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Owens Corning Sinks Water Use, Emissions in 2016

Owens Corning has reduced water use by 37% in 2016 from 2010 levels, exceeding its 2020 goals; the company also decreased particulate matter emissions by 23% from 2010, according to its just-released 2016 sustainability report.

For a company of Owens Corning’s size – Owens Corning does about $6 billion in sales and has about 16,000 employees in 26 countries – managing and tracking its sustainability efforts is a significant challenge. With that in mind, when the company set its 2020 goals several years ago, it implemented an enterprise-wide software solution with a two-pronged approach: to ensure that its facilities have the data needed to make decisions on sustainability approaches, and that managers are informed of the impact on those decisions on the company’s overall goals. The system combines quality assurance and data capture capabilities with an external audit process.

The company also made a 250-megawatt purchase of two windfarms, which services about 60% of its US electric demand. Doug Pontsler, Owen Corning’s VP of operations sustainability and EHS, told an audience at the recent Environmental Leader Conference 2017 that the company has been focused on energy reduction since long before sustainability was a mainstream topic.

Pontsler says the company plans to continue to pursue greenhouse gas reductions “regardless of who is in the White House.”

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