Owens Corning is six years into our second set of 10 year environmental footprint goals. We have made significant progress yet we continue to look for opportunities to shrink our environmental footprint through a continuous reduction of resource use and environmental emissions from our operations. Our goals are for the period of 2010 to 2020 and based on what matters most given our specific operations.
In October of 2015, we announced we had met our greenhouse gas and toxic air emissions goals ahead of schedule. At that time we made a decision to increase our 2020 commitments of 50 percent and 75 percent reductions for these environmental impacts respectively, and incorporated science-based greenhouse gas target-setting methodology into our strategy.
We are six years into our 10 year environmental goals and can say we have exceeded our goals in both Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) and Water Consumption.
We focus on six key aspects:
- Owens Corning enabled, through our power purchase agreements, new wind power capacity of 250MW which came online in 2016. This will generate the equivalent electricity of more than 65,000 U.S. homes, with positive impact on primary energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to be reported in 2017
- Achieved a 17% consumed energy intensity reduction and an 18% primary power intensity reduction since 2010.
- Approximately 20% of our electricity was sourced through renewable sources, such as wind, hydro, solar and geothermal across our portfolio globally. For the United States, 11% of our electricity is sourced from renewable sources such as biomass (1%), hydro (4%) and wind (5%), while solar and geothermal make up less than 1%.
- Since 2006, Owens Corning has implemented more than 1,000 energy-use reduction projects in its facilities across the globe, which together have reduced our MwH usage by more than 1,100,000 MwH.
- Owens Corning has once again verified all energy through SCS Global Services. The verification was conducted in compliance with ISO 14064-3 and ISAE3000. Energy information was verified under reasonable assurance.
- Owens Corning enabled, through our power purchase agreements, new wind power capacity of 250MW which came online in 2016. This will generate the equivalent electricity of more than 65,000 U.S. homes, with positive impact on primary energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to be reported in 2017.
- Reported a 35% reduction against our 2020 Greenhouse Gas goal with a base year of 2010.
- Owens Corning received recognition for 2016 CDP Climate Leader’s A List for our disclosure and reporting on our GHG emissions.
- For the fourth year, Owens Corning has verified scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas information through SCS Global Services. The verification was conducted in compliance with ISO 14064-3 and ISAE3000 under reasonable assurance.
- Owens Corning expanded analysis on our Scope 3 Emissions and updated the methodology for purchased goods and services based on our third-party verified LCAs to provide more meaningful and actionable goals.
- In 2016, under limited assurance Owens Corning verified our scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions through SCS Global Services. The verification was conducted in compliance with ISO 14064-3 and ISAE 3000.
- After an internal audit and review we made a decision to make adjustments to prior reporting years for GHG emissions related to our foam production process.
- Achieved a 23% percent reduction in PM2.5 intensity emissions from our 2010 baseline year, surpassing our 2020 goal.
- Achieved a 4% reduction in absolute PM2.5 emissions since 2010.
- The residential EcoTouch® insulation conversion has driven much of the improvement to date. As evidenced with the conversion, the key to achieving further gains will be capturing more synergies between greening our products and greening our operations.
- For more detailed information please view our 2015 GRI G4 Report
- Owens Corning defines Toxic Air Emissions to include the following: hexavalent chromium, formaldehyde, manganese, polycyclic aromatic compounds and ammonia. This shift in focus for air emissions acknowledges our past successes and our concern for pollutants that carry greater air quality concerns.
- In October 2015, Owens Corning announced it established new 2020 sustainability goals to reduce toxic air emissions intensity by 75% from our 2010 baseline.
- Achieved a 52% absolute reduction in Toxic Air Emissions and 61% reduction in Toxic Air Intensity since 2010.
- After an internal audit and review we made a decision to make adjustments to prior reporting years for toxic air emissions directly related to one specific insulation facility.
- Achieved a 5% reduction in waste intensity and have increased our overall diverted tons by 40% since 2010.
- Waste to landfill reduction is our largest challenge. We continue to pursue opportunities to not only find value added opportunities for reuse and recycling of our waste, but also continue to focus on reducing waste generation at the source. Owens Corning is actively researching opportunities to reuse our own waste back into our production processes and working with outside parties on potential recycling efforts. This remains a significant challenge going forward and one that we are focused on achieving. We have developed internal processes to track and manage all waste streams and their ultimate disposition at all our locations globally to ensure we can share best practices and review opportunities to shift waste from the landfill to a diverted outlet.
- We recognize our facilities globally on their level of diversion from the landfill regardless of production volumes. We believe this is an important measure so that we properly recognize facilities where the absolute amount of waste going to landfill has been reduced in addition to our intensity measures. Facilities are recognized at three different levels: Silver at 80% diversion from the landfill; Gold at 98% diversion from the landfill; and Platinum at 100% diversion from the landfill. In 2016, we are proud to say 3 were recognized as Platinum, 5 as Gold, and 23 as Silver.
