Encirc, Guardian Glass, O-I Glass and Siemens have re-affirmed their commitment to decarbonise through the continued support of Glass Futures.

Glass Futures will open the doors to its 165,000 ft2 Global Centre of Glass Excellence next month.

The companies were the ‘founding members’ of the not-for-profit when the idea of the centre was first conceived by Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass.

They each invested in the idea which has since attracted major government innovation funding and seen construction completion of the £54m centre in St Helens, near Liverpool, UK.

Now, some 10 years after its conception, these founding Board Members continue to see the strong benefits from the ground-breaking research and innovation already being delivered by Glass Futures.

They are taking the first step towards reaffirming their long-term commitment to the organisation with plans for each to invest further funds on an annual basis. They will become new Strategic Members and invite others in the industry to join them.

Aston Fuller, General Manager at Glass Futures said: “To have our founders becoming new Strategic Members as we take over the completed Centre of Excellence is a testament to their on-going vision and commitment over a decade.

“Back then they were taking a punt on conversations about an idea. Something that could potentially benefit the whole sector in the long-term, but they (and us) had no way of knowing if we’d reach this point.

“Not only have we attracted funding for significant carbon emission reduction research trials using alternative fuels, but we’ve successfully built our new centre.

“The dream is now a reality. And as we look towards officially opening the building in the summer with our 30 tonne per day furnace and pilot line firing within the next 12 months, it’s only the beginning.”

To mark the next phase of Glass Futures, the organisation has launched the new level of Strategic Membership and updated its membership structure. It will operate on a credit-based system which guarantees members access to the facilities at the pilot plant on an annual basis.

Aston added: “We have a varied and supportive membership including many companies across the supply chain who have helped us get this far and as a not-for-profit organisation serving the energy intensive industries, our value is in our research and development into sustainable, low-carbon glass to support our members.

“Strategic Membership not only gives existing and new members more credits to carry out trials on our experimental furnace but also greater influence over collaborative project trials, with the potential to massively benefit organisations whose own strategic aims are led by reducing carbon emissions and environmental commitments to shareholders and customers.”