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6 February 2023

A new range of bakeware with a reduced environmental impact has been launched by market leader Guardini, together with partners ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, coated steel manufacturer Cooper Coated Coil (CCC) and coatings manufacturer ILAG. The result of the four-way partnership and a three-year development process is XBake, a range of sustainable bakeware that is sourced with ArcelorMittal’s XCarb® green steel certificates, and made with an innovative PFAS-free, non-stick coating that was developed by ILAG and is applied to steel coils by CCC. 

The result is XBake – a range of sustainable bakeware with a brand-new, non-stick coating that is free of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). XBake was launched at Ambiente, the world's largest and most important international consumer-goods fair, in Frankfurt on 3 February 2023, at a ceremony involving all four companies.

From left to right: Florian Pick, Chief Sales Officer for ILAG; Elena Guardini, Managing Director of Guardini; Kevin Tranter, Managing Director of CCC; Yves Koeberlé, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products; Marco Guardini, Managing Director of Guardini. [© Guardini]

Guardini was prompted to start the project to reduce their products’ environmental impact when customers started asking about the level of recycled content in the company’s bakeware. Although Guardini actively recycles the unused steel from its processes, the company’s management realised it was impossible to quantify the level of recycled content in the new steel it purchased.

“XCarb® gave us the edge,” explained Marco Guardini, Managing Director of Guardini. “We could openly and reliably tell our customers that the steel was sustainably produced. Our calculations show that by using ArcelorMittal steel with XCarb® green steel certificates, we are reducing the CO2 impact of our products. That’s very significant and has attracted significant interest from our customers.”

Speaking at the Ambiente fair in Frankfurt, Yves Koeberlé, CEO, ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products said: “We are immensely proud to have worked with our customer Cooper Coated Coil, and their customer Guardini, on the development of XBake, which is the first consumer product to place the XCarb® branding onto the product packaging.  Our XCarb® green steel certificates represent significant CO2 reductions in steel production processes and are an important part of our journey to reducing our CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030 in Europe, and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050”. 

XBake bakeware collection by Guardini. [© Guardini]

For the PFAS-free, non-stick coating, Guardini wanted to offer their customers a solution ahead of the potential PFAS restrictions in the EU and the U.S. Both the European Union and the USA are taking steps to consider a ban of these PFAS chemicals in various consumer applications, including bakeware and cookware. Guardini turned to ILAG – a Swiss-based producer of coatings – to develop a completely new coating.

Bakeware posed some unique challenges notes Florian Pick, Chief Sales Officer for ILAG: “Firstly, we needed to develop a new functional base for the non-stick coating which could withstand the pressing operations used to form the bakeware. Another challenge was getting the coating thickness correct on a high-speed coil coating line. In total it took us three years to develop the new coating.”

Applying and testing the new coating to steel coils was the job of CCC – Guardini’s regular supplier of coated steels - which was a technical challenge. “Guardini needed to be able to press the steel without affecting the coating,” said Kevin Tranter, Managing Director of CCC. “Today CCC is able to consistently produce commercial batches of this material on our high-speed coating lines.”

Today CCC buys the coils from ArcelorMittal with accompanying XCarb® green steel certificates. The coils are then coated with the PFAS-free non-stick coating before they are sold to Guardini. CCC pass the certificates to Guardini with the coil. “This enables us to account for and report a reduction in our Scope 3 emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard,” said Marco Guardini.

In addition to the reduced CO2 emissions and PFAS-free coating, the bakeware packaging is strictly FSC certified, and the production of the baking moulds 100% made in Italy and comes from an Italian and European supply chain.

Want to know more? Please visit the XBake page on the Guardini website.

Guardini was founded in 1947 by Marco Guardini’s grandfather and his brother. The company initially made  a variety of products for the house. In 1970s, Guardini started producing kitchenware before specialising in bakeware. Based in Volpiano, Italy, Guardini marked its first steps into sustainability with the construction of an energy efficient headquarters in 2014. The company employs around 100 people and exports its products within the EU and to markets in north Africa, eastern Europe, and north and south Americas. 

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CCC is a niche coil coating company specialising in the application of non-stick coatings to metal coils. They can paint metal strip with a range of speciality coatings, but specialise in products which use non-stick technology. Based in Wolverhampton (UK), CCC employs around 60 people and works with leading brands around the world. 

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Established in 1955, ILAG has been producing non-stick coatings since the early 1980s. The company researches and develops coatings for consumer and industrial goods as well as domestic cookware. ILAG employs around 130 people at its headquarters in Switzerland and production facilities in China and Malaysia. 

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