Owens Corning Cuts GHG 24%, Sets Out 8 New Goals

by | Jul 22, 2011

Owens Corning cut its greenhouse gas intensity by 24 percent in 2010, according to its 2010 sustainability report, which also sets out the company’s eight-point goals for 2020.

The company reduced its GHG emissions from 5.2 million metric tons in 2009 to 4.5 million metric tons in 2010. It has reduced GHG by 19 percent overall since 2002, on its way to a goal of a 30 percent reduction by 2012.

Last year the company met three of its seven goals for 2012, which are all based on a 2002 baseline. NOx was down 52 percent, beating a 25 percent goal, with a yearly reduction from 3,600 metric tons in 2009 to 3,300 metric tons in 2010. Particulate matter was down 35 percent, compared to a 20 percent goal for 2012, and were steady from the previous year at 2,000 metric tons.

Water use was down 23 percent, compared to a 15 percent, 2012 goal, the report said. But water use was up to 11.5 million cubic meters from 9.7 cubic meters in 2009.

The company says it is on track to meet six of the seven goals by the 2012 deadline. Energy last year was down 19 percent on 2002, compared to a 25 percent goal. The company’s energy consumption rose from 7.5 million to 8.1 million MWh in 2010.

Waste to landfill was down 25 percent compared to a 35 percent goal. Owens Corning’s output of waste to landfill rose from 173,000 to 227,000 metric tons in 2010.

The company said it is not likely to meet its 2012 goal on VOCs. These were down 14 percent from 2002 to 2010, compared to a 25 percent reduction goal for 2012. But the company said that this measure has already begun to benefit from changes in the manufacture of its EcoTouch insulation.

The company has set 2020 goals, which are:

  • Energy – 20% intensity reduction compared to 2010
  • GHG – 20% intensity reduction compared to 2010
  • Toxic Air Emissions – 50% combined intensity reduction compared to 2010 of the following five toxic air emissions, each with equal weighting: hexavalent chromium, formaldehyde, manganese, polycyclic aromatic compounds and ammonia
  • PM – 15% intensity reduction, compared to 2010, of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which is the fraction of particulate matter that has a average diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers, compared to 2010
  • Waste-to-Landfill – Long-term goal of zero waste-to-landfill, with an interim goal of 70% intensity reduction by 2020 compared to 2010
  • Water – 35% intensity reduction compared to 2010

The company has also set goals on product and supplier sustainability:

  • Product Sustainability – By 2015, making transparent the total life cycle assessment of all core products, implement continuous and measurable improvements on environmental impacts, as well as create the pipeline and increase value through sustainability in the innovation process
  • Supplier Sustainability – To put in place an active supply chain sustainability program, including communication, audits and engagement with all top tier suppliers

In 2010, Owens Corning earned placement in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and joined the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative. It was also named to Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list.

The company manufactures a number of projects designed to improve energy efficiency, including fiberglass and foam insulation products; Duration Premium Cool shingles, which meet Energy Star requirements for solar reflectance of .25; and ultrablade fabric products, which help wind turbines to increase energy output and operate effectively at lower wind speeds

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