Dr. NICK KIRK
Glass Technology Services (GTS), UK
Nick has been at GTS for over 15 years, the organisation which provides technical support to glass sector and the supply chain. He now provides technical leadership and consultation within the organisation and to the wider glass supply chain including, energy efficiency, recycling, raw material utilisation, product innovation, process improvements, product verification and as a legal technical expert.
Nick has been involved in glass sector since his PhD on glass surface chemistry in the early ’90s. He represents the interest of the glass sector nationally and internationally as well as fostering the innovation and collaboration to secure a sustainable future for glass.
Nick is active on the 2050 decarbonisation action plan working with the UK Government and stakeholders to develop the opportunities and technology to reduce the CO2 impact from the glass manufacturing process. He also works on recycling legislation and policy, food contact material legislation, packaging and flat glass standards to name a few.
He is a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM), Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), with over 25 years’ experience in the glass industry including being a project manager at TECO and an environmental glass consultant before joining GTS in 2003..
The Glass Manufacturers Net Zero Journey
Glass already makes a significant contribution to building a sustainable society, for example through developing high performance glazing, light-weighting of products and most significantly, being a 100% recyclable material that meets circular economy principles. Glass manufacturers have been engaged in energy and carbon reduction for many years, with over 50% increase in energy efficiency over the past 40 years.
In order for the UK glass industry to achieve net zero glass production by 2050, the glass industry and British Glass established a decarbonisation roadmap in 2014 with the UK Government, which gained international recognition and has been replicated by many other countries. The roadmap sets out the potential opportunities for carbon reduction from recycling, energy, raw materials, process technologies, product design and other areas such as carbon capture and storage and offsetting. Much progression has been made over the past 6 years and new technologies have been developed that were not included in the original roadmap such as hydrogen combustion. This presentation will provide an update on what had been achieved and more importantly want needs to be achieved over the next 30 years for the glass industry to become a net zero manufacturing sector and continue to develop products that reduce society’s carbon emissions.