Owens Corning Continues ‘Full Steam Ahead,’ Declares Significant Emissions Reductions in 2016

Owens Corning operates a lot of furnaces around the world that use a lot of energy. It is focused on energy reduction and on its greenhouse gas impact. And by the fall of each year, it identifies those projects where it can make such a difference while providing the funds to do so, and begins implementing those projects early in the New Year.

That involves everything from replacing equipment to adding insulation to curbing water use, Doug Pontsler, vice president of sustainability at Owens Corning, told an Environmental Leader conference in Denver earlier this month. Generally, he said the company uses science-based targets and that it has increased its goals from a 20% improvement to a 50% improvement.

To that end, it has purchased two wind farms that produce 250 megawatts and that service 60% of the company’s US electric demand.

Does the company price carbon? It looks at the risk management aspect and the value of pricing carbon — at an internal price of anywhere between $10 and $40 a ton. “It helps us to get square with projects,” says Pontsler. “The transparency is important and then reporting regularly on the progress. “The more transparent we are, the more our investors can make the judgement based on how important it is to them.”

And Owens Corning is committed to reducing its greenhouse gases regardless of whom occupies the White House, Pontsler said.

Owens Corning released its 2016 sustainability report last week. The company announced that it has reduced water use by 37% in 2016 from 2010 levels, exceeding its 2020 goals; the company also decreased particulate matter emissions by 23% from 2010.

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