Amcor Rigid Plastics plans to operate an on-site bottle production facility within Method's new advanced manufacturing facility in Chicago. Method, a provider in eco-friendly household, fabric, and personal care products, recently announced that it will build a flagship manufacturing facility in the Pullman Park neighborhood on Chicago's south side.
Method's new U.S. manufacturing plant has a goal of being the first LEED Platinum certified facility in the consumer packaged goods industry. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program managed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.
Amcor will manufacture 100% PCR polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for household cleaners and hand wash. The company already has a relationship with Method as a supplier of a range of containers for hand wash, dish soap, laundry detergent, and household cleaning products. A group of 20-30 Amcor employees will work at the new Method facility, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We're thrilled about continuing our relationship with Method and being an integral part of a highly innovative endeavor that takes sustainable business to a new level," said Dan Gehling, key account manager of Amcor Rigid Plastics' Food, Home/Personal Care group. "As a company, Amcor is closely aligned with Method's core sustainability values and we hope to support and bolster their effort in becoming a LEED Platinum certified facility."
The Method plant - located on Chicago's south side - will have several unique features including a wind turbine, solar panel installations, large amounts of natural light throughout the factory, and native land renewal across 22 acres. "Building our first U.S. manufacturing plant is an important milestone in our company's growth," said Drew Fraser, CEO of Method. "We're excited to continue our close partnership with Amcor and bring our vision for an advanced, flexible, cost-effective facility to life."
Method is selecting materials certified by the Cradle-to-Cradle Certified Program and sustainably advanced features for both outside and inside the plant. A refurbished 230-ft wind turbine will generate a significant portion of the plant's energy. The turbine, combined with the solar energy from solar panels in the parking lot and on the building, will provide approximately half of the facility's annual electrical needs. Method also plans to have a functional roof with urban agriculture to benefit the local community.
Among Method's primary business priorities is reducing the environmental impact of all of its products. The company says the benefits of on-site production of PCR containers includes a significant reduction in freight cost and carbon emissions, major reductions in packaging cost, improvements in joint operational efficiencies, and enhanced sustainability practices.
"Our expertise and knowledge in producing high-quality PCR containers that are highly functional and attractive is vital in meeting Method's sustainability and growth goals," said Charlie Schwarze, global manager of sustainability for Amcor Rigid Plastics.
By using 100% PCR resin, the cradle-to-gate energy consumption of the resin compared to virgin is reduced by 52% and the package's carbon footprint is lowered by 57%. On-site production of PCR bottles keeps over 600 truckloads of bottles off the road each year and eliminates over 200 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, according to Amcor.
Amcor says it incorporates varying percentages of PCR for other customers and has invested significant time and resources in developing and securing reliable sources of the highest quality PCR plastics.
Method's U.S. factory will open in early 2015 and the facility will include the manufacturing and bottling of formula for Method, as well as an on-site distribution center.