Saint-Gobain has announced the winners of its sustainability awards program, which recognizes company locations across North America for their sustainability efforts. The winning sites were recognized at a companywide sustainability conference.
“Saint-Gobain’s commitment to sustainability compels us to consider the environmental impact of our business at every stage, from product design to product disposal at the end of life,” says John Crowe, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corp. “As a company, we realize it is the aggregate of efforts made by our approximately 14,000 employees that will allow us to reach our targets for waste, water, energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction, and we believe recognizing sites for their programs will advance achievement across our portfolio.”
The program, referred to as the Waste, Water and Energy Program was established in 2016 by the Saint-Gobain Environmental, Health and Safety Department. The program is designed to highlight practical and effective solutions for increasing the sustainability of sites.
“Many of the champions were selected based on their commitment to improvement and the systems they put in place to achieve it, not simply one-time projects,” says Lauren Alterman, vice president-environmental, health and safety of Saint-Gobain Corp. “Our plants take sustainability measures every day, and it’s exciting to be able to review all the efforts collectively and celebrate the biggest achievements with such a fun competition.”
The Saint-Gobain Environmental, Health and Safety Department recognized the following 2016 champions:
- Waste Champion: Saint-Gobain Crystals Hiram/Newbury, Ohio, is the recipient of the Waste Belt for its development of a comprehensive program designed to reduce hazardous waste. The site achieved a 46 percent reduction in the identified waste stream through programmatic and technological advancements by working with a coalition of third-party waste handlers, process quality engineers, Saint-Gobain Environmental, Health and Safety Department personnel and within its manufacturing program.
- Water Champion: Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials Wheatfield, N.Y., is the recipient of the Water Belt for its water reduction program. The program began with a cooling water system opportunity and expanded from there by pursuing water reduction strategies in a number of areas around the plant. The focus went beyond a single project and instead evaluated how the site uses water as a system, allowing the site to achieve a reduction of 10.1 million gallons of water used per year through various project efforts.
- Energy Champion: SageGlass Faribault, Minn., is the recipient of the Energy Belt for its comprehensive energy reduction strategy. The site evaluated all of its energy-using systems, from lighting to HVAC to process, and designed programs, capital projects and educational tools to reduce energy intensity by 54 percent year over year.
- CO2 Champion: CertainTeed Roofing Oxford, N.C., is the recipient of the CO2 Belt for its reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product made. Using ISO systems 14001 and 26000 (Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility) to design a system focused on energy and carbon reduction, the Oxford, N.C., roofing plant was able to achieve results. These management systems guided its energy team to focus on the large users of energy and creators of carbon, which ultimately resulted in projects addressing fume burner improvements, more efficient process heating and the elimination of No. 2 fuel oil from usage.
- Overall Champion: CertainTeed Roofing Ennis, Texas, is the recipient of the Overall Champion Belt for being a finalist in all four sustainability categories due to a broad and extensive focus on its impacts inside and outside of its plant. For water, waste, energy and CO2 emissions, the team undertook a multitude of projects including: an LED retrofit; a program to recycle used wood pallets; and a system that resulted in the reuse of 50 percent of process cooling water.
“This program is unique because it encourages some fun internal competition in a way not seen before in the industry,” says Ryan Spies, manager-process sustainability & energy of Saint-Gobain Corp. “There’s nothing quite like a plant manager holding up a 20-pound, custom-designed, bejeweled belt for all his or her plant to see and then having to defend that belt next year.”