Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

Construction Specialties, Inc. Honored by the Environmental Protection Agency

posted by Wendy Stott
Published: April 15, 2011

Construction Specialties (C/S), the leading manufacturer of high-performing architectural products, was awarded the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Environmental Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a ceremony yesterday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that are committed to improving the environment in the Mid-Atlantic region and C/S was honored in the Business & Industry category.

The event included presentation of awards by the EPA to 11 winners for their environmental achievements in 2010, and one award to the winner of the 2010  Mid-Atlantic Region's President's Environmental Youth Award for 2010.

C/S has a long and consistent record of environmental leadership at its Muncy, Pennsylvania facility.  At C/S, protecting the environment is seen as a "journey – not a destination".  C/S began their journey to sustainability in 1995 with the creation of a company "Green Team", a recycling program, and by taking an inventory of chemicals used in its daily operations.  In 1999, they joined the U.S. Green Building Council, and in 2001 affirmed their Environmental Positioning Statement.

The company also practices an environmentally friendly mantra that includes using green cleaning practices and compostable/biodegradable plates, bowls, utensils and cups.  All copy paper is 100% recycled, and they've instituted dry cell battery recycling within the facility.  In 2009, the facility attained ISO 14001 Registration and in 2010, a 3/4 mile-walking trail was added to the Muncy facility. C/S has worked with local schools and Scout troops on an on-site Carbon Sequestration Project, planting 1,450 trees so far, with a goal of 5,100+ trees total; with approximately 128,475 pounds of CO2 absorbed per year at project completion.

In 2010, C/S took a revolutionary environmental step forward by developing and releasing Acrovyn® 4000, a line of interior wall protection products that does not contain PBTs or PVC, the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective posing major hazards in its manufacture, product life and disposal. The wall guards received MBDC Cradle to Cradle® Certification at the Gold level, ensuring customers that material choices and production processes have been reviewed for their impact on human and environmental health. As the first company in the industry to commit to completely remove PVC from its wall protection line, C/S is leading a wider progression away from chemicals of concern in architectural products.

"We are thrilled to be honored by the EPA and believe this award recognizes the importance of environmentally responsible and relevant building products," said Howard Williams, vice president and general manager of C/S.  "Building owners, architects, contractors and building occupants want products made with chemicals that have low to no toxicity and which at the end of the product lifecycle are used to create new products and/or materials."

C/S was also recently awarded the Practice Greenhealth  "Champion for Change" award for the third consecutive year and was recognized by Sustainable Industries magazine for Acrovyn 4000 being a "Top 10 Green Building Product of 2010".