CEO and CSO Letter
At Owens Corning, expanding our impact through sustainability is a core value and an essential element of our business. Our commitment to sustainability begins with the recognition that the foundation of a sustainable enterprise is built on financial strength, environmental stewardship, great and relevant products, innovative thinking and sustainable talent. We recognize that it is not merely sufficient to reduce our footprint on the planet, but must also expand our handprint through our strategies and actions.
In 2015 we continued the steady progress of reducing our footprint and expanding our handprint. Having met our 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal early, we significantly increased our goal using science-based target setting methodology. While much progress was made in 2015, our journey does not end and we continue to pursue initiatives that will help us advance our strategy and expand our positive impact around the globe.
Our focus in the coming years will be to:
- Scale our impact in energy efficiency collaboration in residential and commercial buildings;
- Advance our global renewable energy strategies;
- Focus on further reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through primary energy use reduction and substitutions in our foam blowing agents;
- Reduce our manufacturing waste generation and develop larger scale recycling options for glass fiber waste in our operations;
- Engage our employees and customers in responding to the needs of communities throughout the globe where we operate;
- Accelerate our wellness progress around the world;
- Continue our progress toward zero injuries; and
- Increase our net-positive impact by growing our global company.
We invite you to review the highlights of our progress this past year against our strategic pillars, and then further explore our web-based 2015 Sustainability Report to learn of our progress and track our performance against our goals.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Sustainability Officer
- Met our 2020 greenhouse gas and toxic air emissions goals ahead of schedule. We announced increased 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.
- Completed purchase agreements for 250 megawatts of wind energy, the largest of any industrial company in the world at the time. This will generate the equivalent electricity for more than 65,000 U.S. homes.
- Installed a 2.4 megawatt photovoltaic canopy over the entire employee parking lot at the headquarters, in Toledo, Ohio. The largest system of its kind in the Midwest United States.
- Completed an agreement that will enable our newest plant, in Gastonia, North Carolina, to meet its zero waste to landfill goal.
Product and Supply Chain Sustainability
- Met our 2015 product transparency goal by completing Life Cycle Assessments and/or Environmental Product Declarations on all core products, and produced industry-first Cradle to Cradle Material Health Certifications, now recognized in the LEED green building standards.
- Completed the largest capital investment project in its history with the construction of the nonwovens plant in Gastonia, North Carolina. The plant will produce an exclusive innovative portfolio of formaldehyde free products, like the biobased Sustaina® line, for various building product applications.
- Facilitated the recycling of 2.5 billion pounds of end-of-life shingles through our networks, a 4 percent year-over-year increase, and 1.4 billion pounds of glass into our Insulation products, a 7 percent year-over-year increase. We have continued our progress in growing shingle recycling, and continue to work with others on business and technical innovations that will further advance this important recycling stream.
- Established a code of conduct for our key suppliers with an expectation that they have a strategy to improve their environmental performance.
Energy Efficiency and Durable Material Solutions at Scale
- Used our building science expertise, in collaboration with builders across North America, to routinely build cost-effective, market-leading energy efficient homes using our new high performance insulation and air sealing innovations. Our building science team was instrumental in the design, construction and marketing of the most energy efficient The New American Home ever built for an International Builders Show.
- Our growing product and systems portfolio, coupled with our world class building science capabilities, have positioned OC as a trusted resource for Architecture, Engineering and Construction professionals who specialize in building enclosure design and construction. Our collaboration focus is on maximizing energy efficiency and comfort while overcoming design, code, durability and liability challenges.
Safety, Health, Employee Engagement and Community Vitality
- Reduced employee recordable incidents by 7 percent year-over-year and operate at a very high level of safety performance. We have fully integrated global wellness and sustainability into our safety and health strategies across the globe.
- Expanded our global efforts assisting families in need by providing clean drinking water systems in India and completing our first Habitat for Humanity builds in China.
- Provided substantial volunteers, products and financial support to assist more than 1,600 families obtains safe, affordable, energy-efficient housing to needy families through Habitat for Humanity and Make it Right organizations.
- Earned placement, for the sixth consecutive year, in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) in recognition of our sustainability initiatives, and for the third straight year, were named the Industry Leader for the DJSI World Building Products group.