- We expanded our relationship with Hose2Habitat with approximately 28 global locations actively collecting or donating items for animal enrichment. Additionally, in 2016 Owens Corning awarded Hose2Habitat a $5,000 grant to help further its mission and support.
- We embarked on a two-phased project with WasteHub for our Thermafiber plant in Wabash, Indiana to repurpose waste material, specifically our drag-line shot, which accumulates over 20,000 metric tons per year.
- Our Rio Claro Reinforcements, Brazil facility installed a new shredder which provided the opportunity to recycle their fabrication waste into a sellable product.
- Our Mount Vernon Insulation, Ohio facility implemented a program allowing the location to recycle their process byproducts into usable material.
- Our Taloja Reinforcements, India facility initiated a customer takeback program on paper corners sent in conjunction with pallets during shipping.
- Achieve a 37% decrease in our water intensity and a 10% decrease in absolute water usage from our baseline of 2010.
- This year approximately 3% of our water was recycled across our global locations while we report our recirculated water constitutes 1,727% of our total water use.
- Owens Corning Taloja saw a reduction of the plant’s raw water usage by 130 cubic meters per day from 2015 to 2016 by using ETP final treated water for select internal use. We intend to expand our efforts at this location and reuse up to an additional 100 cubic meters of water per day internally.
- At facilities where it is determined that water intake and discharge are critical we implement additional monitoring and treatment processes best suited fo the specific needs of the given sites.
- Owens Corning continues to perform analysis on water stress using the WBCSD Global Water Tool to understand our risk areas and develop steps for mitigation and management.
- In 2016, under limited assurance water withdrawal, water consumption, and evaporation through SCS Global Services. The verification was conducted in compliance with ISO 14064-3 and ISAE 3000.
To assist in our reduction efforts, Owens Corning implemented an enterprise wide software solution to better manage our environmental sustainability data and ensure our facilities have data to make decisions and are informed of their impact on our goals. The system combines quality assurance and data capture capabilities while allowing a streamlined external audit process. To ensure consistency and standardization, Owens Corning follows World Resource Institute (WRI) Corporate Accounting & Reporting Standard for all our environmental reporting. We report under operational control.
The company's six aspects are shown in the footprint graphic below. The 2010 baseline year is shown as the dark blue outside border of the spider chart, representing 100 percent of each aspect. The pink center footprint indicates the company's 10-year intensity goals. The light blue footprint represents our status at the end of 2016.
|Environmental Footprint||2020 Goal||2010 - 2016 Progress|
|Energy (Primary)||20% intensity reduction||18% intensity reduction|
|***Energy (Consumed)||No intensity goal||17% intensity reduction|
|***Greenhouse Gas GHG||50% intensity reduction||35% intensity reduction|
|Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)||15% intensity reduction||23% intensity reduction|
|Toxic Air Emissions (TAE)||75% intensity reduction||61% intensity reduction|
|Waste to Landfill||70% intensity reduction||5% intensity reduction|
|***Water Consumption||35% intensity reduction||37% intensity reduction|
Actual Environmental Impacts, 2010 and 2016
This table shows the actual values of the monitored parameters in 2010 and 2016.
|Emission or Resource|
(millions of MwH)
(millions of TPY)
(thousands of TPY)
Waste to Landfill
(thousands of TPY)
(millions of m3)
Primary Energy — Total energy required to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity from the power generation source as well as energy sources used onsite such as fossil fuels
Consumed Energy — Energy used onsite such as the electricity consumed on site and fossil fuel usage
GHG — Greenhouse gases, defined as gases which contribute toward the Greenhouse effect, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, HFCs, and HCFCs
PM 2.5 — Particulate matter, defined and reported according to regional government requirements.
TAE— Toxic air emissions include hexavalent chromium, formaldehyde, manganese, polycylic aromatic compounds and ammonia emissions.
Waste-to-Landfill — all types of solid wastes going to landfill for disposal
Water — Water that enters the plant; sources include local utilities and wells
TPY — Metric tons per year
m3 — Cubic Meters
MwH — Megawatt hours
1Intensity is normalized based on product produced.
For more information on our programs and efforts related to our goals view our annual sustainability report.
***Indicates item has been externally verified through SCS Global Services in accordance with the requirements of ISAE 3000 for commercial independence and other ethical requirements of the Internal Standard ISO 14065:2013.
The boundary of all these aspects covers our entire global operations including Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Canada and United States. Internal boundary includes all Owens Corning plants and offices that are owned and leased.