Owens Corning Sustainabilty Report: Toxic Air Emissions Intensity Drops 37%
Such emissions include hexavalent chromium, formaldehyde, manganese, polycylic aromatic compounds and ammonia, the report says. The drop amounts to an absolute reduction of 236 metric tons, or 25 percent, the company says. Owens Corning has a 2020 goal of 50 percent reduction in toxic air emissions intensity over 2010 levels.
According to the sustainability report, from 2010 to 2011 Owens Corning reduced its waste-to-landfill intensity by 22 percent. Its absolute reduction of waste-to-landfill fell 37,000 metric tons year-on-year, from 217,000 to 180 metric tons. The company has a goal of zero waste-to-landfill, but has also set an interim 2020 goal of a 70 percent intensity reduction over 2010 levels.
Owens Corning says it hopes to deliver those results by reducing the generation of waste in production, increasing recycling, and making creative re-use of waste in collaboration with other organizations. Key to success will be the recycling and reuse of glass fiber waste from both composites and insulation, the report says.
The company says it is one of the largest users of recycled glass in the world, using over 1 billion pounds annually of curbside consumer containers and pre-consumer recycled glass. Using such glass lowers community landfill waste and decreases Owens Corning’s energy use when making insulation, as starting with raw materials such as sand uses more energy than reusing existing glass.
In Kansas City, Mo., Owens Corning teamed up with local brewery Boulevard to create RippleGlass – a way for residents and the brewery to recycle their bottles, and for Owens Corning’ nearby Kansas City, Kan., plant to collect them for reuse.
The company also says it is the first roofing company to establish a program for recycling shingles.
Owens Corning reduced the energy intensity of its operations by two percent between 2010 and 2011. The company’s overall energy use increased by almost 7.5 percent over the same time period, from 8.04 to 8.64 million MWh.
Owens Corning has a goal of reducing its energy intensity by 20 percent by 2020 against a 2010 baseline.
The company reduced the greenhouse gas intensity of its operations by eight percent year-on-year, while its absolute greenhouse gas emissions dropped by almost two percent, from 4.97 to 4.8 million metric tons per year.
Owens Corning has a 2020 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas intensity by 20 percent compared to 2010 levels. The company sees improvement in its foam business footprint as “critical” to achieving this goal, along with energy reduction.
Last year the company reduced water use intensity in its operations by five percent. Its absolute water intensity increased two percent from 11.21 to 11.44 million cubic meters. The company attributes the jump to increased production.
From 2010 to 2011 the company reduced its particulate matter emissions intensity by eight percent. Its absolute emissions in this metric increased nine percent – due again to increased production – from 1,950 to 2,130 metric tons per year. Owens Corning has a 2020 goal to reduce its fine particulate matter emissions intensity by 15 percent over 2010 levels.
In November last year, NPR and the Center for Public Integrity reported that one Owens Corning site in Kansas City, Kan., was named on a leaked EPA “Watch List” of potential clean air violators. The plant was one of 464 facilities on the list.
Owens Corning says its 2011 Sustainability Report is consistent with Global Reporting Initiative G3.1 guidelines. The company says it meets the GRI’s “A” application level requirements.
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