- Aligned our Human Rights Policy with our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact. Our policy meets the requirements of both the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act of 2010 and the U.K. Modern Slavery Act of 2015. It is informed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Ten Guiding Principles and the recently released Sustainable Development Goals.
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 2015 sales of $5.4 billion and employs about 16,000 people in 25 countries. It has been a Fortune 500® company for 62 consecutive years.
Founded in 1938, Owens Corning has close to a hundred operations spread across North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Owens Corning manufactures insulation, roofing, and composite products. Owens Corning has negligible outsourcing of manufacturing processes and is immaterial to our business.
Owens Corning is a world-leading producer of glass-fiber reinforcement materials for composites. More than 75 years ago, Owens Corning discovered commercially viable processes for making glass fibers. A composite is an engineered material system that combines reinforcement fibers, such as glass, with another material, like thermoplastic resins or gypsum. The result is a high-performance material that is more durable, energy-efficient, and lightweight than traditional materials such as steel, wood, or concrete.
Today, composite materials are found in more than 40,000 end-use applications. Owens Corning serves a diverse range of customers in the building and construction, transportation, wind energy, consumer, and industrial markets across the globe. Owens Corning composite products deliver productivity and performance benefits, including enhanced durability, design flexibility, light-weighting (reduced fuel consumption and emissions), corrosion resistance, and more. Customers are further supported by more than 200 researchers in five R&D centers on three continents.
Owens Corning delivers high-performance residential and commercial building and industrial insulation solutions through a full line of fiberglass, foam, and mineral wool products and systems. These products and system solutions help conserve energy, improve acoustics, and ease installation and use. These qualities add up to preferred insulation products for residential and commercial construction and industrial applications.
Owens Corning applies the principles of building science to develop safe, sustainable, durable, efficient, and affordable solutions that address thermal, air, and moisture performance for the entire building envelope. These solutions range from high-performance conditioned and ventilated attic systems to performance-engineered duct systems and wall systems designed for different climate zones. Owens Corning is committed to helping builders meet and exceed codes, providing comfort and energy efficiency to building occupants, and offering safe, trusted insulation systems to installers.
With its roofing systems, Owens Corning serves the new construction and residential repair and remodeling markets. The roof can have a major impact on the overall design, performance, and perceived value of a home. Owens Corning offers a style and color – from its array of specialty, architectural, and traditional laminate and three-tab shingles – for every home. Beyond aesthetics, shingles are highly engineered products that include granules for UV protection; asphalt for weather and moisture resistance; a Fiberglas™ mat for strength, durability and fire resistance; and advanced sealants for water and wind barriers.
The Owens Corning® Total Protection Roofing System® consists of all the components that strengthen the roof’s performance and durability – shingles, underlayment and ventilation products, and sealants.
Owens Corning is committed to balancing economic growth with social progress and environmental stewardship. The company strives to be net positive by reducing its environmental footprint while growing its handprint – or positive impact – through, for instance, employee volunteerism. In 2015, Owens Corning completed supply contracts that represent the world’s largest wind power agreements reported by an industrial company, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute.
In 2015, for the sixth year in a row, Owens Corning also earned placement in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. This is an elite listing of companies based on long-term economic, environmental, and social criteria. For the third straight year, Owens Corning was named an industry leader for the DJSI World Building Products Group. The company also earned a gold class rating.
Embracing diversity creates an environment where employees feel welcome, respected, and valued for their contributions. Owens Corning received a perfect score on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Affinity groups at Owens Corning advance its commitment to inclusiveness – African American Resource Group, Connections, GLBTA (Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Advocates), Multicultural Network, and Women's Information Network.
Owens Corning’s commitment to safety is unconditional. Since 2001, the company has dramatically reduced injuries in its facilities globally. In 2015, Owens Corning had 85% fewer injuries than the average manufacturer based on U.S. Department of Labor data. Owens Corning has received the highest honor of the National Safety Council (NSC), the Green Cross for Safety medal. NSC presents the award annually to an organization with outstanding safety performance and a commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities where its employees work and live.
Owens Corning was ranked on Aon Hewitt's Top Companies for Leaders® – North America list. The company also ranked 11th on the 2016 Best Companies for Leaders list from Chief Executive magazine.