A worldwide player with 17 locations across 13 different countries, the Heinz-Glas Group combines the modern day strengths of a successful international business with the centuries old traditions of a family-owned and operated glassmaking enterprise.
With glassmaking in the family genes as far back as 1523, the group is among the world’s leading specialist manufacturers of glass containers and caps for the perfume and cosmetics industry.
Headquartered in Kleintettau, Germany, Heinz-Glas currently operates five international glass production sites, five furnaces and 22 manufacturing lines, producing some 485 tonnes of glass packaging every day. In addition, 475 million units are decorated annually at the company’s specialist decoration facilities. This portfolio is further enhanced by an extensive range of plastic caps, closures and accessories from Heinz-Plastics.
Entrepreneurial vision and well-targeted investments have contributed to the group’s success in the international packaging market, with complete packaging solutions delivered to customers throughout the world. Some 3200 people are employed, many of whom possess extensive and highly valuable glassmaking expertise. Collectively, they generate annual sales of more than €300 million, producing in excess of ca 750 million pieces per year.
Maintaining a rich tradition
“My family has been working in the glass business for over 500 years and our family company was founded almost 400 years ago” Carletta Heinz confirms, mindful of the impressive tradition she upholds. “Many companies in our industry are very old but only a few are still 100% family-owned and continue to operate from their original locations. Over the centuries, we have constantly developed and have always thought in terms of generations, an approach that has enabled us to remain successful in the market for so long.”
It is widely acknowledged that Carletta’s father, Carl-August Heinz was responsible for making the greatest progress in the company’s history. “He drove forward internationalisation and the refinement of our products, which is so important for us today. I am very proud of his life’s work and the development he has achieved” Ms Heinz explains. “The values that have always been important to us are still important today - for the company as well as for me personally. We think sustainably and long-term and strive for stable corporate development. As in the past 400 years, we are constantly improving, as well as being innovative and customer-oriented, learning from our long past in order to shape our future in the best possible way.”
Born in 1984 and raised in the ancestral home of Kleintettau, Carletta Heinz completed her studies with a diploma in business administration at the Friedrich-Alexander-University in nearby Nuremberg in 2012. She has worked for the Heinz-Glas Group since 2013, experiencing different departments to gain a
thorough understanding of the company and its activities. Step-by-step, she took on greater responsibility, before joining the management board as CIO in 2017. In July 2020, Carletta Heinz was named CEO of the Heinz-Glas Group.
“It makes me proud to be able to continue the life’s work of my ancestors and my father” Carletta Heinz confirms. “Of course, the current Covid-19-related time is not easy and many challenges lie ahead but I am convinced that these can be overcome if we make the correct decisions and stick together as a team.”
As well as taking on the role of CEO, Carletta Heinz is also the group’s COO for an interim period, following the Technical Manager’s decision to pursue other interests elsewhere. This important position will be filled as soon as a suitable replacement has been identified. Other key members of the group’s senior management team are Virginia Elliott, Chief Sales Officer and Frank Martin, Chief Financial Officer. Mr Martin has worked for the organisation for more than three decades, while Mrs Elliot joined recently from the fashion industry and provides valuable knowledge of this important and complementary industry.
“There is a saying that ‘you should honour what you inherit’ and I want to preserve what was passed on to me” says Carletta Heinz. “But I also want to develop the business further, to promote the internationalisation of our company and to open up new markets.”
She is also striving for improvements in productivity, for example and would like to further strengthen the ‘we’ feeling within the workforce. “I feel obliged to be there for people, which is why I also started active service in the Kleintettau fire brigade. I also think that getting involved in local politics and in the fire brigade brings synergies from which the community, our associations and the company can benefit. Kleintettau and Heinz-Glas have belonged together for centuries and it should stay that way!”
Two of the company’s specialist glassmaking and decoration factories are located in Germany, namely the original Heinz-Glas site in Kleintettau, Franconia and a separate plant in Piesau, Thuringia. Other factories are sited in Dzialdowo, Poland and Lima, Peru, with a fifth glassworks (a joint venture) in Kosamba, India.
At the end of 2018, leading French glassmaker Saverglass agreed to transfer its flaconnage business to Heinz-Glas, a significant move that brought together two of Europe’s leading players in the flaconnage market. In addition, a six hectare plot of land was acquired at the end of 2018 on an industrial park near Shanghai, China, with plans in place to build a new glassworks on the site in 2021.
