Vision for America Award 2018

The Vision for America Award is presented annually to distinguished leaders whose personal and corporate commitments have significantly enhanced civic, environmental and social stewardship throughout the United States. The 2018 Vision for America Award was presented to Andres Lopez, CEO, Owens-Illinois, in New York City on behalf of O-I and its global workforce.

As the makers of glass containers, the world’s most natural and sustainable package, Owens-Illinois (O-I) has been committed to sustainability throughout its more than 100-year history.

Founded by Michael J. Owens, inventor of the automatic bottle-making machine, O-I has a global footprint including 78 manufacturing plants in 23 countries. The company serves some of the world’s most loved food and beverage companies.

O-I’s passion for glass is shared by customers and consumers alike.

Customers rely on glass’ beauty, quality and premium nature to help build and differ-entiate their brands. And consumers, increasingly focused on health and sustainability, love the pure, healthy attributes of glass packaging. They love that glass is made with three natural ingredients – sand, soda ash and limestone and that it’s reusable as well as  endlessly recyclable.   

In fact, O-I is able to incorporate recycled glass, referred to as cullet, in making new     products. Every 10 percent of cullet used in O-I’s production can cut carbon emissions by 5 percent and reduce energy use by 3 percent.
Glass recycling and reuse contribute significantly to reducing glass packaging’s carbon footprint. Across the company, O-I is dedicated to reducing its overall impact on the planet through its products and processes. This includes keeping a low carbon footprint through efforts like supplying sand, the most significant raw material in the glass-making process, locally and by being close to customers and suppliers, the majority of which are within 300 miles of O-I’s plants.

Additionally, O-I is investing in R&D, technology and innovation. O-I’s most recent innovation is the development of its new O-I: EXPRESSIONS line, allowing brands to personalize and customize glass packaging through digital printing using organic inks and less energy than screen printing.

This year, O-I was named the first food and beverage packaging company to receive gold-level certification on the Cradle to Cradle Product Scorecard for material health. Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s certification is based on five categories: material health, material re-utilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. Nearly 90 percent of the company’s glass operations were certified across product categories and for certain container colors in the beer, non-alcoholic beverage, spirit, wine, and food markets.

Another move worth celebrating, is the partnership between O-I and The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative to re-introduce the returnable, refillable bottle. The bottle, made mostly from recycled O-I glass, is designed to be separated from the traditional bottle deposit system so that it can be reused. This system will result in significant savings in energy use and water needed to manufacture new bottles.

And finally, Keep America Beautiful recognizes O-I’s efforts in the development of the industry's U.S. trade association, the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) and for serving as a founding member of the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC). And, of course, O-I is one of the founders of Keep America Beautiful, partnering with us on litter prevention and recycling initiatives. O-I also helps fund local programs that encourage community members to collect glass and return it to glass recovery centers.

Click here to read Owens-Illinois 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Update.