CertainTeed hits environmental milestones

Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed said it has achieved significant milestones in reducing the environmental impact at its 60-plus manufacturing facilities in North America.

Specifically, CertainTeed has reduced energy consumption by 15% and water usage by 24% over the past four years. In addition, it has decreased the amount of waste going to landfills from its facilities by 33%.

“Through our collective efforts, we have established a strong culture of respect for the environment that will continue to help preserve and protect the communities in which we live and work," said Chris Altmansberger, VP of operations support and process sustainability.

During 2010 and 2011, approximately 6,000 CertainTeed employees received various types of sustainability training, which has helped drive energy, water and waste reductions.  Additionally, more than 30 plants have achieved ISO 14001 certification, which helps drive continuous improvement in regard to environmental performance.

One of CertainTeed’s operational excellence initiatives is to involve employees in waste reduction teams, which use the Kaizen approach of continuous improvement. This has been instrumental in finding new ideas for recycling and reducing waste that would otherwise be landfilled, according to the company.

By embracing new lighting technology, such as T5 fluorescent lamps, the Calgary, Alberta; Buffalo, New York; and Seattle plants have increased their energy efficiency. Process reconfigurations at the Lodi, Calif.; McPherson, Kan.; and Norwood, Mass.; plants eliminated the need for pumping equipment and compressors, resulting in a more than 1.3 million kilowatt hour energy reduction annually. 

CertainTeed also pointed to progress in the recycling of cardboard, pallets and packaging. In addition, new solutions continue to be successful in creating closed loop water reuse systems, which has been very beneficial in reducing fresh water utilization and water treatment requirements.