Recent investment projects include a major furnace rebuild in Poland in 2019, with a special electric glass furnace scheduled for installation at the Heinz-Glas German headquarters in early 2021. This is described as a highly flexible, eco-friendly and energy efficient installation thanks to its use of CO2-free electricity.
Among the specialist decoration services provided are pad printing, screen printing, digital printing, galvanic and heat transfer labelling, the application of forehearth colours, lasering, internal decoration, colour and glitter spraying, metallisation, flocking and sputtering and environmentally-friendly frosting. As well as decorating glassware at the Kleintettau, Dzialdowo, Lima and Kosamba glassworks, Heinz-Glas also operates dedicated facilities in Spechtsbrunn (Germany), Hranice (Czech Republic) and Mumbai (India).
The group maintains its own Development, R&D and Design Departments, as well as an international engineering team that supports Heinz-Glas locations throughout the world when purchasing new furnaces and machines, as well as performing modifications.
Premium quality clear, opal and coloured (feeder) glasses are manufactured to accommodate a diversity of customer requirements, primarily in the perfumery and cosmetics sectors, while also serving the interests increasingly of high quality spirits bottlers as well.
“We manufacture customised developments in terms of design and decoration with the highest support for our customers, as well as stock items for complete packaging (mainly in Poland) and also create our own innovative glass designs and concepts” says Carletta Heinz. “Furthermore, it is our aim to make our products increasingly sustainable. These efforts were rewarded in 2019 with a German Packaging Award in the sustainability category and a WorldStar Packaging Award in 2020 for our Victor light flacon.”
The value of maintaining solid customer relationships is emphasised, with positive communication at eye level and a good basis of confidence. “It is important to provide good service during the entire sales and development process and also afterwards, as well as transparency of the processes.”
Sustainability, culture and lifestyle
The Heinz-Glas Group is constantly evaluating and investing in opportunities that could help to protect the planet. This includes compliance with EcoVadis environmental and social practices. “Their goal is to facilitate the integration of sustainability criteria in customer/supplier relationships, with our performance rated in terms of environment, social, ethics and supply chain activities.”
Furthermore, the glassmaker’s environmental management practices are certified in line with ISO 14001 and its energy management system according to ISO 50001.
Heinz-Glas has operated electric melting furnaces since 1972 and is running the factory in Kleintettau with CO2-free energy since 2016. Subsequently, renewable energy has been utilised at the company’s Peru and Poland production facilities.
A combination of using higher volumes of PCR and in-house cullet, together with the introduction of lightweighting technology, has contributed to carbon footprint reductions of up to 45%, with Heinz-Glas sustainability solutions coming together as part of the company’s MULTIGEN modular system. The glassmaker measures and calculates the carbon footprint of its products by using a recently implemented lifecycle assessment tool. This helps to define energy-intensive production steps and the implementation of action plans for emission reduction.
“Our corporate carbon footprint has been verified by TÜV Süd according to ISO 14064 in 08/2020” Carletta Heinz explains, “our investments and efforts helping us to win the German Sustainability Award in 2018, the German Packaging Award 2019 and the WorldStar Packaging Award 2020.”
Maintaining its position as an independent family business, Heinz-Glas is both customer- and employee-oriented. The company’s long-term commitment to both is emphasised by its decision to reinvest 13.1% of turnover throughout the past decade.
Staff training and education is another important priority, as is a commitment to work closely with local communities and government authorities to promote and protect their interests.
As part of the SPICE Initiative, the glassmaker is helping to shape the future of sustainable packaging together with organisations in the cosmetics industry. The SPICE Initiative defines common guidelines to lead the cosmetics industry to products that are not only produced with a lower carbon footprint but are made for recycling to improve the efficiency of recycling streams.
Evolving business conditions
Although the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic has impacted sales markets, Heinz-Glas is working closely with customers to further improve and expand its portfolio of standard articles and stock items. “Our product portfolio has been changing for 400 years, depending on the needs and opportunities in the glass packaging market” says Carletta Heinz “and that will continue to be the case. Because one thing is clear, requirements change and so do the products. We remain innovative, recognise customer needs and react to market requirements as quickly as possible.”
As an independent, family-owned and run business, Heinz-Glas is well-placed to plan its long-term future, while remaining fast and flexible in terms of its decision-making processes. “We also have a very well trained team, with a great knowledge of our products, the market and the environment” Carletta Heinz concludes. “We trust our employees and can rely on the team.”
Image: The Heinz-Glas Group’s senior management team comprises Carletta Heinz (right), Virginia Elliott and Frank Martin.