Design That Considers The Environment
Together, we can attain the highest level of ecological responsibility and resource-efficient technology. We are committed to developing and implementing sustainable green building policies, standards and practices. Beyond offering products that can help contribute to healthier environments and have achieved GREENGUARD Certification for indoor air quality, we can help you meet the criteria for green programs and credits such as USGBC LEED 2009 and LEED v4.
We constantly strive to reduce energy. Each day, our on-site energy coordinators work to find ways to reduce energy usage. We’ve modernized lighting to reduce costs, and we’ve invested significantly in capital improvements to reduce and optimize energy usage, resulting in $3 million annual savings since 2004. The majority of the savings has come by upgrading and optimizing air compressors and our board-drying kiln systems. Most of our kilns utilize an Energy Optimization System (EOS), where exhaust air from the first zone in the board dryer preheats the air in other zones, saving tens of thousands of mmBTUs. Our Burlington, NJ facility uses the exhaust from a natural-gas fired electric turbine to heat the board dryer, reducing the board plant’s fuel usage while the turbine reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20,000 metric tons per year compared to coal-fired electricity generation.
Water, Air and More
We look for ways to recycle, recover, and reuse. Our wallboard and paper plants consistently look for opportunities to recycle water and to reduce its use. Baghouse systems that collect solids are not only air pollution control. The collected material is recycled back into the manufacturing process instead of being wasted. Parts washing solvent, used oils, spent vehicle batteries, and scrap metal are sent to third-party recyclers instead of waste haulers.
We use proven tools to protect the environment. Our plants use control technologies such as biological treatment and sedimentation to control and treat water prior to discharge. Low NOx burners are used in combustion devices to reduce smog-generating emissions.
Recycled Paper & Byproduct Gypsum
100% of our gypsum board face and back paper is produced with post-consumer recyclable content. The company’s three paper mills produce paper from discarded cardboard, magazines, and trimmings from print shops.
Byproduct Gypsum is the ultimate recycle. It comes from a process that removes sulfur dioxide from emissions at coal-fired power plants. After the power plants remove fly ash and other impurities from the coal combustion exhaust air, the air is fed through a limestone slurry which removes the sulfur dioxide from the exhaust. The byproduct of this process is calcium sulfate, the chemical name for gypsum. Five National Gypsum plants produce wallboard exclusively with byproduct gypsum: Shippingport, PA; Apollo Beach, FL; Mt. Holly, NC; Westwego, LA; and Shoals, IN. Two of our plants – in Baltimore, MD and Waukegan, IL – use a combination of byproduct gypsum and natural gypsum rock in its wallboard production.
We work to reduce the weight of our board product as well as the number miles board travels to customers. Our lightweight boards uses less material, require less energy to manufacture, and creates less tonnage for transportation — all of which saves energy and provides efficiencies. An automated logistics system within our Customer Service Center directs orders to the plant nearest the customer to reduce freight miles. This system saves millions in diesel fuel costs and carbon emissions annually.