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Sustainability - our footprint

Responsible manufacturing of energy-saving insulation products.

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ROCKWOOL’s commitment to sustainability

The ROCKWOOL Group is the world leader in stone wool solutions.

Our product portfolio is well placed to tackle many of today’s biggest sustainability challenges and we offer carefully designed, innovative sustainable solutions for your comfort, safety and for the benefit of the environment. In most cases, properly installed insulation can cut a building’s energy need for heating or cooling by up to 70-90 percent.

ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation can help to inhibit the formation of mold and fungus, which in turn improves air quality, helping to further reduce breathing problems and lower healthcare costs.

This is important because children who live in cold buildings are more likely to have respiratory problems.

Buildings account for 30 percent of the world’s energy consumption, and 28 percent of carbon emissions. High-quality insulation can result in energy savings of 70-90 percent, meaning that energy efficiency retrofits are among the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions.

In order to limit global climate change, the International Energy Administration estimates that the entire existing building stock must be renovated by 2050 to become low-energy buildings.

ROCKWOOL is dedicated to providing a solution. Consider this: over the lifetime of its use, the building insulation we produced in 2017 will save 85 times the energy consumed and 80 times the carbon emitted in its production.

ROCKWOOL recently earned the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) environmental award for carbon reduction efforts in Marshall County, MS in 2016-2017.

ROCKWOOL’s manufacturing processes emphasize sustainability and circularity, beginning with the environmental measures we put in place aimed at reducing our own carbon footprint.

As a result, ROCKWOOL was among just a handful of businesses that earned TVA’s coveted award for the largest year-over-year carbon emission improvement for 2016-2017 (based on emissions per ton produced).

See the full press release

Video thumb RockWorld, Jens Birgersson, CEO
Sustainability ultimately means meeting the needs of the world today without compromising the future of the planet.

Jens Birgersson

CEO, ROCKWOOL Group

Our Products

ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation products not only help in creating sustainable building; they are made from a natural fire safe material with no added flame retardants or blowing agents.

Our purpose is simple and compelling: to release the natural power of stone to enrich modern living. ROCKWOOL products save energy and water and reduce CO2 emissions, reduce waste; and improve building performance.

Product overview

These products, used throughout the United States, are among the most sustainable forms of insulation on the planet.

The majority of our stone wool products are non-combustible, while all provide superior energy efficiency benefits, and have unrivaled durability that lasts more than 50 years without losing insulating features.

Stone is our core raw material and the bedrock on which our business is based. Since 1937, we have been making stone wool products to enrich modern living.

We are the world’s leading manufacturer of stone wool products, and we deliver specialist solutions for the building, horticultural, marine and offshore sectors.

Find out more information on our organization by visiting our about ROCKWOOL page.

ROCKWOOL energy savings from production in 2017

ROCKWOOL energy savings from stone wool production in 2017.

A sustainable production process

ROCKWOOL is continuously striving to improve our production processes to become as efficient and sustainable as possible. In 2016 we set six ambitious sustainability goals to drive substantial improvements in our environmental and safety performance by 2030.

Some of the commitments in our sustainable development process include:

  • Reducing CO2 emission intensity from our factories by 20 percent.
  • Reducing water consumption intensity within our factories by 20 percent.
  • Reducing landfill waste from our factories by 85 percent.

We have already achieved a great deal, such as implementing a product reclaim service that is cost-effective, efficient, and reduces the amount of product that goes to landfill. Through this program, we were able to reclaim 120,000 tons of stone wool waste in 2017 alone.

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, based on a robust scientific process, with direct input from the Sierra Club.

The industry standards are designed primarily to protect the health of sensitive populations such as kids, the elderly, and asthmatics. Even under worst-case conditions, ROCKWOOL’s emissions will be well under these strict limits.

For more information on environmental impact and the permitting process, visit our Environment page. 

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ROCKWOOL carbon savings from products sold in 2017

ROCKWOOL carbon savings from stone wool insulation products sold in 2017.

Sustainability means more than resuing ROCKWOOL, we have set ambitious 2030 targets.

Sustainability means more than reusing ROCKWOOL insulation, we have set ambitious targets to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency.

We take our environmental footprint very seriously. We take sustainability very seriously. We are not a company that puts profit first, we are a company with high ethics, values and we are in it for the long run.

Bjorn Rici Andersen

ROCKWOOL Senior Vice President, Group Operations & Technology

Putting a focus on sustainable, responsible sourcing

We continue to refine our sustainable sourcing to improve the transparency of our supply chain. Our latest modification in 2017 included the switch to fully recyclable packaging solutions in 30 countries.

The ROCKWOOL Group Code of Conduct for Suppliers addresses topic such as equal opportunities, environmental and manufacturing practices, and fair employment terms – all of which must be followed and enforced at all times.

