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Owens Corning Sustainabilty Report: Toxic Air Emissions Intensity Drops 37%

Fiberglass products manufacturer Owens Corning reduced its toxic air emissions intensity by 37 percent last year, according to the company’s 2011 corporate sustainability report.

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.

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One thought on “Owens Corning Sustainabilty Report: Toxic Air Emissions Intensity Drops 37%

  1. Great to hear. More companies need to pursuit this. Our company has worked hard to ensure that the manufacturing process has no emissions.

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