Hillebrand's flexitank as a greener solution

The research analyses greenhouse gas emissions in the complete lifecycle of a flexitank

Hillebrand has partnered with Carbon Footprint to present a carbon life cycle assessment of its 24,000 liter flexitank, which concludes that they are an environmentally friendly option when properly recycled.



The assessment focuses on the effect of emissions of the complete cycle of a flexitank, from the embodied raw material emissions to its disposal and recovery, taking into account eight different route scenarios, showing the average emissions in the final calculation.

Four types of Hillebrand’s 24,000 liter flexitanks were used in the report and compared against an ISO Tank, using the same weight of product and considering the same pickup and drop-off locations, and taking into account that an ISO tank has a useful life of 82.5 trips.  When averaging every route scenario and completing the same delivery, Hillebrand’s flexitanks were responsible for causing around 6,061 kg CO2 emissions, whereas ISO Tanks caused around 6,702 kg CO2 emissions, showing that Hillebrand’s flexitanks have a lower impact on the environment in terms of CO2 emissions. The data was determined using the weighted average basis.

The research concludes that the main differences in the emissions’ variations between both types of transportation are primarily due to product distribution.  The difference is explained by the fact that an ISO Tank is heavier than the combined weight of Hillebrand’s flexitank and an ISO 20ft Dry Container, the container in which it is carried.  Additionally, “ISO Tanks are often required to be transported from a greater distance to the depot for loading and returned after unloading”, justifies Carbon Footprint in the report, whereas “ISO 20ft Dry Box Containers are not”.

Hillebrand is fully committed to recycling its flexitanks, last year 52% of them were recycled mainly mechanically, which generated only 6,75 Kg C02 emissions, less than the 7,27 Kg CO2 associated with the cleaning of an ISO tank, which requires 2,500 liters of water and 2,5 kg of detergent per cleaning. Hillebrand’s goal is to recycle 75% of all flexitanks globally by 2022 and recover 75% of bulkheads in 2021.  Today 95% of the Hillebrand wine flexitanks arriving in the UK or Australia are already mechanically recycled and reused.

To strengthen Hillebrand’s position and offerings, partnerships will be strategically formed with major waste management companies to provide local, regional and global recovery and recycling solutions for the flexitanks.  This, combined with Hillebrand’s involvement in key Polyolefin recycling platforms and new recycling technologies, further evidences its commitment to offer a long term sustainable transport solution for bulk liquids.

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