Saint-Gobain North America, through its building products subsidiary business unit CertainTeed Gypsum, in collaboration with three New York partner companies, has launched a circular economy initiative. The company has begun reclaiming waste gypsum wallboard at its Buchanan, New York facility and reusing the waste as feedstock for new product.
The ambitious closed-loop project, hosted at the only gypsum wallboard manufacturing site in the state of New York, comes as Saint-Gobain continues to roll out its new global Grow and Impact strategy, which includes reducing waste and increasing the circularity of raw materials in its production processes, allowing Saint-Gobain to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2050.
The initiative was launched in collaboration with Cooper Recycling and Structure Tone and facilitated by Lendlease. The gypsum waste was separated and collected at the Structure Tone construction site, processed at the Cooper Recycling facility, and then reclaimed at the Buchanan plant creating new drywall, thereby eliminating 20 tons of gypsum waste going to landfill.
“For us to achieve our sustainability goals, we must change the way we think. By partnering with organizations in the community like Cooper Recycling and Structure Tone we can get there faster,” said Jay Bachmann, Vice President and General Manager for CertainTeed Interior Products Group. “As the only gypsum manufacturing plant in New York, our colleagues in Buchanan were able to create a true circular economy. From the creation of drywall products, to construction, to processing scraps and back into drywall production, the material is continuously used and never leaves the state. This leads to maximizing our company’s positive impact while working to minimize our environmental footprint. Our Buchanan plant has increased our capacity to reuse recycled material and we look forward to growing this successful pilot into a long-term program while working with builders and recyclers across the state. Partnering with CertainTeed, New York builders have the opportunity to not only reduce waste at their job sites but also gain LEED points on their projects.”
Amanda Kaminsky, Lendlease, Director of Sustainable Construction, commented:
“Lendlease is working toward our Absolute Zero Carbon by 2040 target in part by reducing scope 3 embodied carbon supply chain emissions. Diverting our job site-generated clean drywall trim scrap into regional reuse and purchasing new drywall with higher post-consumer recycled content aids in reducing embodied carbon emissions and increasing resource circularity. We were happy to introduce Saint-Gobain to local recycling infrastructure to facilitate reclaiming more of New York City's scrap gypsum resources.”
Ryan Hughes, Sustainability Manager at Structure Tone, commented:
“As a premiere interior and renovation construction company, we're taking a proactive approach to manage the wallboard trim scrap material on our jobsites. CertainTeed is allowing us to establish a pathway to close the loop on the drywall recycling process and working together on this sustainability effort enables us all to do our part in reducing the environmental impact associated with construction waste.”
William Cooper, Director of Business Development, Cooper Recycling, commented:
“This holistic approach between stakeholders in the construction and recycling and manufacturing supply chains is an ideal model for the circular economy. We are eager to expand these efforts and continue moving the needle on sustainable development in New York. With common goals of a more sustainable future, we believe that partnerships like these present incredible potential.”
In Buchanan, the company is currently hiring for several roles, including positions in production, operations and engineering. A complete listing of the company’s job openings, in Buchanan and its 120 manufacturing locations in the United States and Canada, can be found on Saint-Gobain's careers website.
The launch of the circular economy project in Buchanan follows several other recent actions taken by the company to solidify its commitment towards sustainability:
- In September, the company announced it will save two million gallons of water per year at its CertainTeed Social Circle, Georgia siding plant after installing a smart water meter system and upgrading manufacturing equipment
- In August, the company announced its intent to install equipment at its Palatka, Florida gypsum plant that will increase the recycled content in its wallboard products by 18,000 tons/year while also reducing the site’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2,260 tons/year.
- In July, Saint-Gobain announced the upgrade of key equipment at its Buchanan, New York gypsum plant, saving nearly 700,000 kWh of electricity per year and also reducing the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- In June, Saint-Gobain announced a $91 Million CAD investment in its gypsum plant in Montreal, creating the first zero-carbon manufacturing site for wallboard in North America and increasing the plant’s production capacity by 40%.
- In May, Saint-Gobain announced its newly installed recycling technology at its gypsum wallboard plant in Nashville, Arkansas would save 65,000 tons of material per year from landfill.
- In April, Saint-Gobain entered into a recycling partnership at its SageGlass electrochromic glass production site in Faribault, Minnesota, saving 1,000 tons of material per year from landfill over the next five years.
- In March, Saint-Gobain North America announced it would install heat recovery technology at its CertainTeed gypsum manufacturing site in Vancouver, British Columbia, which will reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and improve its energy efficiency.
- Also in March, Saint-Gobain announced that through its virtual Power Purchase Agreement with the Blooming Grove Wind Farm in McLean County, Illinois, and additional renewables contracting, the company received renewable energy certificates that effectively reduced approximately 33% of its CO2 emissions from electricity usage in 2021 in the United States and Canada.
- In February, the company invested $32 Million to upgrade equipment at its CertainTeed insulation plant in Chowchilla, California, reducing the facility’s carbon footprint by more than 4,000 metric tons per year.
- In January, Saint-Gobain North America donated a zero energy-ready house in Canton, Ohio, made with more than 20 of its own products, to Habitat for Humanity.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 115 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, solar, fence, railing, trim, insulation, drywall and ceilings. www.certainteed.com.
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.”
€44.2 billion in sales in 2021
167,000 employees, located in 76 countries
Committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050
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