CEO and CSO Letter
At Owens Corning, our people and our products make the world a better place. That puts sustainability right at the heart of our company and core to our business success. It’s our guiding aspiration to be a net-positive company, where our handprint (the positive impacts of our people and products) exceeds our footprint. In these pages, we present data and examples that describe our approach to fulfilling that aspiration.
Owens Corning began its sustainability journey nearly two decades ago and reporting each year on our progress is an important part of our commitment. This year, we report on our 2020 sustainability goals, which we set in 2010. We are also introducing our 2030 goals, which will guide our work over the next decade and beyond. During 2019, our executive team worked hard to develop and align on these ambitious goals, informed by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and with attention to current and future needs. The intent was not to set targets we know we can reach; instead, the emphasis is on key areas where work is needed to ensure a sustainable future for the world. In some cases, this has led us to adjust our approach going forward.
For example, we’ve made significant improvements around primary energy, greenhouse gas, toxic air emissions, particulate matter, and water use, all of which are included in our 2020 goals. However, reducing our waste-to-landfill is an ongoing challenge and priority, from which we are not retreating. We continue to believe the right goal for us is to send zero waste to landfill.
Our new long-term goals require us to do more and look beyond our own operations. Some address growing concerns, such as the need to ensure responsible use of water at all our facilities – especially those that are in areas where water is limited in quantity or quality. We’ve also set rigorous targets, such as reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with scientific guidance on what’s needed to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius. We will focus on learning and identifying needed innovations, like establishing growth-enabling circular economy business models for our products, designing for reuse and recycling, and understanding the full impact of our operations and supply chain on biodiversity. We know collaboration will be needed for this work, and we are committed to engaging with our customers, suppliers, communities, policy makers, NGOs, and others with aligned aspirations and encouraging shared approaches to sustainability.
We will expand our product handprint and succeed as a sustainable enterprise by offering recognized and preferred products for sustainability. Our products and systems address trends in energy efficiency, product safety and sustainability, renewable energy, durable infrastructure, and labor productivity and efficiency. These are areas where the world needs innovation, and we are well positioned to grow our company by providing solutions to these critical, global challenges.
For the first time, we’ve incorporated focused inclusion and diversity goals to ensure an environment where all employees at Owens Corning are valued and appreciated for the distinct voices they bring to the team. Our social sustainability goals also include community engagement, safety, and healthy living – all vital to helping people thrive.
We are very proud of the progress we’ve made through the efforts of our 19,000 employees around the world. Throughout the year, we have received many accolades for our sustainability commitment and results, which reaffirm that we are on the right path. While we appreciate the recognition, most important to us is our continued progress toward achieving our long-term goals. Our employees are energized by each step forward, inspired by our aspirations, and excited by work that challenges the status quo.
We invite you to learn more about our progress and our aspirations through this report and our website. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of our stakeholders as we continue our sustainability journey.