CEO and CSO Letter
It’s a pleasure to present our 2018 Sustainability Report and share the progress Owens Corning has made against our 2020 sustainability goals, as well as our commitment to making the world a better place.
The theme for this year’s report, Difference Driven, reflects our sustainability commitments as well as our aspirations. Owens Corning is a materially different company than it was in 2002, when we established our first set of long-range sustainability goals. Expanding our impact through safety, wellness, and sustainability remains a strategic priority — one that reflects our belief that we succeed as a company when we live our core values. That means we must consider the future in all we do, with a commitment to care for people and the planet while delivering a material difference to all stakeholders.
Safety remains our top priority. As 2019 unfolds, there is an increasing focus in all Owens Corning facilities on identifying hazards and eliminating risks that can lead to serious injuries, going beyond the traditional emphasis on reducing recordable injuries. This additional assessment is key to our continued march to zero injuries.
We believe that health and wellness contribute to employee engagement and quality of life, which is why we continually seek ways to help our employees and their families embrace healthy living. For instance, our new U.S. opioid policy limits the initial prescription to a three-day supply for U.S. employees and dependents on Owens Corning health plans. This facilitates more constructive discussions between patients and doctors, and the policy has reduced the number of opioid pills dispensed by 40% in the first year, ultimately reducing the risk of addiction.
This report includes stories like these and highlights the progress we’ve made against our 2020 sustainability goals. It also offers a candid look at the work that’s still needed as we begin formulating our next set of long-term goals. We have met or are making steady progress toward five of our six 2020 footprint reduction goals. However, the sixth goal, reducing our waste-to-landfill, is an ongoing challenge and priority, and in this report we share some of what we’ve learned along the way. Those lessons are the basis of our determination to keep striving to reduce waste in the company’s own processes and within the industry.
Our next set of long-term goals, with a target date of 2030, will be based on science and informed by where the world needs us to be, as a leader in addressing the most critical issues, local and global. We aspire to be a net-positive company, where the positive impacts of our people and products far outweigh the negative impacts. We’re engaging a wide range of stakeholders in the process of identifying the right aspirations and setting ambitious and measurable goals. All Owens Corning employees share the goal to ensure this is a company whose actions make a positive difference to the world and inspire our many stakeholders to be part of our journey.
Through this report and our website, we are proud to report our progress and reflect on our opportunities as a sustainable enterprise. Built on the pillars of financial strength, high-performance people, customer-inspired innovation, operational excellence, and world-class sustainability, Owens Corning has a long history that we believe is the foundation for a successful future. We are managing our company for the long term, knowing that we can make a difference that matters.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Sustainability Officer
- Sustained progress against our 2020 environmental footprint reduction goals. From our 2010 baseline year, we have now exceeded our goals for primary energy (-26%), water (-41%), and fine particulate (-25%). We are on track to meet our goals for greenhouse gas (-48% to date) and toxic air emissions (-61% to date). However, we continue to be challenged by our waste-to-landfill goal (-4% to date).
- Purchased over 1.1 million megawatt hours of renewable energy, in the first full year of operation of the new wind capacity enabled by our power purchase agreements – positively impacting our goals for primary energy, greenhouse gas, and product sustainability.
Product And Supply Chain Sustainability
- Manufactured the world’s first products certified as made with 100% wind-powered electricity and reduced embodied carbon: EcoTouch® insulation, Thermafiber® RainBarrier® continuous insulation, and unbonded loosefill insulation.
- Introduced the first formaldehyde-free mineral wool insulation in North America, Formaldehyde-free Thermafiber® SAFB™ (Sound Attenuation Fire Blankets).
- Earned the world’s first and only asthma & allergy friendly® certification for insulation products — Pure Safety™ high performance insulation.
- Earned the first insulation SAFETY Act Designation through the Department of Homeland Security for several Thermafiber® fire barrier solutions — qualified as anti-terrorism technologies, providing a safety and liability benefit to our customers, building owners, architects, and contractors.
