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 help save energy and improve comfort in commercial and residential buildings. At Owens Corning, expanding our impact through sustainability is a core value. They believe that sustainability is an essential element of business. Ultimately, Owens Corning’s people and products make the world a better place. Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning posted 2016 sales of $5.7 billion and employs about 16,000 people in 26 countries.
Owens Corning, the pioneer of fiberglas™, created a loosefill product and manufacturing process that is efficient and versatile. Owens Corning unbonded loosefill insulation provides industry-leading thermal performance and yield when blown into open attic insulation applications. When blown behind netting via blowing machines, the loosefill fiberglass product naturally close-packs to help prevent air leakage gaps in the building envelope. The product is used in new and existing construction.
Owens Corning’s unbonded loosefill fiberglass insulation is manufactured under three trade names:
- AttiCat® Expanding Blown-In Insulation and its associated blowing machine, which can be used by either the professional remodeler or the DIY customer.
- The ProCat® Blown-in insulation system product line and machine is designed for smaller contractor use and PROPINK®L77 PINK® Fiberglas™ insulation
- PROPINK®L77 PINK® Fiberglas™ unbonded loosefill insulation product is designed for the large scale insulation contractor using truck mounted blowing machines.
The thermal resistance unbonded loosefill insulation provides is specific to the particular application. For an open blow attic application, unbonded loosefill is specified to provide a thermal resistance from R-13 to R-60, and for enclosed cavity applications, unbonded loosefill is specified to provide a thermal resistance from R-13 to R-24 for walls, R-31 to R-48 for floors, and R-28 to R-44 for cathedral ceilings.
In 2016- The products chosen for the Living Product Challenge (LPC) were manufactured in Owens Corning’s Mount Vernon, Ohio, facility. The plant is one of the most state-of-the-art within the company’s portfolio and is virtually waste-free. The product is produced with few ingredients and the flexible, well-trained support staff made the product and facility combination a clear choice for the LPC.
The engagement began with a stakeholder meeting at Owens Corning’s research headquarters in Granville, Ohio, in early 2015. At that time, Owens Corning stakeholders learned about the vision, mission and potential value and traction of the LPC. Near the end of the year, Owens Corning announced at the Living Product Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that it had decided to extend its sustainability commitment and participate in the LPC.
SCALING THE CERTIFICATION
In 2017, the Living Product Challenge Certification was expanded to cover Unbonded Loosefill products made at Owens Corning North American Insulation plants as presented below:
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada established in 1960
- Kansas City, Kansas established in 1946
- Nephi, Utah, and Lakeland, Florida plants which have been part of Owens Corning since acquisition of FiberTEK Insulation LLC and FiberTEK Insulation West LLC in 2011
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada established in 1978
01. RESPONSIBLE PLACE & HABITAT IMPACTS IMPERATIVE
ATTICAT®, PROPINK® L77, PROCAT® INSULATION MANUFACTURING FACILITIES
|Facility Location||Land (Acres)||Building (Sq. ft)||Facts|
|Mount Vernon, Ohio||74||17 (Acres)||The Mount Vernon workforce is well integrated with nature and the surrounding environment. They often spot deer and other wildlife on the premises or as they take an afternoon break in the outdoor picnic area.|
|Kansas City, Kansas||30||600,000||The Kansas City Plant was honored by the Kansas Water Environment Association. The plant was one of six companies to earn anew platinum award recognizing water reduction efforts, a good relationship with the state of Kansas and 100% compliance on environmental reporting for five or more years.|
|Nephi, Utah||35||300,000||The Nephi plant achieved the Award of Excellence in Safety in 2013 and 2014, in addition to the 2014 Sustainable Business Award.|
|Lakeland, Florida||35||250,000||The Lakeland plant is involved in many community activities including the Polk County Chamber of Commerce and the Lakeland Economic Development Council.|
|Toronto, Ontario||50||330,000||The Toronto plant is involved with Habitat for Humanity and United Way.|
|Edmonton, Alberta||30||240,000||The Edmonton plant is involved with United Way.|
There are no areas of ecological sensitivity or historical significance within five miles from any of the mentioned manufacturing facilities.
The product ingredients are mostly inorganic and not derived from endangered species.
Owens Corning is committed to preserving the natural habitats that surround our operations around the world. An annual biodiversity assessment is completed by each plant; we are in the process of developing and supporting company-wide biodiversity goals.
