CEO and CSO Letter
It’s a pleasure to present our 2017 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.
Owens Corning had another great year with revenue growth of 12% and record operating cash flow. We’ve built a company with three market-leading businesses, all delivering strong financial results. These results have been achieved using our decision framework for managing our company as a sustainable enterprise, a continued focus for us into the future.
First, a few words about this framework since it guides management’s evaluation of our businesses, performance criteria, resource allocation, and other strategic choices focused on both short- and long-term time horizons. The pillars of our sustainable enterprise are: financial strength, high-performance people, customer-inspired innovation, operational excellence, and world-class sustainability.
We developed and implemented this framework because we know that managing the company as a sustainable enterprise helps us better serve and communicate with key stakeholders, including customers, investors, employees, and the communities in which Owens Corning operates.
The work described in this report reflects the way that this sustainable enterprise framework is now embedded throughout the organization. It is the foundation of the company’s strategy of building market-leading businesses, global in scope — human in scale, and reflects the company’s purpose: our people and products make the world a better place.
With that aspiration and a firm belief that business must play a leadership role in achieving the priorities established in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we are challenging ourselves to make greater progress, faster. For example, while experiencing uncertainty in global climate policy in 2017, we sustained our resolve to make progress against our committed 2020 sustainability goals aligned with Climate Action. We are proud to report our accelerated progress in greenhouse gas reduction.
Owens Corning has recently completed three acquisitions, broadening our product portfolio and diversifying our geographic scope to better address our customers’ needs and support their growth. One critical question we ask ourselves, whenever we consider a new acquisition, is, “Will this business be better with us as its owner?” In 2017, it was rewarding to see this play out in the improved sustainability performance of our most recent acquisitions. For example, our newly acquired facilities are now significantly safer because Owens Corning’s safety expectations and practices were rapidly integrated. This is one way we are expanding our impact through sustainability, in a very positive way as we continue to grow our company.
We invite you to review the highlights of our 2017 progress here, and we encourage you to explore our 2017 Sustainability Report and sustainability website for further details.
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.