30%

Reduction

Owens Corning has reduced absolute scope 1 emissions by 30%, 2010 - 2020

47%

Reduction

in market-based scope 2 emissions, 2010-2020

437325

Metric Tons

In 2020, Owens Corning helped avoid 437,325 metric tons of greenhouse gases through power purchase agreements of renewable energy


The Path to Drawdown: Insulation

Construction and buildings account for 38% of the total global CO2 emissions and 35% of total energy use. Much of this energy is used to heat and cool a home, but a sizable amount of it (25-60% of that energy) is wasted through air infiltration, or heat escaping from warmer areas to cooler areas.

Better insulation of building envelopes can reduce escaping heat. Insulation is the use of high levels of improved materials in buildings that resist heat flow and regulate indoor temperatures. Ideally, insulation should cover all sides of a building, from the bottom floor, exterior walls, to the roof, and be continuous. Sealing gaps and cracks is also critical to a more thermal resistant building envelope.

Insulation is one of the cheapest and most practical ways to make buildings more energy efficient, both in new construction and through retrofitting older buildings that are often not well insulated. This also means lower utility bills, keeping out moisture, improving air quality and avoiding GHG emissions associated with energy use.

Project Drawdown estimates that, in 2018, 30% of buildings worldwide were insulated. If existing residential and commercial buildings in temperate and tropical countries install insulation (with low carbon materials) at a rate of 1.6 - 2% every year, between 17 - 19 gigatons of GHG emissions can be avoided by 2050.

About

Owens Corning (stock ticker: OC) is an American company that develops and produces insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites and related materials and products. Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, they have manufacturing plants in 33 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia.

OC's Role in Drawdown

Owens Corning sells composites, insulation and roofing. Of these, insulation accounted for 36% of their total net sales in 2020 (p. 1), and are sold to residential, commercial and industrial markets.

Owen Corning’s insulation products (p. 122) offer a number of sustainability benefits

  • Their PINK fiberglass insulation saves 12 times as much energy in its first year in place as the energy used to produce it. 
  • Their XPS insulation is made with at least 20% recycled content. 
  • And their foam insulation delivers a 90% reduction in global warming potential compared to the blowing agent used to make legacy foam insulation.

Owens Corning sells these products primarily to insulation installers, home centers, lumberyards, retailers and distributors worldwide. They are North America’s largest producer of residential, commercial and industrial insulation.

The sales from their insulation segment has been growing by 8.32% annually since 2016, and their total sales revenue has increased 4.26% year-on-year since the same year.

OC: What We Like

Owens Corning is at the cutting edge of taking sustainability initiatives. They have a track record of setting and hitting precise and ambitious targets. As outlined in their 2030 Sustainability Goals, they commit to:

Reducing energy use (both renewable and fossil fuel-based) by 20% (p. 143). Owens Corning reduced their energy use by 4% in 2019 and by 11% in 2020, compared to the base year 2018

OC: What We Want to See Improve

Switch to Banks that Don’t Fund Fossil Fuels


Owens Corning entered into a $800 million loan agreement with several large banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, etc.). These banks still hold substantial investments in fossil fuel companies. We want Owens Corning to sever ties with banks that enable the fossil fuel industry, and instead switch to financial institutions that, in principle, do not fund dirty energy.

Develop Circular Economy Manufacturing Processes


Owens Corning is looking to establish circular economy processes so as to use recycled instead of virgin materials for their manufacturing, and to make their products re-usable after their useful life has ended. But they’re at the very beginning of establishing this process, and we’re eager for them to develop it in the near future.

Other Insulation Stocks in the Climate Index

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