In 2015, Owens Corning began a partnership with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) to standardize our approach to biodiversity throughout the company, develop biodiversity action plans using external expertise and site visits, and work towards third-party WHC certification.
HEALTH & HAPPINESS PETAL
Owens Corning is committed to the principles of environmental sustainability, product stewardship and to the safety and wellbeing of our employees.
For a continuing commitment to these principles, Owens Corning is dedicated to:
SAFETY & HEALTH
- Providing safe working conditions.
- Promoting the health and well-being of our employees.
- Owens Corning was awarded the Green Cross award in 2014 by the National Safety Council for Owens Corning’s safety leadership at all levels of the organization.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION & SUSTAINABILITY
- Conserving resources, preventing waste, reducing greenhouse gases, and protecting the environment and our local communities.
- Continual improvement in our Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) performance and pollution-prevention efforts.
- Providing products that are safe and environmentally sound to make, use, and dispose of; and that perform as claimed.
- Providing useful information on the performance and safe use of our products.
Since 2008, Owens Corning has offered different resources and incentives to motivate employees to reach their health goals. The company has various wellness programs for employees to participate in, and we will expand its efforts with the development of six wellness pillars and corresponding teams to manage them:
- Know Your Numbers
- Healthy Mind
- Physical Activity
- Financial Health
As a part of our wellness programs, Owens Corning encourages outdoor activities and creates spaces at our locations for employee interaction and exercise. Owens Corning is committed to preserving the natural habitats that surround our operations.
05. NET POSITIVE MATERIAL HEALTH IMPERATIVE
Owens Corning is committed to meeting the net positive material health imperative by maintaining a strict standard of safety and a responsibility to its workforce to return home to their families in the same condition as when they arrived at the start of the workday. The company believes that its commitment to safety is unconditional and that all accidents are preventable. As a result of the pervasive safety culture, Owens Corning has had zero recorded fatalities for contractors and employees in over a decade. Furthermore, there have been no recordable injuries at the Mount Vernon facility in the last 12 months. There has been one recordable injury at the Kansas City plant and one recordable injury at the Nephi plant since February 2016. These injuries encouraged the plants to identify more ways to prevent future injuries.
The manufacturing of unbonded loosefill has been purposefully designed to incorporate significant automated features to reduce the opportunity for injury and human error. The facility is state of the art; most of the process is enclosed and the product emerges as a compressed block that is appropriately sized for integration with the fiberglass blowing machines.
This product was assessed for material health through the Cradle to Cradle institute and was certified at the Platinum level which is the highest ranking in the program.
The product is fully optimized, meaning that ingredients and process chemicals are optimal or acceptable for use. This assessment covered 100 percent of the materials at 100ppm and was issued March 2016.
06. HUMAN THRIVING IMPERATIVE
Owens Corning is concerned for nature and environmental impact and has achieved continuous reduction of manufacturing impact starting with a 2002 baseline. Aspects include waste, air emissions, water use, energy, and greenhouse gases. The unbonded loosefill product manufacturing process is virtually waste-free as scrap material is easily reintroduced back into the process. The Mount Vernon plant, which manufactures this product, uses state-of-the-art automated equipment throughout, enabling the minimization of human interactions with the process. The reduced number of touch points help to create an environment for safety and minimize repetitive tasks.
We encourage increased interaction with nature in our employee’s work and personal life. The company has instituted wellness programs and healthy living incentives to promote healthy lifestyle choices for employees. Employees are encouraged to maintain a healthy body weight with programs such as the annual Fat Out competition. Each year, the company coordinates pedometers and scheduled weigh-ins to track employee progress on their fitness goals. Participation in the program has been as high as 30 percent in recent years. Finally, the company’s wellness program has been a vehicle for motivation.
Owens Corning uses third-party organizations to test and certify product attributes and to disclose environmental and human health impacts. These certifications ensure that products meet a certain standard of recycled content, are low emitting after installation and other features that may be of interest to architects, builders, installers and consumers. Our product stewardship process provides products that are safe and environmentally sound to make, use, and dispose of; and that perform as claimed.
Furthermore, Owens Corning’s approach to achieving the Materials Petal Imperatives is highlighted by showcasing the company’s initiatives to cultivate a responsible materials economy. Owens Corning’s unbonded loosefill products are largely created from abundant materials such as sand. Raw materials like sand and high levels of recycled glass content combine to minimize adverse impacts from a material resource perspective.
