At Cerve, a leader in glass manufacturing and decorating, the company’s investment and innovation decisions are informed by its environmentally responsible DNA. Giovanni Bormioli, President, and Guido Bormioli, Head of Marketing & Communications, explain the company’s vision and commitment to sustainable ethics.
What does sustainability look like at Cerve?
Giovanni Bormioli: The Cerve galaxy, if you will, currently includes several companies—Cerve, Technoglas, Tecno5, and Vidivi—all united around a common, forward-looking vision for glass: to continuously innovate and develop our products, while respecting our employees and the environment. The concept of social and environmental sustainability is deeply etched into our company DNA. First, we work with glass, an infinitely recyclable and reusable raw material. We were also one of the first companies to use water-based inks and to avoid the use of heavy metals in decoration, long before mandatory regulations were implemented. I want to maintain this transparent, responsible direction within the group, from Technoglas, which manufactures high-end pressed glass in Voitsberg, Austria, to all of our factories in Italy that decorate glass for cosmetics, perfumery, spirits, and beverages. Cerve and Technoglas received ISO 9001 certification in 2015, and Cerve has received a bronze rating from EcoVadis.
What initiatives are being implemented at the manufacturing level?
G. B.: We care about the environment, so we are taking actions locally to reduce our impact, for example by adapting energy use in our factories. Eight months ago, we purchased an electric furnace for Technoglas to produce very high-quality crystalline glass and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. The 40-ton furnace generates few greenhouse gas emissions and is energy efficient.
Within the company, we believe that glass is the future of plastic. And to meet the strong demand for very high-quality pressed glass stoppers and jars, we have invested in a new production line that will be operational at the Technoglas factory in January 2022. It will enable us to manufacture very small complex forms as well as render extremely complex finishes. This high-efficiency line will be entirely dedicated to the production of glass stoppers and technical products, a very promising niche market for perfumery and cosmetics, as well as for liqueurs and spirits. Thanks to technological advances, we are able to offer our international clientele the same level of service for glass as for plastic, both in terms of cost and sustainability. We have also invested in a new frosting machine developed in house, by Cerve, that reduces acid use by 50% and pollution to zero by operating in a closed, controlled circuit. This will double our frosting capacity for fragrance and cosmetics starting in October.
What else are you focusing on when it comes to decoration?
G. B.: Our first, and most critical priority, is to foster skills development and technical training among our employees. Overall, the Cerve Group employs around 600 people in its factories in Italy and Austria. Our expertise lies in our human resources, and it’s important for us that they remain focused on value-added missions like technical preparation. To this end, we support automating production lines and repetitive tasks using robotization and automatic palletizing systems. We also strive to provide a supportive environment by giving particular care to workstation layout and ergonomics, and by providing training, tools, and working methods that are flexible and adaptive enough to guarantee a certain quality of life, job satisfaction, and commitment. Our goal is to continue investing in our expertise in order to develop a high level of excellence and performance at each of our sites. By doing so, we will create the conditions for sustainability in the factory, both for the people who work there and for society as a whole. This is the primary goal for all responsible entrepreneurs.
What does sustainable innovation look like today?
G. B. : We have applied age-old experience in glass decoration techniques to fragrance and cosmetics, and we are now making it available to the spirits and beverages sector through three new bottle decoration lines. With this, we can offer our international customers new opportunities for differentiation and customization for their products through an infinite range of screen printing, hot stamping, and lacquering techniques. For example, we’ve developed a new lacquering technology, MIROLAC®, that uses water-based ink and produces a finish very similar to metallization. This sustainable decoration technology has met with incredible success on the market.
Giovanni Bormioli (left) and Guido Bormioli (right)