Heinz-Glas has launched a product carbon footprint (PCF) tool to measure CO2 emissions from packaging products.

The PCF is a world first and means a packaging manufacturer can now accurately predict the greenhouse gas emissions generated by its products.

Simultaneously, the calculation tool can be verified for the first time in accordance with ISO standards and has been verified by experts from TÜV SÜD Industrie Service.

While other manufacturers can only give rough estimates of how many greenhouse gases are generated by packaging, Heinz-Glas can give the exact information: calculated down to the gram and in just five minutes.

The glass manufacturer, based in Kleintettau, Germany said it was the first company in the world to develop a PCF tool.

A step that involved a great deal of work. Independent verification by TÜV SÜD provided the best basis for establishing confidence.

Thomas Eidloth, who is responsible for sustainability at Heinz-Glas, said it took three years of hard work to develop the tool.

His colleague Elisa Trebes, who is overseeing the implementation of the project, added: “An infinite amount of data had to be collected.

"Not just on how much energy is used directly in production or transport, Instead, on all emissions for the entire company.

"For example, whether employees travel to work by bus or car. Or how much electricity is used in the offices. And then all this data is updated every year.”

"Alongside having to collect data according to strict rules, an IT-assisted methodology had to be developed to accurately collate the vast number of indicators before ultimately breaking them down to one product gram."

Having to verify this type of calculation tool was unchartered territory even for the experts of the verification authority TÜV SÜD Industrie Service.

The development process was jointly realised in an intensive exchange and then completed in September 2022 with successful verification, as confirmed by compliance with DIN EN ISO 14067:2019 requirements.

“The PCF tool demonstrates once again how important Heinz-Glas takes sustainability,“ said Eidloth.

"It allows you to give customers a simple yet important decision-making tool that ultimately results in resources and the environment being handled in a more conscious manner.

“For instance, if I show a customer 20 possible versions of a product in the simulator and calculate how sustainable each individual product is with the tool verified by TÜV SÜD, they will in cases of doubt go with the product that weighs less or has a higher amount of recycled glass.

"The PCF tool will guide customers towards opting for greater environmental protection.”