, Assistant Editor
When Jon Olafsson and his sons “pushed the button” Friday at their new Icelandic Glacial bottling facility, the first motion on the automated line dumped a heap of thumb-sized plastic test tubes into a loading bin.
That cascade of plastic “pre-forms” not only put Icelandic Glacial in the same class as the majority of bottled water companies across the globe, who finalize their bottles on-site, but it also represented a big environmental step for a company that has cut its reputation via its carbon-neutral status.
To receive the CarbonNeutral seal from The Carbon Neutral Company, firms offset their emissions by investing in carbon-reducing projects – ultimately zeroing out their carbon footprint. But first, seal-seeking firms reduce their own emissions to the lowest achievable level.
Icelandic Glacial has an edge on this because they use Iceland’s low-impact geo-thermal and hydro-electric power grid. Most of their emissions come from the vehicles required to shuttle employees, finished products and raw materials to and from the factory, the pre-forms help them further reduce transportation-related carbon emissions.
The new bottling line blows the tiny test-tubes into full-sized bottles on site while the company’s old facility imported fully-formed bottles – which required far more space on incoming trucks.
The new facility also uses low-power infra-red lighting, and a highly-automated filling line with the capability to produce and fill 30,000 bottles per hour.