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Glass, Chemical, and Paint Manufacturer Shows Way to Sustainable Business-to-business Products

Image via Flickr by seier + seier

Though the consumer market has been slow to embrace green products and sustainable practices, industrial companies are moving toward sustainability more quickly, especially in sales to business to business (B2B) products and processes. The glass, chemical, and paint manufacturer PPG, based in Pittsburg, PA, illustrates this point perfectly. PPG spokespersons maintain the company has had the sustainable mindset for its entire 130 years in business, and set some lofty goals last year. 

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PPG plans to: 

  • Reduce the number of spills and releases by 10 percent per year from 2012 to 2020 
  • Reduce the amount of hazardous waste they send to landfills by 20 percent by the year 2020
  • Reduce the amount of non-hazardous waste they send to landfills by 10 percent by the year 2020 
  • Reduce the company’s consumption of energy by 1.5 percent per year from 2012 to 2020 
  • Reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses the company emits by 1.5 percent per year between 2012 and 2020 
  • Achieve a goal of 30 percent sales from sustainable products by the year 2020 

Just one year into their new goals, PPG has already gone two-thirds of the way toward meeting the last goal.  In 2012, PPG sold $3.05 billion in green products, which amounted to 20 percent of the company’s total revenue. Green products either reduce energy consumption, reduce resources used in the manufacturing process, or have an extended lifespan (thereby reducing waste) or some combination of these three. 

Most of PPG’s success has come through their low energy gas products, marketed to companies which are constructing LEED certified buildings. This market should continue to grow. A few years ago, PPG became the first glass company to install an oxygen fuel furnace within their floating glass product line. This lowered fuel consumption of the process by 15 percent, reduced carbon emissions by 10 percent, and lowered nitrogen oxide emissions by half. PPG has sold this technology to other glass manufacturers to improve their environmental impact. 

The manufacturer is using its own Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) management system to help meet these goals. [/show_to]

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