The commitment to using responsible materials is important to Owens Corning. This product was assessed for material health through the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and was certified at the Platinum level, the highest level possible.
The product development team’s insight is in direct alignment with the Materials Petal Imperatives through the use of human centered design. The product design and manufacturing result in a product that can be used in a variety of applications that meets the insulating needs of attics, walls and other locations. Abnormal geometries are not a problem as the product flows to fill cavity spaces. The intelligent design reduces waste, prevents scrap generation on-site and allows any remaining materials to be used for the next project.
Overall, unbonded loosefill products have socially equitable automated manufacturing and appropriately manage resource depletion through the high level of recycled content. The market-leading product is also a leader in terms of the equitable use of natural resources, materials usage, product design and innovative industrial practices.
07. RED LIST IMPERATIVE
Owens Corning uses third-party organizations to test and certify product attributes and to disclose environmental and human health impacts. There are several transparency paths used for Owens Corning products and many of them are market driven. As consumer demand for product transparency has increased, the company has implemented transparency initiatives to meet the demand. Owens Corning is on the leading edge and readily makes the commitment to expand its transparency offerings where they have value in the marketplace. Unbonded loosefill products are/have:
- Certified GREENGUARD Gold;
- UL Environment™ Sustainable Product Certification;
- Recycled content verified by SCS Global Services;
- Achieved the Platinum level of the Material Health Certification from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute; and
- Approved for the National Green Building Standard and are qualified under the Seal and Insulate with ENERGY STAR® program.
An Environmental Product Declaration has been verified and issued by UL Environment. As a part of pursuing the Living Product Challenge, we have obtained DECLARE labels for unbonded loosefill.
08. LIVING ECONOMY SOURCING IMPERATIVE
Final percent by weight sourced from each zone (list):
- 1000 KM RADIUS 8-32%
- 2000 KM RADIUS 25-79%
- 5000 KM RADIUS 0-14%
|Material||% by Weight||Source Location||Distance (km)||Distance Range|
|Cullet||25-75%||North America||16-1300||2000 km|
|Sand||8-25%||North America||16-400||1000 km|
|Soda Ash||0-10%||North America||560-3200||5000 km|
|Other Oxides||1-2%||North America||360-3200||5000 km|
|Silicates||0-5%||North America||200-320||1000 km|
|Dusting Mineral Oil||<2%||North America||315-1500||2000 km|
|Silanes||<2%||North America||960-1410||2000 km|
|Antistat||<2%||North America||780-2570||5000 km|
|Surfactant||<2%||North America||450-955||1000 km|
09. RESPONSIBLE INDUSTRY IMPERATIVE
Owens Corning’s unbonded loosefill insulation products (AttiCat®, ProCat®, PROPINK® L77) use materials that are in abundant supply and leverage high levels of recycled content. Sand is a major raw material in glass manufacturing and Owens Corning is committed to seek out sources in reasonable proximity to its operations. Purchasing recycled glass prevents material from being sent to landfill while serving as an outlet for glass that is no longer in service. Unbonded loosefill products use a negligible amount of organic inputs and therefore are exempt from the USDA organic certification requirement.
The company is also committed to fair labor practices and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact. The Owens Corning insulation plants are staffed by workers that are local to the community and wages are equitable for the area. We have a Human Rights policy and comply with reporting on Conflict Minerals. Materials used for this product are not derived from vulnerable or endangered sources. Declare Labels have been issued for unbonded loosefill in 2015 and 2016.
DECLARE IDS: OWC-1001, OWC-0004, OWC-0005, OWC-0006, OWC-0007, OWC-0008
11. NET POSITIVE WASTE IMPERATIVE
MOUNT VERNON INSULATION PLANT ONLY
The Mount Vernon plant has a virtually waste-free process for the unbonded loosefill (AttiCat®, ProCat®, PROPINK®L77) insulation product line. The company uses recycled content in the form of purchased cullet in the manufacture of fiberglass products and works to reduce waste from the line by recycling scrap material back in to the process, where feasible.
The facility has been outfitted with portable vacuum nozzles that operators use to clean scrap insulation nodules from the floor and other places where the tufts tend to accumulate. The vacuum system directly sends the nodules back into the process line so they may be incorporated in new product. In addition, plastics, cardboard, metal and other materials are separated and recycled.
