Energy  reduction - Avery Dennison

Collaborating to reduce our impact in Europe

Avery Dennison is committed to contributing to the fight against climate change and creating a circular economy. We have concrete and ambitious sustainability targets which we are well on our way to achieving, including reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and reducing our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 70% by 2030. 

To help achieve these targets and reduce the environmental impact of our operations, we work to continuously improve our energy efficiency, reduce waste, recycle where possible, source responsibly, and reduce our emissions. However, as we continue our sustainability journey and run out of “low-hanging fruit,” we have to get creative in order to keep moving forward. One way we spark further improvements and innovations is by collaborating internally and externally.


Sharing ideas and innovations across sites

Energy  reduction - Avery Dennison

Jan Willekens,
Technology Director EU

“Across our European sites, our main sustainability focus areas are energy reduction (through increased efficiency) and energy transition (to renewable sources like solar),” says Jan Willekens, our Technology Director EU. “To accelerate our progress, in 2007 we started building cross-regional teams focused on monitoring and reducing our energy consumption and exploring generating our own renewable energy, starting with a wind turbine at our site in Turnhout, Belgium.”

Being able to experiment and learn on a large scale is one of our superpowers as a global company. 

“Increasing collaboration and sharing knowledge and best practices between sites is a big part of why we’ve been able to make huge improvements at our sites in Europe,” Jan says. “This includes halving our energy intensity since 2007.” 

“We can also attribute some of our progress to technological improvements,” Jan adds. “We constantly review our assets, keep them up-to-date, and invest in new and improved technologies. What makes us unbeatable is that we are really running fast.”

Energy  reduction - Avery Dennison

The upper section (gondola) of the wind turbine in Turnhout

A closer look at our site in Luxembourg

Meanwhile, at our site in Rodange, Luxembourg, we have achieved significant sustainability improvements by working with external experts and our suppliers and by involving more people at the site in our improvement efforts.

“As with any production site, our site in Rodange has always been focused on improving productivity and maximizing profitability,” says Adrien Villani, Plant Manager Rodange. “But sustainability has also long been part of the discussion at the site, in the form of reducing gas consumption, reducing waste (the site has been landfill-free for years), and recycling leftover raw materials.”

“However, in recent years we have accelerated our efforts and brought more hands on deck,” Adrien says. “Sustainability has moved beyond a topic for a handful of engineers and project managers to something everybody on the site can contribute to and be ambassadors for. It is fully embedded in our strategy and our culture.”

Energy  reduction - Avery Dennison

Adrien Villani, Plant  Manager Rodange


Drastically reducing our gas consumption

Currently the top sustainability focus area at Rodange is reducing our gas intensity (our gas consumption per square meter of labeling material produced). The site has been on a gas reduction journey since 2015, but we recently started a rapid gas reduction project to add some extra momentum. “We had already made good progress, but our hope was that we could drive our consumption down even further if we involved more people in the project,” says Adrien.

We put our heads together, focusing on three key areas:

Step 1: Measure consumption. We used to monitor our consumption on a quarterly basis. Now we look at it weekly and we are developing data acquisition tools so that we can look at it daily. “If we measure our consumption every day, that means we can challenge it every day,” says Adrien.

Step 2: Maintain our equipment. We make sure everything that consumes gas is in good condition and working perfectly, such as our gas burner, the insulation, and the position of the valves. 

Step 3: Maximize efficiency. We have perfected our set-up to maximize efficiency and we make sure that we do not use more energy than is needed. “We use LEAN methodology at the site, and one of its key principles is that anything you overuse - whatever goes beyond customer expectation - is just a waste,” explains Adrien. 

This new approach has led to great results. We reduced our gas intensity by 14% in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022, and reduced it a further 4% this past quarter. Since we started this journey back in 2015, we have reduced our gas consumption by 25%, even as we increased production. 

“Before we started this project, we thought we had done pretty much everything we could to consume less gas,” says Adrien. “However, getting additional focus, bringing more people in, and making sustainability a daily topic of activity helped us achieve a further 18% reduction. It’s better than we were expecting, and has motivated us to achieve even more.”

Driving further change at Rodange

Going forward, we will continue to reduce our gas intensity at the Rodange site, with the aim of achieving further significant reductions, and then transition the remaining usage over to renewable energy. We are looking for opportunities to do this in all areas of our production.

Reducing our gas intensity is just one way we are driving sustainability improvements at Rodange. When it comes to recycling, we work hard to ensure that 100% of our raw material leftovers are collected, unwound, classified, and shipped to recyclers, and we reuse the cores of our raw materials. To sort our waste - and give back to the community - we partner with GP Lux, a company which gives job opportunities to disabled people.

Energy  reduction - Avery Dennison

Leftover raw materials being processed at GP Lux

Beyond that, we also want to drastically reduce our consumption of clean water at the site, for example by collecting rainwater for use in our processes. Finally, we aim to make our electricity greener and electrify some of our processes rather than use fossil fuels. 

Reduced impact, increased engagement

Another great result of these sustainability activities is the enthusiasm and engagement that we see in our colleagues. “People are happy to have the opportunity to contribute to making our site more sustainable and do something a bit different from what they usually do,” Adrien says.

“But beyond that, they also expect us to undertake these kinds of activities,” he continues. “As a manager, I see the mentality of our workforce changing. Acting sustainably is becoming more and more something that people expect from the plant, from the leadership, and from each other.” 

Looking ahead

To achieve our long-term sustainability goals for our European sites, we will keep innovating and adopting the best available technologies. “For example, a new technology we’re implementing at our site in Turnhout uses parabolic mirrors to concentrate solar energy and heat up fluids we use in our processes,” Jan says. “It could reduce our gas usage at the site by an additional 10%, and if it’s successful we will roll it out to other sites.”

We’ll also keep tapping into our people’s ideas. “While many companies are waking up to the issue of sustainability, they often still treat it like something they’d rather have someone else deal with,” Adrien says. “We see sustainability as something that we should embrace and deal with ourselves, and involving our people is helping us make great progress.” 

Energy  reduction - Avery Dennison

Team meeting at the Rodange site

Learn more

To learn more about our sustainable solutions, our improvement efforts, and more, visit our Sustainable Labels homepage.