The Code of Conduct must be signed by all our major suppliers including but not limited to suppliers of raw materials and equipment for repair, maintenance, operations as well as suppliers with whom we spend more than $100,000 USD. Currently, 75 percent of our key suppliers have already signed the Code of Conduct.

The ROCKWOOL Group procurement policy provides an opportunity to engage with our suppliers on social and ethical topics and implies that high-risk suppliers will be audited against our Code of Conduct.

The ROCKWOOL Group has adopted the ICC “Business Charter for Sustainable Development – Principles for Environmental Management”, where suppliers are required to ensure their own suppliers meet the same standards.

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Providing comfort, safety and wellbeing

We are inspired every day by the opportunity to create lasting, positive impact in the world. Currently in the United States alone, at least 48 million people may experience energy poverty.5

Many of us are unaware this is even an issue because energy poverty is hidden within the homes of our communities.

However, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) confirmed having provided energy assistance to roughly 6.9 million households nationwide in 2014.

ROCKWOOL has aligned its priorities with the United Nations which in 2015 published 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at a broad range of societal benefits including goal seven: access to energy for all.

Select ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation batt products are certified according to GREENGUARD Gold in accordance with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method v1.1-2010.

Striving toward increasingly sustainable insulation

In 2017 alone, through investments in research and development, we have reduced our carbon emissions by 3.8 percent per ton of stone wool and reduced waste to landfill by 4.1 percent compared to the 2015 baseline year.

Work carried out in 2017, together with approved investments, help drive us towards our interim 2022 goals.

  • Reducing CO2 emission intensity from our factories by 20 percent.
  • Reducing water consumption intensity within our factories by 20 percent.
  • Reducing landfill waste from our factories by 85 percent.

Please see below for an overview of our circularity process.

ROCKWOOL production waste to landfill to showcase minimal impact on Jefferson County WV.

The ROCKWOOL circular economy outlines our focus on minimizing impact from production in the communities we operate including our external recycling and upcycling.

Delivering on sustainability goals

Earlier this year, Trucost, a third-party organization that assesses risks related to climate change and environmental impact, conducted an analysis to review actions taken by companies who have pledged their support to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ROCKWOOL group being among them.

The Trucost SDG Evaluation tool assesses performance for an organization on the SDGs across the value chain within its geographic operations. ROCKWOOL Group achieved the highest SDG impact score amongst all pilot companies with 100 percent of our products classified as SDG positive.

The results from the Trucost SDG Evaluation Tool which found that ROCKWOOL Group contributes most significantly to Climate Action (SDG 13), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), are a clear indication of our positive impact. This also supports our belief that businesses can achieve growth while contributing to a more sustainable world.

See below for an overview of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Pledged support to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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We strongly believe that companies should focus on product impacts in addition to mitigating any negative impacts from their operations in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. It is through the impact of our products that we can make a big difference.

Anthony Abbotts

Director of Sustainability at ROCKWOOL Group
See the full statement

Driving major energy savings

ROCKWOOL insulation products are an energy efficient building solution. This was proven in a third-party study conducted by Ecofys which showcased the climate benefits of our products and production process.

Based on organizations including the U.S. Green Building Council which determined in its 2018 Buildings and Climate Change Report that “Buildings have a lifespan of 50-100 years during which they continually consume energy and produce CO2 emissions”, we understand that one of the best ways to reduce the energy consumption of a building is through proper insulation.

ROCKWOOL stone wool products are a major energy and CO2 saver, as they allow new and existing buildings to benefit from durable, efficient, and versatile thermal insulation.

Energy efficiency is a common theme amongst several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that ROCKWOOL has committed to meeting.

While by far the biggest impact that we have is through our products, whether it’s reducing energy consumption, creating healthier indoor environments, or enabling efficient food production, it’s also our production process that plays a central role in creating a sustainable future.

Our building insulation sold in 2017 alone will save 850 terawatt-hours of heating energy during its lifetime and as a result save 190 million tons of CO2 emissions. This is equivalent to 80 times the carbon emitted in the production of the products at our factories.2

Monthly Newsletter

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Keep updated with the latest news and information on the ROCKWOOL development in Ranson, Jefferson County by subscribing to our eNewsletter.

Energy saving tip

The energy savings obtained from installing the right insulation will outweigh the energy consumption used for its production in just seven-and-a-half months’ time or 228 days based on a 50-year building lifecycle.

Jens Birgersson speaking at Climate Week NYC 2018
By insulating buildings, you not only make them more comfortable but you can drop the energy consumption and the CO2 emissions by up to 70 percent.

