Canadian Packaging

Green plants for Portola

While bottle weight, size and shape get a lot of attention when it comes to packaging sustainability, choosing the right caps and closures can also help beverage producers and brand-owners obtain notable carbon footprint reductions, according to the Naperville, Ill.-based closures manufacturers Portola Packaging, Inc.


March 2, 2011
by Canadian Packaging Staff

While bottle weight, size and shape get a lot of attention when it comes to packaging sustainability, choosing the right caps and closures can also help beverage producers and brand-owners obtain notable carbon footprint reductions, according to the Naperville, Ill.-based closures manufacturers Portola Packaging, Inc.

Operating eight manufacturing facilities across North America—including Canadian locations in Montreal, Edmonton and Richmond, B.C.—the company says it achieved a 10.5-percent reduction in energy usage in 2010 from the year before by implementing a comprehensive range of more than 20 energy
conservation measures, including:

  • purchases of new equipment with reduced energy requirements;
  • conversion from injection- to compression-molding for specific products;
  • productivity improvements stressing reduced energy load;
  • implementing shutoff protocols for idle equipment;
  • extending heating and cooling conservation efforts into the company’s office operations.

“Portola’s goal is to minimize its environmental impact by creating sustainable, value-added manufacturing and product solutions,” says Portola president Kevin Kwilinski.

“We believe in using natural resources responsibly to manage energy use and reduce waste wherever possible, and we also believe in partnering with our customers and communities to help make that happen.”

Aside from energy conservation, Portola has also intensified its efforts in the recycling of production scrap/ regrind (mostly high-density polyethylene and polypropylene), corrugated shippers, hydraulic oil waste, scrap metal, aluminum cans, paper, etc., according to Kwilinksi, while also investigating alternative packaging approaches which would enable it to ship between 30 and 35 per cent more closures per truckload—reducing fuel and packaging material costs by more than $1 million annually.

In addition to the material and energy reduction strategies, all of the corrugated cases Portola purchases have been certified under the standard requirements of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) organization.

“At Portola, we believe that good environmental stewardship is an ongoing process,” states Kwilinski. “We encourage all of our team members to generate new, environmentally-sound ideas so that we can continue on this path.”