Headwaters has always focused on the sustainability of its products and services, embracing the conservation of natural resources, transformation of waste materials into usable products, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Our core business units are focused on improving or increasing sustainability by transforming underutilized resources into valuable products and by striving for continuous improvement of both their operations and products.
We will continue to focus on the sustainability of our products and services, but have also expanded our commitment to sustainability by exploring opportunities within in our operations to minimize Headwaters’ environmental impact.
Headwaters’ Heavy Construction Materials coal combustion products (CCPs) are an excellent example of Headwaters’ focus on sustainability. CCPs are the by-products created from burning coal for power generation. Historically, these products have been land-filled, but over the past 30 years, electric utilities and companies like Headwaters have steadily increased the amount of CCPs used for productive purposes. CCPs become ingredients in concrete, wall board, mortars, blocks, and a variety of other building materials, used to stabilize soils or waste, and used as road base materials. By replacing other construction materials, such as cement that must be produced from raw materials, CCPs prolong the availability of those raw materials so that they will be preserved for future generations.
Headwaters’ Heavy Construction Materials segment continues to explore new areas where CCPs recovered from electric utility plants can be used in productive ways. Millions of tons of fly ash are beneficially used rather than disposed in landfills. This preserves valuable landfill space for needed waste disposal. The use of natural resources is minimized when CCPs are used as a substitute for portland cement or other aggregate materials; conserving energy and resources. Headwaters’ Heavy Construction Materials is continuing to investigate other opportunities that will help increase efficiencies, preserve natural resources, and reduce costs throughout their operations, especially in the areas of transportation, streamlining production, and reduced packaging.
Headwaters’ Light Building Products segment produces a large variety of building products, many of which contribute to sustainability through the use of recycled materials, extended product life, and a positive environmental impact. This segment has undertaken a number of projects over the past few years that have not only reduced costs, but improved the sustainability of its operations. Fly ash use in Headwaters’ Light Building Products continues to increase as existing plants are retrofitted with the necessary equipment that will facilitate increased utilization.
Headwaters’ business units are committed to reducing waste. Below is a snapshot of waste reduction efforts that have been implemented at Headwaters’ business units.
- Eliminated 75 percent of paper waste at their corporate headquarters.
- Corporate billing is conducted electronically to reduce paper waste.
- Pallets are reused and repaired for usability.
- Scrap is recycled back into the manufacturing process.
- Online documents and instructional video allow us to consume less paper, ink and energy.
- Installation guides and warranty information online allow customers and end-users to print as needed.
- The Foundry Siding’s Franklin, OH plant increased its recycled content to 35% of raw material.
Texas Block Products
- To minimize waste sent to landfills, crushers are being installed to grind waste concrete for use as a raw material.
- Waste materials leaving a number of the sites are being tracked in order to document waste reduction efforts.
Headwaters Corporate Offices
Converted to a paperless payroll system in 2009. The new payroll system saves approximately $60,000 per year and will eliminate the use of approximately 96,000 pieces of paper and 96,000 envelopes every year.
Recycling programs for paper, toner cartridges, electronic waste (e-waste), cardboard, and aluminum cans were implemented. All electronic waste is sent only to e-Stewards Recyclers.
NOTE: Headwaters’ businesses, mainly their laboratories, only deal with very minor amounts of hazardous waste and those wastes are managed in accordance with government regulations. All other wastes generated by Headwaters’ business units are classified as non-hazardous.
Headwaters’ business units are committed to reducing their energy consumption. Headwaters has begun gathering energy usage data at their large manufacturing sites to develop a baseline so that energy improvements can be measured.
energy reduction projects that have been implemented
- Using or switching to low-amperage motors at a number of locations.
- Powering down equipment at lunch and darkening facilities during non-operational hours.
- Installing energy efficient lighting and motion lighting in various locations to automatically shut off lights when not in use.
- Product shipments are commingled for energy-efficient shipping.
Headwaters’ business units are committed to reducing their impact on the environment. Air emissions from all Headwaters’ locations are low enough to qualify for state air operating permits, except for one site which is required to have a Title V permit due to its collocation with a power plant. Even though Headwaters’ sites already have low emission levels, the business units continue to explore and implement ways to reduce emissions.
Emission reduction projects that have been implemented
The Heavy Construction Materials segment is consistently upgrading its mobile equipment fleet with newer equipment. The Company's siding accessories business is focused on reducing already-low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by at least 20% by switching to the Atlantic Premium Shutters® 2.8 low-VOC paint system, while other locations are testing low-VOC paint systems in order to reduce VOC emissions from their painting operations.
Headwaters’ business units are committed to consuming less material resources, energy and time, while producing enhanced solutions that are beautiful, efficient and long lasting. Consuming less material means products contain recycled content, are reusable, or can be recycled, thereby reducing waste and raw material needs. Many of our products offer a sustainable combination of a lifetime warranty, beautiful color and never having to use paint, sealants, stains, or chemical cleaners. Such operational improvements and product innovations allow our customers to be more sustainable.
For example, Eldorado Stone is lightweight concrete which will not rot, rust, or burn. It comes with a 50-year warranty, making it one of the most durable siding options available. Eldorado Stone offers sustainable solutions for LEED requirements. For more information how Eldorado Stone meets LEED requirements, please go to: http://www.eldoradostone.com/leed.
At Headwaters' specialty siding group, we take satisfaction in knowing that many products, including Foundry Siding, to StoneCraft™ manufactured stone veneer, and InSpire® Roofing, contain recycled content. Their manufacturing processes also consume less water and energy than competitive building materials, and many products are also recyclable or reusable. With our products, we strive for extreme durability, test them accordingly and have them certified by third parties. The majority of our product lines carry lifetime warranties. By providing homes and buildings with products that stand the test of time and weathering, we eliminate the need for consumption of replacement products or protective chemical treatments. The specialty siding group employs ecoScorecardSM on many of its brand websites, which allows architects, builders and contractors to see the sustainable characteristics of our product lines and how the products comply with various USGBC LEED certifications and other green building programs such as NAHB Green, Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), Labs for the 21st Century (LABS21) and Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC). The results of our ecoScorecardSM product searches are delivered instantaneously and at no charge to industry professionals, giving them an efficient tool that helps bring sustainable projects to life faster.