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Improve Resource Utilization

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 secondary waste (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 reuse and 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

We established a manufacturing waste to landfill reduction of 50% by the year 2020. The great news is that as of the end of 2013 at several plants we are exceeding our goals. And several individual plants have already greatly exceeded this goal such as at our Oakville, Canada plant and Cartersville, GA plant.

Sustainability Spotlight — Cloquet, MN Ceiling Manufacturing Plant

  • The Dust Reclaim Project which is a raw material collection strategy during manufacturing has resulted in a 40% reduction in waste to landfill for all Mars™, Millennia®, and Eclipse™ products. The waste to landfill savings is more than 1,000 tons annually due to manufacturing modifications.
  • The USG Cloquet manufacturing plant will be supplied with 50% renewable power by 2025.
  • We expect a decrease in the embodied carbon value for all acoustical ceiling products made at Cloquet, MN to decrease by at least 15% by 2025 from the 2020 embodied carbon value.
  • The Cloquet, MN ceiling manufacturing plant has invested in new water savings technology that has allowed the production line to remove approximately 17,000 gallons/day.
  • Water savings technology has resulted in a ˃10% reduction in the amount of water that must be evaporated during the drying process.
  • Water is recycled back into the manufacturing process instead of being lost to evaporation during drying.