A Century of Sustainability.
Discover how USG has practiced a sustainable spirit for over 100 years.
Sustainability at USG's Corporate Headquarters.
A focus on good design and occupant first thinking naturally result in sustainable benefits and a more environmentally responsible space.
Our commitment to the environment.
As we look for ways to reduce our overall environmental imprint we focus on the areas within USG that make the most positive impact. True reduction relies on a combination of leading experts’ current environmental concerns, internal product life cycle assessments and our over 100 years of manufacturing and building science knowledge.
In relative terms, the embodied energy of our products is much lower when compared to most other building materials including glass, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, paint, plastic and others. However, we continuously strive to reduce our carbon footprint. Our near-term priorities include the following:
- Reduce the amount of energy used
- Increase energy efficiency
- Evaluate low-carbon energy technologies
We have effectively reduced our energy requirements steadily over the past 100 years while also converting to cleaner burning fuels such as natural gas. Moving forward, we will continue to reduce our energy needs while also evaluating alternative low-carbon energy sources.
Additionally, we understand that energy consumed during the manufacturing process is not the entire story. To understand the full environmental impact of our products we use life cycle analysis tools to evaluate the carbon footprint of our products from “cradle to grave”. Looking beyond our four walls allows us to consider the energy requirements associated with raw materials, transportation, end-use and the end-of-life of our products. With this more comprehensive viewpoint, we are able to make improvements in the areas with the greatest impact.
Long before environmental stewardship became a mainstream issue, USG has found innovative ways to use water and other resources more efficiently; reduce and reuse waste; and transform manufacturing byproducts into valuable new resources.
USG has taken several approaches to reduce our use of naturally occurring gypsum and to extend the lifespan of our resources. These include the use of alternative materials, waste minimization within our facilities, recycling new construction waste back into our products and formulating lighter weight products requiring less material.
Additionally, water use reduction has been a focus for USG for several decades. We have long recognized that using less water is a requirement to increasing our manufacturing efficiencies and reducing the energy needed to dry off excess water. Thus by using less water, our environmental benefits are twofold: 1) less water consumed and 2) less energy consumed (meaning less fuel and fewer related emissions).
To achieve our goals, our near-term priorities include:
- Manage water and natural resource consumption
- Reduce operational and supply chain related emissions
- Reduce, recycle or divert waste
USG provides customers with the products and services to create sustainable spaces that require fewer resources to build, operate and maintain.
Our near term goals:
- Develop products and services that contribute to sustainable spaces
- Continue our leadership role in responsible building practices
- Evaluate product lifecycle environmental impacts
Through EcoBlueprint, USG has an extensive plan to definitively measure the environmental impact of our products using widely recognized life cycle analysis tools. Our researchers are trained to use these tools to evaluate advanced product formulations and determine environmental benefits and potential trade-offs both inside and out of our four manufacturing walls.
Our mindset is focused on continuous improvement even though USG products already score extremely high on a wide variety of sustainable design criteria. In general, our products contain a high level of recycled content, use minimal packaging and perform throughout the lifespan of the building with minimal routine maintenance. Read more about the sustainable attributes of our products here.
- USG Environmental Policy
- 2009 Sustainability Report
- 2011 Sustainability Report
- A Century of Sustainability
- Interactive Plant Map
- Industry Leadership
- USG Headquarters Project Profile
- EPA SmartWay Partnership
- Sustainable Shipping
View our Sustainable Products by Portfolio
View our Sustainable Products by Portfolio