Glass for Europeâ€™s Industrial Renaissance Shaping new EU policies 2014-2020
The European flat glass industry is an innovative and forward-looking industry manufacturing high-tech glass products for the building, automotive and solar-energy sectors. These products are essential to lowenergy and sustainable buildings, energy-efficient vehicles and contribute to harvesting solar power. Thanks to intensive R&D efforts in both industrial processes and product innovation, the flat glass industry manufactures in Europe net energy and CO2 saving products with a minimal environmental impact. The European flat glass industry is however going through difficult times since the economic crisis hit Europe in 2009. Demand for flat glass products fell sharply as a result of the severe economic downturn. The emergence of new competitors at the EU borders, which specifically target the EU market thanks to a preferential production environment, is putting even more pressure on Europeâ€™s manufacturers. While imports of flat glass into the EU are on the rise, manufacturing capacities have been reduced leading to thousands of job losses in the EU. In order to safeguard jobs and establish a proper investment climate for Europeâ€™s flat glass industry to stay at the forefront of innovation, it is essential that in the next 5 years the European Parliament works together with the European Commission and Council of the EU to set up a supportive European policy framework.
Policies to support renewed industrial prosperity and glass innovations
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Trigger the recovery of the construction sector by promoting sustainability in the construction industry Support the deployment of energy efficient windows and glass innovation Reconcile EU environment and climate protection goals with industrial and trade policies to keep advanced manufacturing processes and jobs in Europe
Trigger the recovery of the construction sector by promoting sustainability in the construction industry
• Strengthen policies to support energy efficient renovation of existing buildings and an increase in ‘deep renovation’ works • Mobilize EU funds to triple the rate of building renovation • Improve the implementation of existing legislative instruments with regards to national buildings regulation and the renovation of public buildings • Support and promote recycling of building waste such as glass • Encourage the deployment of sustainability training for workers of the construction sector
Flat glass market outlet
1 tonne of recycled glass put in the furnace save 300 kg of CO2 and 1,2 tonne of virgin raw materials. Each 10% increase in cullet use results in 2 to 3% energy savings.
Renovation of buildings
Building glass recycling
Grasping the energy saving potential of existing buildings through deep renovation represents a unique and costeffective opportunity to save huge amount of energy, create 2 million jobs and boost economic recovery. Similarly, bringing the European construction sector on the way to a sustainable economic recovery has the potential to support industrial activity and to trigger a virtuous cycle of green innovation.
Despite its recyclability, glass used in building products such as windows and facades is almost never recycled into new glass products when existing windows are changed or buildings demolished. Instead it is often crushed together with other building materials and put into landfills or recovered. Most of the flat glass used in buildings could be recycled in glass furnaces, thus saving raw materials, energy and CO2 emissions, if separate dismantling and collect of glazing is organised.
Support the deployment of energy efficient windows and glass innovation
• Develop more rapidly instruments of the EU product policy, such as energy labels, ecolabels, GPP criteria, etc, so as to reward innovation and allow return on R&D investments for innovative companies • Establish an EU-wide energy labelling for windows to inform consumers about the energy saving properties of window products on the market • Ensure that minimum energy performance criteria are set for window replacement in every Member States, in accordance with EU legislation • Set up financial or fiscal incentives for replacement of inefficient windows by state-of-the-art energy saving products
Up to 100 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually if advanced glazing solution were used. Why Energy labelling of windows? Currently 86% of Europe’s windows are equipped with inefficient glazing. Replacing inefficient windows by modern glazing technologies could save up to 100 million tonnes of CO2 per year if appropriate glazing is chosen when windows are replaced. Given that on average windows remain in buildings for 30 years, it is critical that optimal solutions are applied at time of window replacement. Because identifying the best window products for each situation is not easy, European consumers need a clear and intelligible tool to inform their choices.
Reconcile EU environment and climate protection goals with industrial and trade policies to keep advanced manufacturing processes and jobs in Europe
• Ensure a stable and predictable regulatory environment to provide industries with long-term visibility and confidence to plan major investments in Europe • Carry out competitiveness proof-check of all new environmental measures impacting EU-based industries • Reconcile GHG emission reduction targets with levels of reduction which can be costeffectively achieved in each sector of the economy when using best technologies. Reform carbon leakage protection mechanisms to ensure that unrealistic targets do not penalize industries using best available technologies • Assess carefully the impact of future trade agreements on competitiveness of EU-based industries to maintain a level playing-field with their third-country competitors
millions tonnes produced annually
Thousands of processing sites and SMEs
Ensure a level-playing field for EU-based industries Despite the cumulative effects of higher energy costs, carbon allowance costs under the EU ETS and the costs of compliance with the world’s strictest environmental regulations, European-based manufacturers strive hard to compete with producers located directly at the EU borders, which do not bear such costs and enjoy the benefit of trade liberalization with the EU. So far, European flat glass manufacturers have internalized these extra costs to stay competitive but the increasing gap makes it harder and harder. A new balance is needed to safeguard the profitability of the EU flat glass industry, its overall investment capacity and its ability to stay at the forefront of innovation.
Glass for Europe is the trade association for Europe’s manufacturers of flat glass. Flat glass is the material that goes into a variety of end products and primarily in windows and facades for buildings, windscreens and windows for automotive and transport as well as glass covers, connectors and mirrors for solar energy equipment. Flat glass is also used for many other applications such as furniture, electronics, appliances, etc. Glass for Europe has four members: AGC Glass Europe, NSG-Group, Saint-Gobain Glass and Sisecam and works in association with Guardian. Altogether, these five companies represent 90% of Europe’s flat glass production.
The European flat glass industry is an innovative and forward-looking industry manufacturing high-tech glass products for the building, auto...