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Encouragement for Decarbonisation of the Glassmaking Sector

The UK glass manufacturing sector was well-represented at the Court and Livery Dinner of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London on 10 March. Richard Katz, Master Glass Seller, welcomed Stuart Hakes as one of several distinguished guests. With an international glass industry association of 57 years, Mr Hakes is President of the Society of Glass Technology, which has existed for more than a century to serve people who are interested in the production, properties and uses of glasses.

Pictured here alongside Richard Katz and Glass Worldwide’s Debbie Fordham at the prestigious gathering at Trinity House in London, Mr Hakes is also the Chief Executive of FIC (UK) Ltd, a leader in the design and manufacture of electric glass melting systems. He recently joined the advisory board of Glass Futures, the proposed global centre of excellence in R&D, training and innovation.

“Stuart Hakes is one of the world’s leading experts on melting glass electrically and the advisory board of Glass Futures is benefitting greatly from his knowhow” commented Richard Katz, CEO of Glass Futures, in addition to his role with the Glass Sellers.

Emphasising the strong links between the two organisations, Mr Katz continued: “Glass Sellers was one of the founding partners of Glass Futures and the aim is to help the glass manufacturing industry understand that they can no longer continue to make glass in traditional ways. With Liveryman and Master’s Assistant, Maria Chanmugam also on the Glass Futures advisory board, Glass Sellers is very involved and as a livery company is at the forefront of addressing climate change problems.”

With the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) having last month placed a £7.1 million Industrial Fuel Switching Procurement Contract with Glass Futures to provide in-depth investigations of sustainable alternative fuel sources and innovative scenarios to decarbonise the glass manufacturing process in line with ‘net zero’ targets, Mr Katz also welcomed Philip Cohen, Principal Engineer at BEIS. “Philip and BEIS are fundamentally assisting Glass Futures in achieving our objectives” he acknowledged.

Richard Katz also stated that a leading glass industry player will shortly be announced as the inaugural corporate partner of Glass Sellers, with other such partners expected to follow. Subscriptions for corporate partnerships will be shared between the livery company and it’s ‘Glass in Society’ charity, a project that aims to introduce teachers and school children to glass, glass technology, its uses and behaviour, as well as frequently to bring an understanding of composite technology into their education for the first time.

Despite the disruption caused by the Coronavirus, the Court & Livery Dinner attracted an impressive audience including liverymen from glass manufacturers such as Nazeing Glass Works and O-I, alongside glass artisans and a wide spectrum of industry personalities.

This article originally appeared in the May/June issue of Glass Worldwide, the official journal of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London and the preferred media partner of Glass Futures. Liverymen are reminded that if they haven’t done so already, they are welcome to contact Liveryman Dave Fordham for a complimentary subscription to future issues: