Congratulations from the Senate of the Great State of Oklahoma in recognition of the Sapulpa facility's tenacious management and commitment that led to its receipt of the ENERGY STAR plant certification. Senator Bingman indicated that this award was being presented in recognition of Verallia North America's efforts to transform a 100-year old plant that originally made lantern globes, lamp chimneys, jelly glasses, tumblers and goblets into a facility that has superior energy performance and is an important part of Sapulpa's economy.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved a total of nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.
For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Buildings and Manufacturing Plants: www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings
About Verallia North America
Verallia North America, one of the leading glass container manufacturers in the United States, designs, develops and produces glass bottles and jars for the wine, beer, beverage, spirits and food containers markets. Verallia North America operates 13 plants and a state-of-the-art distribution center. For more information: www.us.verallia.com
Verallia, the second largest global manufacturer of glass containers for the food and beverage industry, provides innovative, customized and eco-conscious solutions for approximately 10,000 customers worldwide. Verallia manufactured approximately 25 billion glass bottles and jars in 2011. Verallia's business model is built upon the combination of the strength of its worldwide network (industrial presence in 14 countries, commercial presence in 47 countries, and six R&D and innovation centers) and the proximity maintained with customers by its approximately 15,500 employees. In 2011, Verallia had net sales of 3.6 billion Euros. For more information: www.verallia.com
Gina Behrman, Director of Corporate Communications
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