A sustainable production process

We understand that manufacturing any product requires using resources, but we are focused on our processes leaving the smallest footprint possible. That’s why we continuously work to improve the sustainability of our operations including investments in the latest production and abatement technologies.

Throughout our supply chain – beginning with raw materials – we work with responsible and transparent suppliers that follow our Code of Conduct. We have adopted the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Business Charter for Sustainable Development, where suppliers are required to ensure their own suppliers also meet the same standards including compliance with all international, national, and local laws and standards relating to environmental and manufacturing practices.

At our production facilities, we have developed ways to recycle waste from construction and demolition sites by using it as a substitute for virgin raw materials. This helps divert waste that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

Stone wool, which is the end solution that we create, is also fully recyclable and can be recycled repeatedly without degrading its quality. Our production process has also been designed for zero production wastewater discharge to the environment. In fact, no production process wastewater is discharged into waterways or the ground at any of our ROCKWOOL manufacturing facilities.

In addition, because of the nature of our industry, our facilities are subject to strict air quality regulations that are in place to protect sensitive populations such as children, the elderly, and asthmatics. In the United States, stone wool manufacturing is strictly regulated by federal standards set by the EPA.

These standards, known as the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards, were most recently updated in 2015 with direct input from the Sierra Club. Even under worst-case conditions, ROCKWOOL’s emissions will be well under these strict limits.

Our Ranson, WV facility will meet and exceed environmental protection standards set by governments and regulators. We’re using best available emission controls to maintain air quality, protect local water systems, and mitigate excessive noise. To learn more, visit our environment page.

In agreement with the Jefferson County Board of Education, ROCKWOOL retained an independent environmental consulting firm, ERM, to procure, install, operate, and maintain air monitors at two locations – North Jefferson Elementary School and TA Lowery Elementary School. View current conditions and air quality index results for the past 48 hours at both locations for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) by visiting our public air monitoring website. View local conditions

Each of our manufacturing facilities is focused on minimizing our impact on their environment. We deliver on this through regular internal audits, independent external audits, and a commitment to several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2016 we made substantial commitments to our environmental and safety performance including the "minimizing operational impacts" initiatives. Those sustainability goals, as well as the carbon emissions saved over the lifetime of our building insulation, are outlined below. 

Graphic from the  Sustainability Report 2018 (SR18). Format 16:9

Our approach to sustainable operations is to minimize the impact of our production on the environment through significant commitments to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) focused on environmental and safety performance.

Graphic from the  Sustainability Report 2018 (SR18). Format 16:9
climate change; carbon savings; 100 times; emission; CO2; emissions avoided; emissions saved; carbon-impact

ROCKWOOL building insulation saved 100 times the carbon emissions from production over its lifetime.

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Sustainability is in our organization’s DNA

At ROCKWOOL, we don’t have a separate sustainability strategy, we have one business strategy where sustainability is an integrated part because sustainability is a prerequisite for commercial success, and we take it very seriously. It starts with our purpose, releasing the natural power of stone to enrich modern living, which is embedded in our organization.

Our employees are a critical component of that story – supporting our sustainability mission every day and driving progress towards several of our global goals. In June of 2018 and again this year, we launched the iRockGlobalGoals campaign across our worldwide operations.

From offices to factories around the world, employees were encouraged to share and submit their ideas on how they are contributing to supporting the company’s global sustainability goals.

Our approach to solving the climate problem is to make energy-efficient materials that reduce emissions and can be used in everything from large-scale industrial buildings to carbon-neutral, “passive house” structures.

An employee promoting the #iRockGlobalGoals campaign. Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals, SGDs, Global Goals, Sustainability, Employees, Employee

A cultural commitment to sustainability

Sustainability starts with our employees who look for opportunities to drive the mission.

Anothony Abbotts, Director Group Sustainability

We are increasing our positive impact on people and society by maximizing our positive impact and minimizing our operational footprint.

If half of new commercial buildings were built to use 50 percent less energy, it would save over six million metric tons of CO2 annually for the life of the buildings – the equivalent of taking more than one million cars off the road every year.

U.S. Green Building Council

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Products that make a difference for the long term

Today, buildings account for 30 percent of the world’s energy consumption, and 28 percent of carbon emissions. The International Energy Administration estimates that the entire existing building stock must be renovated by 2050 to become low-energy buildings.

What we know is that in most cases, properly-installed insulation can cut a building’s energy need for heating or cooling significantly, meaning that energy-efficiency renovations/retrofits are among the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions. ROCKWOOL has a solution. In addition to confirmation from a third-party study conducted by Ecofys on the energy-efficiency and climate change benefits of our building insulation products, consider that the building insulation we sold in 2019 will save, over the lifetime of its use, 100 times the carbon emitted in its production.

Our product portfolio is well placed to tackle many of today’s biggest sustainability challenges, and we offer carefully designed, innovative solutions that benefit both the indoor and outdoor environment. As the world’s leading stone wool manufacturer, for more than 80 years we have been providing safe, sustainable products that leave a positive impact on society and address many of our global sustainability challenges. Products made from stone, one of earth’s most abundant natural resources. Our insulation products help create sustainable buildings with benefits such as improved indoor air quality and fire resilience, withstanding temperatures up to 2,100F. 

We have mentioned that ROCKWOOL made a commitment to several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. When it comes to maximizing our product impacts, the below represent a few of the actions we are taking. 

ROCKWOOL North American product sustainability - sustainable development goals (SDGs) supporting a more sustainable future and society's greatest challenges including climate change.

At ROCKWOOL, our stone wool products support building a more sustainable future and are on the cutting edge of solving some of society's greatest challenges including climate change.