Owens Corning released its 2022 Sustainability Report, titled “Our Mission at Work,” on May 23; the 334-page report lays out progress toward OC's ambitious 2030 sustainability goals of reducing carbon emissions, creating an injury-free workplace, and operating a diverse and inclusive concern.
“In 2022, we made progress toward many of our 2030 goals while delivering strong financial results,” Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer Brian Chambers said in a statement. “In doing so, we demonstrated the power of our company’s mission to build a sustainable future through material innovation.”
The report is the 17th edition of OC’s sustainability goals, achievements and priorities and the first to be released under David Rabuano, a senior vice president also elevated to the C-suite in May 2022 when he was named the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“In 2023 and beyond, sustainability will remain at the heart of our business and a critical value creator for Owens Corning, our customers, and other stakeholders,” Rabuano said in a release. “As we shift into the next chapter of our sustainability strategy, we will build on the foundational efforts that have been central to sustainability within our organization [through] the engagement of our 19,000 employees worldwide.”
Across its three businesses, OC has introduced an extensive portfolio of products designed to help customers save energy and lower emissions. In 2022, 63% of the company’s revenue came from this product category, including those used in industries like roofing and insulation.
The report delineated the company’s broad sustainability aspirations, including to:
- Increase the positive impact of its products
- Halve the negative impact of its operations
- Eliminate injuries and improve the quality of life for its employees and their families
- Advance inclusion and diversity and have a positive impact on its communities
- Notable accomplishments outlined in this year’s report include:
A Circular Economy: Shrinking Carbon Use and Emittance
In 2022, the company achieved a 22% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from a baseline established in 2018, moving the company closer to its goal of a 50% reduction in absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 market-based GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions by 2030.
Globally, OC said approximately 56% of the company’s electricity last year came from renewable sources, including wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal energy. That metric is defined as renewable energy sourced from the grid and energy obtained from Power Purchase Agreements and “Virtual PPAs,” including on-site generation. In 2022, the company entered into a VPPA in Spain that is expected to become available, in stages, throughout 2023 and 2024. A VPPA is a financial arrangement between a developer and a buyer guaranteeing a specific price for energy based on anticipated use. With a contract capacity of 81.9 MW, the Spanish source is expected to produce 223 GWh annually.
Additionally, OC is a partner in the ZerowastE Blade ReseArch — ZEBRA — project in Europe, a cross-sector consortium working to develop the first 100% recyclable wind turbine blade. OC reported the project achieved a milestone by producing the first prototype blade with Owens Corning-developed high-performance glass compatible with resin. As a material engineering partner, the company also delivered a test matrix to support blade design and produce and deliver 25 tons of fabrics.
Working Together, Remaining Safe and Corporate Citizenship
Even as controversy within politics has made diversity a new wedge issue, OC continues pressing toward its 2030 goal to have a wide diversity of individuals making up leadership positions. In 2022, people of color filled 22% of U.S. mid-level leader, director, and vice president roles, with 17% of leadership roles belonging to people of color. This is a two-percent increase from a year earlier. The company also moved forward on its goal to have women fill 35% of global roles at that same level, with nearly 29% of leadership roles belonging to women last year.
As a pillar of its 2030 goals, safe working conditions are paramount, as reflected by its emphasis by both private concerns and government regulators. To that end, OC states it maintains an unconditional focus on safety: In 2022, the recordable incident rate was 0.65. The number is enviable insofar as it is 81% better than the manufacturing industry average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2021, the most current data available.
The company has a long history of providing good works for its employees and its communities. OC and its charitable arm, the Owens Corning Foundation, provided $7.6 million in cash and in-kind giving last year to support nonprofit organizations focusing on safe and efficient housing, basic health and wellness, and educational opportunities.
The report has an 85-page appendix of data sets and reporting methodology and was prepared following the Global Reporting Initiative Standards. In addition, the report addresses disclosures and material issues related to CDP [formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project], the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment and Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, UN Global Compact Communication on Progress, and other stakeholders’ requests, including the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
'The Street' Rewards Good Stewardship
The company's efforts have played well on Wall Street. Concerns like OC, which produces insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites, have been in the spotlight as the world increasingly focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency, garnering attention from institutional investors and research firms.
At market closing on May 23, the day OC’s “Our Mission at Work,” was made public, shares on the NYSE closed at $108.12. In February 2022, Credit Suisse Group boosted its target price on OC from $90 to $95 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating; that $95 plane was crossed by mid-month. Later that year, the Royal Bank of Canada raised its price objective from $96 to $111. Benchmark issued a report raising its target price to an even more optimistic $120. Most analysts are somewhere between the two last numbers: Yahoo Finance has a 16-analyst target price average of $117.79. OC was trading at $108.34 at press time, up 0.17%.
Detailed information about the company’s sustainability strategy, goals, and progress is available here.