At the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston, Mass., Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) announced it has increased the certified recycled content in its flagship PINK Fiberglas(TM) insulation to a minimum of 40 percent.
At this level of recycled content, the amount of waste glass diverted from landfills could form a two-lane glass highway that extends 1.3 times around the world(1). The certification, supplied by leading, independent third-party certifier Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), demonstrates a five percent increase over its prior level and maintains the product line's status as the fiberglass insulation with the highest level of certified recycled content in North America.
In addition to the environmental benefits of utilizing post-industrial and post-consumer waste, the use of recycled content in PINK Fiberglas(TM) insulation also helps reduce Owens Corning's energy use and C02 emissions by nearly 13 percent. Manufacturing fiberglass with recycled glass requires significantly less energy.
"Glass takes over a million years to break down and for every piece kept out of a landfill, we not only reduce waste, but put the glass to work as insulation to help increase energy efficiency in the built environment," said Frank O'Brien-Bernini, chief sustainability officer for Owens Corning. "Increasing the recycled content of our products also enables us to reduce the energy intensity of our manufacturing process, which fulfills our company's commitment to greening its products and processes."
As a result of these efforts, Owens Corning is one of the largest users of recycled glass in the world. To continue to help the market find additional sources of recycled glass, Owens Corning is leading initiatives with regional recyclers and processors to invest in technologies that will reduce the amount of glass sent to landfills, either because no local recycling programs exist or due to technical limitations in recycling different types and colors of glass. One such program involves Strategic Materials Inc., a Texas-based processor of scrap glass collected from a diverse range of sources including new curbside recycling programs. Once construction is completed, the glass the company will recycle at plants in Texas and Georgia will keep approximately 12,500 tons of glass per month from going to a landfill, and be reused in products including Owens Corning insulation.
"The leadership demonstrated by companies such as Owens Corning to continually increase the content of recycled material in their products is actually driving the creation of local and regional recycling programs," said Curt Bucey, president of Strategic Materials Inc. "Glass recycling is very effective in reducing the need for natural resources and minimizing landfill waste. It's also key to reducing energy use and decreasing harmful emissions, and should be a part of our nation's energy policy."
SCS approved the certification of PINK Fiberglas(TM) insulation, as well as the company's commercial fiberglass products, after a rigorous four-step process that included a comprehensive audit of the company's claims, including visits to manufacturing facilities to see the process and interview plant personnel. This recognition by SCS assures building professionals using Owens Corning fiberglass insulation of the recycled content in order to help achieve LEED(R) certification and meet other green building guidelines.