Portola Packaging has reduced the energy usage at its North American facilities by almost 20% and recycled more than 5.5 million pounds of production materials over the past two years.

In 2011, the closures manufacturer reported an 8% reduction in energy use, while in 2010 it used 10.5% less energy, when compared with 2009.

The company’s plants also recycled more than three million pounds of material, including plastic regrind, corrugated paper, aluminium and steel, when compared to 2.5 million pounds in 2010.

Portola president and chief executive officer Kevin Kwilinski said that the company’s conservation goals begin with responsible manufacturing, which includes upstream processes that use material in a possible way to avoid back-end recycling.

"We also believe in partnering with our customers and communities to help make that happen," Kwilinski added.

More than 20 different initiatives have contributed to the energy saving efforts, including waste water management, replacing poor efficiency equipment and improving air compressor optimisation.

The initiatives were taken up across all eight of the company’s plants, including four US facilities, three Canadian plants and one in Mexico.

The company is also working with customers to convert shipments from corrugated boxes to Gaylords, in order to ship 30-35% more closures per truckload and to reduce fuel and packaging material costs.