Saint-Gobain North America, through its subsidiary Saint-Gobain Life Sciences, has enhanced operational practices and upgraded key equipment at its facility in Akron, Ohio, saving over 10,000,000 gallons of water over the past two years, 500 MWh of energy, and reducing landfill waste by 24%. In addition, the decrease in energy usage has led to a 17% reduction in the facility’s Scope 2 emissions compared to 2021.
The project, which was included as a finalist for Saint-Gobain’s top overall sustainability project for 2023, is part of the company’s continued efforts to implement its global Grow and Impact strategy, which includes ambitious environmental sustainability goals, such as reducing the company’s consumption of energy and water and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
By taking a World Class Manufacturing approach to sustainability, the Akron plant, which began operations in 1991, was able to take a series of small steps that made a large impact on its environmental footprint. These steps included the installation of a smart water metering system to evaluate water usage, an analysis of landfill streams which led the facility to bring on a higher capacity recycling vendor, and an education program for employees about the plant’s recycling efforts. Water usage continues to be a focus in Akron this year, and the facility has already reduced consumption by 27% over its 2022 reduction.
“As we work to continuously provide high performance solutions and products that create a better life, it is vital that we consider all ways to reduce the environmental impact of our operations,” said Sung Yu, CEO of Saint-Gobain Life Sciences. “I applaud the efforts of our Akron facility on this project, which proves that small changes brought together can have a great impact. This is a true embodiment of our Purpose- “To Make the World a Better Home.’”
This project follows several other recent actions taken by the company to solidify its commitment towards sustainability:
- In September, Saint-Gobain announced that it signed a 15-year, 100 MW power purchase agreement with TotalEnergies for the purchase of solar power, expected to offset Saint-Gobain North America’s CO2 emissions from electricity by 90,000 metric tons per year.
- In August, Saint-Gobain announced a circular economy initiative in its Ceramics business, where scrap finished goods from its Bryan, Texas facility are sent to other Saint-Gobain Ceramics plants to be reused in production, instead of ending in landfills.
- In July, the company announced upgrades at its CertainTeed Insulation plant in Athens, GA, which is projected to save over 7,300 MWh of energy and 20 million gallons of water annually, while reducing landfill waste by over 5,000 MT.
- Also in July, Saint-Gobain announced the opening of a new CertainTeed Architectural facility in Conyers, GA, which will be co-located with finishing partner QPC, allowing the company to drastically reduce the distance products must travel to finalize production, reducing carbon emissions by over 50 million pounds per year.
- In June, Saint-Gobain announced that it had been awarded a 2023 SEAL Business Sustainability Award for its work to create the first “net zero-carbon” gypsum wallboard facility for scope 1 and 2 emissions in North America at its plant outside Montreal, Quebec.
- In May, CertainTeed Siding announced the completion of a submetering system at its Jackson, Michigan Siding facility, saving more than 9 million gallons of water per year.
- In April, CertainTeed Canada surpassed one million tonnes of gypsum recycled and returned to production at its Vancouver plant.
- In February, Saint-Gobain, through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed Roofing, acquired the rights to technology from recycling partner Asphaltica that will allow the company to recycle asphalt shingle waste, diverting it from landfill and furthering the company’s commitment to creating a circular economy in its production of roofing shingles.
With over 145 manufacturing locations in the United States and Canada, every current and future member of the company’s team plays a vital role in achieving its sustainability goals. A current list of job openings at all Saint-Gobain locations, including in Akron, can be found on the company’s career website.
About Saint-Gobain Life Sciences
Saint-Gobain Life Sciences designs and manufactures high-performance components and innovative solutions across a wide range of industries, including biopharmaceuticals, medical, electronics, food and beverage, and more. Supported by deep material expertise and a global manufacturing footprint, our focus on quality and compliance makes us a trusted partner for consistent, reliable, and sustainable solutions.
Worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. Its integrated solutions for the renovation of public and private buildings, light construction and the decarbonization of construction and industry are developed through a continuous innovation process and provide sustainability and performance. The Group’s commitment is guided by its purpose, “MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME”.
€51.2 billion in sales in 2022
168,000 employees, located in 75 countries
Committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050
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Saint-Gobain Corporate Communications