Jens Birgersson

CEO, ROCKWOOL Group

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Keep updated with the latest news and information on the ROCKWOOL development in Ranson, Jefferson County by subscribing to our eNewsletter.

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Climate solution

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.

Passive houses are not an energy standard but a fundamental building concept where the primary goals are to achieve superior energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

Passive houses are buildings that can save 90 percent of the energy, heating, and cooling of conventional buildings and 75 percent of all energy usage when electricity is included.6

Examples of our participation in these projects include the modular Bella Bella multi-unit residential townhome complex, purpose-built as staff housing at the R.W. Large Memorial Hospital in Bella Bella, B.C.

They are the buildings of the future and we are helping to build them today.

See the full story in our CleanTechnica article titled “What is an insulation company doing at Climate Week NYC?”.

You can also read our follow-up article, "Climate crisis is worse than we knew - will we take action to match it?".

If half of new commercial buildings were built to use 50 percent less energy, it would save over 6 million metric tons of CO2 annually for the life of the buildings – the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road every year.

U.S. Green Building Council

Download July 2018 Buildings and Climate Change Report

A balanced approach to sustainability

ROCKWOOL Group Director of Sustainability discusses the evaluation of both our products and production processes.

Anthony Abbotts speaking at Climate Week NYC 2018

Sustainability at ROCKWOOL

For ROCKWOOL sustainability means focusing in two areas – ensuring a positive impact from our products while also emphasizing the importance of our environmental footprint.

Sustainability Report

Sustainability starts with us

We continuously look for opportunities to include our employees in the sustainability mission of the organization.

One recent example is during the month of June in 2018 throughout North America and around the world, ROCKWOOL ran an internal sustainability campaign driven by our employees, called iRockGlobalGoals! 

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

Here is what some of our employees from Milton, Ontario, Grand Forks, British Columbia, and Marshall County, Mississippi had to say.

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

A cultural commitment to sustainability

Join a team that is focused every day, on developing and applying new and innovative technologies in our production process to build a more sustainable future.

Working at ROCKWOOL

Learn more about our company history and culture.

ROCKWOOL Group CEO Jens Birgersson discusses minimizing our footprint during Climate Week NYC 2018

Jens Birgersson speaking at Climate Week NYC 2018

Stone wool drives energy efficiency

Buildings represent 32 percent of global energy consumption and 25 percent of all human-induced emissions globally. Insulating them can significantly reduce that footprint.

Sustainability Report

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Keep updated with the latest news and information on the ROCKWOOL development in Ranson, Jefferson County by subscribing to our eNewsletter.

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Sources

1T. W. Dahl, et al. 2011, International Geology Review (Volume 53 Numbers 7-8, June-July 2011) ‘The human impact on natural rock reserves using basalt, anorthosite, and carbonates as raw materials in insulation products’.

2Methodology for this calculation at www.rockwoolgroup.com/carbon-impact

3FIW München (2016): Durability Project Mineral Wool, Report on findings E3.3-2016/01

4European Commission (DG ENV) (2011): ‘Management of CDW (Construction and Demolition Waste) in the EU’: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/pdf/2011_CDW_Report.pdf

5https://www.gridmates.com/blog_posts/37

6http://nyc.sierraclub.org/2017/12/30/high-rise-passive-house-nyc/

Find additional information about the ROCKWOOL project

01

About ROCKWOOL

Who is ROCKWOOL and what is stone wool insulation?

Find out answers to these questions and more with information about our organization, its history and values, and an overview on the materials we use in manufacturing.

Learn more

02

Community and Economic Impact

We seek to make a positive impact in the City of Ranson and more broadly Jefferson County.

Through economic development that brings jobs for residents, opportunities for local businesses and support for local community organizations, we are focused on furthering the well-being of the community where we live and work.

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03

Jobs and Vendor Opportunities

150 jobs coming to Ranson, WV. Hiring starts in 2019.

ROCKWOOL is providing new manufacturing jobs in Jefferson County with an exceptional culture, wellness programs, investments in learning and development, and dedicated corporate social responsibility. We will also provide new vendor partner contract opportunities once the factory is in operation.

Learn more

04

Factory Operations and Production

Interested in how our stone wool insulation is made?

The ROCKWOOL manufacturing process includes an overview of insulation being made and what it’s made of, day-to-day operations of the plant and insight into the visibility, water usage and trucking and transportation impacts for Jefferson County.

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05

Environment

Protecting against factory emissions to minimize the impact on air and water quality.

The state-of-the-art technology we use meets and exceeds regulatory requirements. We've also made a commitment to ongoing third-party air monitoring that will allow you to track air quality in the area.

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06

Construction and Permitting

An overview of the air, construction and environmental permits required.

Access detailed information regarding site selection for the factory, development and environmental management of the project.

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Documents and resources

 

 

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