efforts, here are a few of the ways they cut
down their footprint at the Millville plant.
Emissions reduction. Over the last year,
newly installed emissions scrubbers reduced the
plant’s primary emissions by 75 percent. This
move surpassed every environmental regula-
tion, making it the cleanest glass-manufactur-
ing facility of its kind in the world,
“Inside our system we have filters that
trap particulates. Ammonia and sorbent
material is injected into the filtration
system while air is pulsed periodically to
continually clean the filters. Our filters
have a special treatment that causes a
chemical reaction with the ammonia,
radically reducing the nitrogen oxides.”
Kontes says this $40 million investment
also helped expand the plant’s production
capacity. “It has been challenging and costly
at times to implement some of the greener
processes. It takes a lot of time and coordina-
tion, but it is well worth it and we are proud
of what we have accomplished so far,” he says.
Waste-heat recovery. The Millville
plant’s three furnaces burn at 3,000 F, giving off
a lot of scorching heat. Rather than being
released into the air, the heat exhausted from
the furnace is used to heat incoming furnace
air. This process aids in more efficient combustion, reducing emissions and energy usage.
Recycled glass. After production, unused
or waste glass, called cullet, is mixed with raw
materials to create new batches of glass.
“Within our batch, depending on what we’re
making at the time, between 15 and 40 percent
is always postproduction waste glass,” Kontes
tells The Connection. Incorporating cullet
helps lower furnace temperatures, reducing
energy consumption by 5 to 10 percent.
Organic inks. Forty-five percent of Luminarc’s decorated glassware is embellished using
organic inks, which are free of heavy metals.
Kontes says the ovens don’t have to be as hot or
the way in
By Hana Medina
MAKING GLASS CAN be an environmentally harmful process: Emissions from the
glass-melting furnace can release carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants into
the air, damaging the atmosphere. That fact is
a key reason Costco buyers were impressed by
glassware manufacturer Luminarc, a global
company aimed at innovating cleaner manufacturing processes while bringing top-quality
glassware to consumers.
Luminarc is a brand of family-owned Arc
International, the largest tabletop glassware
producer in the world. Luminarc produces
glass dinnerware, drinkware, mixing bowls,
measuring cups, pitchers and food-storage
containers. Arc’s proprietary formulas led to
the development of Kwarx and Diamax,
break-resistant, dishwasher-safe fine crystal
totally free of any heavy metals typically associated with crystal.
Most Luminarc glassware sold in U.S.
Costco warehouses is made in their Millville,
New Jersey, plant, which produces 1 million
pieces of glassware a day. That figure is included
in the 6 million total pieces manufactured daily
in Arc facilities in France, China, the United
Arab Emirates and Russia.
With all of that production, Arc keeps
energy consumption and green efforts at the
forefront, a practice the company initiated
with early recycling efforts in the 1920s. In
2003, Philippe Durand, Arc’s principal owner
at the time, who had a strong commitment to
social and industrial issues, led Arc to sign the
United Nations Global Compact, which,
among many initiatives, promised a deeper
commitment to protecting the environment.
While every Arc facility engages in green
glass is greener
bake as long as with other inks to cure and
bond the ink to the glass, resulting in further
Packaging reduction. Luminarc consumes a lot of cardboard to decrease breakage.
To reduce their needs, they have engineered
compact and durable packaging, using recycled
cardboard when they can. The effort also lowers
transportation costs, fuel and emissions. “You’re
able to fit more [of our] packages on a truck, so
you don’t have to move as many trucks across
the country,” explains Kontes.
Other workplace initiatives include the
conversion of 74 percent of their forklift fleet
to rechargeable electric models, online document sharing and single-stream recycling.
While Arc has already paved a green path
for the industry, Tom Reed, vice president of
Arc’s human resources department, says they
continue to look for more eco-friendly effi-ciencies. “[Sustainability] is a forever journey
for us, but it’s one we’re excited about. We’re
working at it every day to get better,” he says.
“We have the structure in place from an organizational standpoint and the support from
our business to continue doing that.” C
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARC INTERNATIONAL
Company: Arc International
Founder/owners: Established in 1825
by Alexandre des Lyons de Noircarme;
owned by the Durand family since 1926
Employees: 12,200 worldwide
601 S. Wade Blvd., Millville, NJ 08332
Items at Costco: 20-piece drinkware set;
various items rotate throughout the year.
Comments about Costco: “Costco is very
supportive of companies that make products in the USA, and we like that they work
with companies that are involved in sustainable actions. We’re definitely one of those
—Jack Kontes, director of marketing
for Arc International
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