Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing’s Toronto, Ontario, Canada, facility has achieved a major milestone two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule: zero landfill. In addition, the North American supplier of integrated building envelope solutions for the commercial construction industry has implemented numerous initiatives that focus on enhancements to its products and operations, as well as employee education.
“Tremco has made sustainability an integral part of its operating philosophy,” said Michael Schmeida, manager of sustainable programs for Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing. “We, as an organization, have taken the word sustainable and its meaning and have incorporated it into our operations and corporate culture. Sustainability is fast becoming a key cornerstone of our business.”
In November 2010, the company’s Toronto facility achieved zero landfill, a process that began in June 2008. This is half the time most case studies suggest it would take to complete the project for a large industrial manufacturing facility. The facility reached its goal through a reduction of waste, recycling of waste and reuse as fuel feedstock. The facility is being monitored for the next 12 months to ensure there is no waste going to landfill.
The project is part of a five-year plan designed to eliminate the company’s landfill waste in its North American Sealant and Waterproofing facilities. In the program’s first year, the organization reduced its ratio of landfill waste to materials shipped by 40%.
Products and Product Development
Tremco’s products further the organization’s commitment to sustainability through:
- Increased energy efficiency
- Reflective coatings that reduce the heat island effect
- Drainage to collect and reuse water
- Many low- and zero-VOC products
- Products with renewable materials
- Products with recycled raw materials
- Packaging with recycled content
- Pursuit of green chemistry alternatives
- Products/systems designed to increase overall longevity and decrease maintenance
In terms of product development, Tremco continues to design with ecology in mind. The company has made the following requirements for all new products going forward:
- Consideration of renewable and/or recycled materials
- Consideration of recyclability
- VOC-compliant now and in the future (five-year window)
- Emphasis on green chemistry solutions
- Reducing processing time (reducing cycle times).
- Taking energy or byproducts from one manufacturing process and using them for another
Tremco has established an ongoing team to look at energy savings and process time reductions at all of its facilities. For example, the company has reduced the cycle time of its largest gallon-volume material by 40% just by staging work areas better.
In addition, the company has put initiatives in place focused on the ecological impact of the manufacturing of its products. For example, water used at the Canadian facility is now either recirculated or used in other processes, saving 19 million gal per year.
Through Tremco’s involvement in associations such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Adhesives and Sealant Council Inc. (ASC) and the International Code Council (ICC), the company is not only able to take back valuable information and educate its employees, but it is also able to have a voice in shaping the future of sustainability. In addition, Tremco employees have received training on sustainable design. This training takes many forms, including internal training sessions, informal eco-seminars, and formal education such as training to become a LEED-Green Associate or training in using EnergyStar tools.
For more information, visit www.tremcosealants.com