Mount Vernon is a company leader in waste diversion efforts and the staff is engaged to reduce and maintain the virtually waste-free process. Other Owens Corning insulation plants, although on the path to achieve the company’s zero waste goal, did not meet the Net Positive Waste Imperative at this time
12. PRODUCT FIT TO USE IMPERATIVE
Owens Corning building insulation products are designed to help save energy through the life of the building, assumed to be approximately 60 years. The products undergo rigorous internal and competitive audits to ensure that we are providing the best product to our customers. Design teams travel throughout the year visiting facilities to quantify the quality of our product and its fitness. Products are evaluated based on critical product performance characteristics, insulating R-value, installation ease and other characteristics.
Product stewardship reviews are required for all new and modified products. These rigorous reviews assure that products are safe to make, use, and dispose of; and that perform as claimed. Information on the performance and safe use of our products is also part of the review process. View the Owens Corning Environmental Health Safety & Product Stewardship Policy
Testing product fitness for use is also important from a research and development standpoint. Products are tested throughout the development process to identify any potential defects early in product design. The test-and-learn strategy is used to allow innovative ideas to emerge with little downside risk. The pervasive testing culture encourages innovation from the lab bench that is manifested on the production line.
Owens Corning’s materials are broadly available to the market through a variety of channels, both direct and through other distribution channels, lumber yards and also home centers across the United States.
Owens Corning prices its products in a fair and lawful manner and we believe the prices for our products are in line with prevailing market prices in the regions where such products are sold.
14. EQUITABLE PRODUCT ACCESS IMPERATIVE
Owens Corning’s materials are broadly available to the market through a variety of channels, both direct and through
other distribution channels, lumber yards and also home centers across the United States. Owens Corning prices its products in a fair and lawful manner and we believe the prices for our products are in line with prevailing market prices in the regions where such products are sold.
15. RESPONSIBLE CO-PRODUCTS IMPERATIVE
Owens Corning and its three subsidiary businesses of Insulation, Roofing and Composites do not directly engage in any of the following activities:
- Make weapons or armaments of any kind;
- Produce tobacco products, pornography, violent video games, or illicit drugs;
- Engage in fossil fuel extraction;
- Engage in nuclear energy production or nuclear weapons manufacturing;
- Engage in or facilitate prostitution, payday lending, gambling or the patenting of life; or
- Charge interest rates significant in excess of market peers for comparable offerings.
Owens Corning demonstrates consistent responsibility across its entire operations footprint.
19. BEAUTY + SPIRIT IMPERATIVE
Insulation products have the potential to influence an individual’s relationship to the natural world through their design. Owens Corning’s unbonded loosefill insulation products are artfully designed and pleasing to use. Unbonded loosefill fiberglass insulation is an innovative solution to compete with a variety of materials for insulating walls, ceilings and under roof decks. It is blown in attics to the desired thickness and R–value, and behind netting, for wall cavity insulation. Its ability to flow around obstacles (wiring or pipes) provides for ease of completely filling the cavity without leaving gaps or voids. Owens Corning also provides quality control in the form of a gauge that measures density and R–value non–destructively assuring meeting intended insulation power and without over blowing the material.
The AttiCat® and ProCat® insulation technologies allowed Owens Corning to expand its product offerings with a system designed for the user. Attention to detail is evident in the compression–packing of the insulation into blocks. The block geometry increases transportation efficiency and the ease of use with the blowing machine. The AttiCat® and ProCat® machines and their associated loosefill products are beautifully designed to work together. The matching dimensions of the insulation package inserts into the machine opening. The hose diameter, size of the insulation block and speed of blowing were each fine–tuned and optimized for customer ease of use. The beauty of the product is evident in its leveraging of minute details to the benefit of the DIY homeowner and remodeling contractor. By keeping the end user in mind, Owens Corning exemplified how innovative, human centered design can bring beauty to building materials.
20. EDUCATION + INSPIRATION IMPERATIVE
SUMMARY OF PROCESS AND BENEFIT OF PURSUING LIVING PRODUCT CHALLENGE
Owens Corning’s participation in the Living Product Challenge has been enlightening and empowering. The iterative process allowed us to feel a sense of ownership. We were able to effectively tailor the program in order for the stringent requirements to be applicable to the supply chain and standards within the insulation industry. The company is proud to pilot the program as it exemplifies our commitment to be on the leading edge of sustainability and forward thinking. We are honored and excited to show the sustainable aspects of our products and how they can contribute to a sustainably built infrastructure.
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