Synopsis: Led by James de Roany, Green Gen Technologies® is a Toulouse-based startup founded in 2017 that aims to revolutionise the packaging industry. Here we read its story so far and discover how their ground-breaking packaging is tackling environmental issues.
Green Gen Technologies® Shaping a Greener Future with Made to Measure Packaging Solutions
The wine and spirits industry is under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and rethink the way it produces and packages its products. Just one 0.75L bottle of white wine emits an average of 0.92kg of carbon dioxide emissions, with red and rose emitting around 0.89 kg for the same size bottle. The good news is that innovations are happening throughout the industry, from greener farming methods to more environmentally friendly packaging.
One company at the forefront of this revolution is Green Gen Technologies®, a Toulouse-based start- up that’s changing the packaging of alcoholic beverages for the better.
Innovations throughout the wine and spirits industry
Environmentally conscious producers of wine and spirits are turning to modern practices like biodynamics or regenerative agriculture in a bid to lower emissions and ensure higher yields. As consumers are becoming increasingly aware of climate change, they’re educating themselves on ways they can make a difference. People are learning that a heavier bottle doesn’t necessarily mean a better bottle, and manufacturers are being called upon to alter their packaging accordingly.
Co-inventor and CEO of Green Gen Technologies® James de Roany built his career managing vineyards. Having spent many years in the industry and travelling the world, he began to think about what could be done differently. When he was asked to participate in an international think focused on the packaging of wines and spirits, he was inspired to dig a little deeper and discovered that a shortage of aquatic sand would affect glass production in the not-too-distant future. It was then he decided to research and create his own alternative to the traditional glass bottle.
Transforming plant fibres and bio-sourced resins into a unique, eco-designed container
Watching a show about COP21, de Roany discovered that flax was gaining recognition as a very successful technical plant fibre. Keen to explore the possibilities further, he formed Green Gen Technologies® and set about pioneering a new process. After years of R&D, the Green Gen Bottle® was born. Formed from a special composite based on plant fibres and bio-sourced resin, it presented an entirely new way to package and transport liquids. This eco-friendly solution is ultra-strong, weighs just 85 grams, has an extremely low transport impact and its production emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases than a glass bottle. This raved reviews and in 2023 the bottle found its first customer, cognac house A. de Fussigny.
Having produced the first bottle using long fibre flax, the team began to explore other options. By combining biosourced resins with short fibre, such as wood, the team then released the Green Gen Bottle®.
Green Gen Technologies® global approach is shaping the future, with sustainable packaging that’s attractive, practical and respectful of the world around us. There’s a strong emphasis on using renewable sources and making the most of natural, locally sourced raw materials.
James de Roany and his team work closely with local partners to limit the impact of transportation, with a focus on low energy manufacturing methods. They are also gaining a reputation as thought leaders, not only by producing something so innovative but also by raising awareness among consumers about the impact of traditional bottling and production methods. Customers are encouraged to re-use their packaging and opt for refills where possible, then when the bottles are no longer fit for purpose they can be recycled or composted.
It’s clear that de Roany’s extensive experience in the wine industry has played a part in the company’s success. Having run his own vineyards, he knows the industry inside out and understands the common pain points experienced by his peers, so the approach is a collaborative one. By listening closely to what Green Gen Technologies® partners want, the team create solutions based on their specific needs. Starting with a feasibility study, they develop made-to-measure eco containers and closely monitor every stage of the manufacturing process through their network of local production partners.
Plans to revolutionise packaging across other industries
The story of Green Gen Technologies® has been an exciting one, but it doesn’t stop there. While the team’s main purpose was initially to revolutionise packaging for wine and spirits, they also plan to move into other sectors with a need to become more environmentally friendly, such as the cosmetics industry.
James de Roany explained, “I’ve sent many bottles to places all around the world. Today, we have to think differently. After the amphora, the cask and the bottle, it’s time to find alternative packaging solutions. Our ambition is to shake up the design of a type of packaging that’s existed for several centuries”. To find out more and follow the next chapters of this ground-breaking company’s story, visit the website here: https://en.greengentechnologies.com/