Innovia Films: Driving sustainable performance through informed decision making
Innovia Films has used the GaBi life-cycle assessment tool and
Our solution In 2007, the company asked PE INTERNATIONAL to
scenario modelling software to establish sound environmen-
deploy its GaBi software tool and undertake a Life Cycle Assess-
PE INTERNATIONAL, the company now has the knowledge to
renewable and compostable cellulose film product. This was an
tal credentials for its products and processes. Working with
drive informed sustainable choices about investment in manufacturing.
Innovia’s challenge Innovia Films is a world leading manufacturer
of speciality, high performance polypropylene and cellulose films.
As a supplier to some of the world’s largest consumer goods
manufacturers, food producers and specialist packaging com-
panies, Innovia Films needed to establish a clear understanding of the environmental impact of the company’s products. Although
industry data already existed for polypropylene film production, very little was available for cellulose film.
ment (LCA) from Cradle to Gate for NatureFlex, Innovia Films’
in-depth analysis of two versions of the company’s cellulose
product – coated and uncoated films – and went far beyond simply
establishing their carbon footprints. A wide range of impact
categories were addressed, from acidification potential to primary energy usage, giving the company an understanding of where
the hot-spots were and where improvements could be made.
The report was used to develop a strategy for improving both
product and process. The study included scenario analysis, providing an historical perspective on how process development
changed over the past 30 years, covering the installation of a
combined heat and power (CHP) plant, process gas and heat recovery, and enhancements to waste-water treatment.
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In 2008 a similar Cradle to Gate assessment of the
company’s oriented polypropylene film product was undertaken. From
commissioned. Firstly, there was an updated LCA study of the
NatureFlex product to assess the impact of changes
undertaken since the LCA of 2007. Changes included raw
material modifications, the closing of two old lines and the
installation of a new, more efficient production line at the
company’s Wigton site in the UK. The other two projects involved
‘what if’ scenarios for alternative technologies. The work highlighted the potential benefits that would come from making these process changes and the scenarios were used to feed into the decision making process for possible capital investment.
Innovia Film’s benefits The LCAs provided a valuable benchmark
for Innovia Films and its cellulose based product. It enabled the
company to look at the process step-by-step and to gain an
reduced steam consumption due to the increased efficiency of the
casting line and a fully-enclosed dryer and exhaust heat re-
covery system designed to reduce energy usage. These advances,
coupled with reduced energy requirements have already lowered
the company’s product carbon footprint by 17 per cent since 2007.
Now when Innovia Films are looking towards possible process
changes the company is able to see if there might be any impacts, positive or negative, associated with those changes – helping to
lead the company’s investment programme through having in-
formed choices between different options before committing to
The result Tracking the environmental performance of both
product and process are an ongoing project for Innovia Films. The
company is using the data proactively to drive the business forward. The company has moved from viewing the work from
purely a communications perspective and is now also engaged in
appreciation as to where the hot-spots were and therefore where
using GaBi as a process improvement tool. What started out as a
new cellulose film production line at Wigton, Cumbria, has
used to transform both the product and manufacturing process,
best to concentrate investment. The 10 m investment into the
resulted in substantial environmental benefits and efficiencies.
Improvements include the recovery and recycling of process gases,
marketing lead initiative has been embraced by Innovia Films and
aligning the business with a changing, more sustainable world.
new products we will put them through an LCA »andAsaswewedevelop look to make further investments on plant, we will look
to track those changes through the LCA process using GaBi – it will be very much an ongoing process.
Innovia’s Solution in brief: Customer Industry & Headquarters: Speciality and cellulose films, United Kingdom
Scope: LCA from Cradle to Gate for cellulose film product
Services & Solutions: GaBi Software solution, Cradle to Gate life-cycle assessment, scenario modelling »This work is critical in supporting our message. If you are selling a product on environmental credentials, you need to be able to
prove that you are looking at and understanding every aspect of your supply chain.« Andrew Sweetman, Business Development and Sustainability Manager, Innovia Films
Benefits: > Identification of hot-spots where investment in
environmental improvements should concentrate