- Acquired Pittsburgh Corning, the leading producer of FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation systems, expanding our portfolio with this high-performance insulation offering unique sustainability attributes, water and fire resistance, high compressive strength, and durable thermal performance.
- Achieved our highest ever recycled glass use and recycled glass content in our insulation products, recycling over 1.4 billion pounds.
Energy Efficiency And Durable Material Solutions At Scale
- Hosted our second Builder Summit, taught by internal and external world-class experts and attended by 20 select builders, focused on expanding skills and capabilities to improve the builders’ businesses through building highly energy-efficient, durable, and comfortable homes.
- Produced a simple video, detailing how products can be certified as made with 100% wind-powered electricity and reduced embodied carbon, to help others adopt this market-pull climate strategy.
- Acquired Aslan FRP™, producer of composite rebar used to reinforce concrete in new and restorative infrastructure. This acquisition will help us accelerate market transformation by providing a compelling alternative to steel reinforcements in concrete structures. Sustainability advantages include corrosion resistance, lighter weight, and service life of 100 years.
Safety, Health, Employee Engagement, And Community Vitality
- Advanced our goal of creating an injury-free workplace. Our recordable incident rate for the year was 0.50, a slight improvement over 2016. This is particularly meaningful given the integration of the FOAMGLAS® business, where we moved rapidly to implement more rigorous safety standards to keep our new employees safe. In 2017, there were two work-related fatalities at company manufacturing locations — the first in over a decade. Lessons learned are being used to develop and implement actions to eliminate all injuries.
- Expanded our Healthy Living wellness initiative for all global employees and their families, operationalizing the opportunity for safer, healthier, and more productive lives.
- Increased employee engagement in our annual survey to 87%, up from 44% in 2012. We believe participation is being driven by transparency in communication of results and responsive management actions.
- Engaged in company-sponsored volunteerism, local product donation, or financial support and fundraising for local charities at 82% of our facilities.
- Completed 28 home builds or renovations in the United States, Canada, and China in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and through employee volunteerism.
- Provided volunteer and financial support for an orphanage in Mexico City, benefiting 55 girls ages 3 to 13. Funding addressed immediate needs of the orphanage building and covered the cost of a pediatrician, psychologist, and nutritionist.
Going Forward, Our Priorities Include:
- Living Safely – achieve zero injuries, at work and at home, in concert with rapid safety onboarding of new employees through acquisitions and new facilities built to support organic growth.
- Healthy Living – realize the opportunity for safe, healthy, and productive lives for our employees and their families, free of lifestyle-induced disease.
- Community Vitality – attain 100% formal community engagement, partnering within our local communities to advance their priorities.
- Operations Sustainability – establish and align on our 2030 sustainability goals – informed by science. Eliminate waste to landfill through source reduction, repurposing, and recycling, with an R&D focus on glass fiber.
- Product Sustainability – expand partnerships with market influencers to elevate the demand for increasingly sustainable products, generating pull for further, faster, and greater progress (e.g., wind-made, reduced embodied carbon products).
- Supply Chain Sustainability – elevate the expectations we place on our highest-impact suppliers to better understand, track, and more rapidly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the raw materials we purchase.
- Innovation and Collaboration – increase our positive impact by growing our company faster than our markets with products that make the world a better place.
Global in Scope and Human in Scale
Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) develops, manufactures, and markets insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites. Global in scope and human in scale, the company’s market-leading businesses use their deep expertise in materials, manufacturing and building science to develop products and systems that save energy and improve comfort in commercial and residential buildings. Through its glass reinforcements business, the company makes thousands of products lighter, stronger and more durable. Ultimately, Owens Corning people and products make the world a better place. Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning posted 2017 sales of $6.4 billion and employs 19,000 people in 37 countries. It has been a Fortune 500® company for 63 consecutive years.