We take a closer look at companies that are manufacturing green building products here in the United States.
The 24 companies chosen for our first ever “Made In America” listing all have active U.S. plants. While the level of green commitment varies widely among these companies, we’re pleased to see that all of these firms on this list are doing something—and some, such as Boral—have worked sustainability into their entire corporate philosophy.
There are plenty of other companies that should be on this list as well: Kohler—for example—but we were pleased to have so many forward looking companies submit their plant information in our first nationwide appeal.
1SolTech, Farmer's Branch, Texas
Building Products Produced: Solar PV Systems
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: On-Site Power Generation, Green Roofing, Employee Conservation Incentives
Bazzeo, North Bergen, New Jersey
Building Products Produced: Cabinets, Shelving
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Fleet Management, Packaging Reduction, Increased Recycling, Ride Sharing Incentives
Energy Saving: LED Lighting
Waste Reduction: recycled packaging, waste recycling
Resource Conservation: minimum waste manufacturing
Boral Bricks, Inc., Terre Haute, Indiana
Building Products Produced: Clay Bricks, Pavers
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Waste Re-Use, Packaging Reduction, Increased Recycling, On-Site Power Generation
Energy Saving: Lights in the plant include sensors adntimers for optimal use; premium efficiency motors are used in all plant machines.
Waste Reduction: zero waste - all materials used in the manufacturing process are recycled.
Local Sourcing: Raw materials are all sourced from a reclaimed coal mine only 1/4 mile from the plant.The 295,000 square foot facility is also the largest brick manufacturing plant in the nation and the only LEED Gold plant in the world that is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Boral Roofing, Corona, California
Building Products Produced: Roofing
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling, Green Roofing, Heat-Reflective Roofing
Certification: From Cradle-to-Cradle certification for the Corona clay products, to the most vibrant and complete line of CRRC-rated cool roof colors; Boral Roofing provides a wide variety of LEED point opportunities that most other sloped roofing products cannot match.
Boral TruExterior Trim, East Spencer, North Carolina
Building Products Produced: Exterior Trim
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling
Certification: The Facility is LEED Silver certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Waste Reduction: Roughly 70% of construction waste is recycled and kept out of local landfills.
Cambria, Le Sueur, Minnesota
Building Products Produced: Countertops, Tile and Stone Surfaces
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Fleet Management, Increased Recycling
Local Sourcing: The company purchases its quartz in North American mines, and works with mining partners to ensure that quarry sites are restored after quartz extraction.
Water Savings: 100% of water in product plant is recycled; Recycled water from an on-site storm drainage pond is used to irrigate the grounds of the manufacturing plant.
The Department of Energy: (DOE) continually works with Cambria to implement energy-saving procedures at Cambria facilities.
Waste Reduction: Scrap material is collected and used as road base material on local construction projects.
Channellock, Inc. Meadville, Pennsylvania
Building Products Produced: Tools
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving
Water/Energy Saving: Because of the type of steel used in plier production—and the use of high-energy lasers—metal doesn’t need to be cooled in a water or oil bath, saving both water and energy.
Crossville, Inc., Crossville, Tennessee
Building Products Produced: Tile Flooring and More
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling.
Energy Savings: The company uses high efficiency fluorescent fixtures throughout its manufacturing facilities, saving 2,491,000 kWh annually over previous lighting system.
Water Savings: Plant reuses more than 99.98% of water used in manufacturing.
Indoor Air Quality: Crossville keeps stringent standards for ventilation and cleanliness in its plants, to ensure employees work in uncontaminated, hygienic environments.
Waste Reduction/Use: This company has become a net consumer of waste, meaning it consumes more manufacturing waste than it generates.
Recycled Materials: Crossville uses recycled content production in all product lines—varying from 4% to 50%—depending on product. Through a partnership with TOTO, pre-consumer fired porcelain fixtures contribute at least 4% recycled content for all Crossville products. Marketing materials are printed on recycled paper with soy inks whenever possible, and the company maintains a companywide recycling program for all office/production facility paper and plastic waste. The plant encourages employees to bring recyclables to work for collection, as the local county offers no formal recycling effort.
Certification: Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) verifies that the company recycles millions of pounds of previously land-filled filtrate, fired tile and pre-consumer sanitary ware each year.
EcoDomo LLC, Rockville, Maryland
Building Products Produced: Leather Tiles, Panels and Cork Products
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling
GAF, 26 Plants in the United States
Building Products Produced: Roofing and Accessories
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Increased Recycling
Resource Reduction: Many of the asphalt shingles include post-industrial recycled content.
Certifications: Mt. Vernon, IN, Cumming, GA, Wind Gap, PA, and Gainesville, TX, plants have achieved or been certified under landfill diversion programs.
Mansfield Plumbing Products, LLC, Perrysville, Ohio
Building Products Produced: Faucets and Fixtures
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling, Employee Conservation Incentives.
Energy Saving: The company modernized the compressed air system and added low consumption/high efficiency light fixtures throughout the facility, and uses their kiln capacity efficiently—so that waste heat generated is applied to other processes through the plant.
Water Saving: Over the past several years, MPP has improved the water performance of many of its products achieving the desired results with less water consumption. The company continuously works on this initiative, not only because it is part of the company strategy, but also because MPP believes that using natural resources in a responsible way is the right thing to do.
Resource Reductions: Mansfield’s core products have been redesigned to be lighter. They now use less energy to fabricate, dry and fire certain pieces, saving energy.
Certifications: In 2011 the company was certified by FirstEnergy as a “Certified FirstEnergy Efficiency Customer.”
MAZE Nails, Peru, Illlinois
Building Products Produced: Nails and Screws
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Packaging Reduction, Increased Recycling, Heat-Reflective Roofing
Onsite Energy: Maze Nails uses hydroelectric power from the Illinois River turbines.
Water Savings: The plant discharges fewer than 400 GPD (gallons per day) of process wasterwater.
Pella Windows and Doors, Macomb, Illinois
Building Products Produced: Windows and Doors
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Fleet Management, Increased Recycling, Increased Daylighting
Energy Savings: ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting throughout the plant.
Green Design: This manufacturing plant was designed with both energy- and water-saving features. Visit their website for details.
Waste Reduction: Dedicated recycling containers capture byproducts generated from manufacturing process.
Pine Hall Brick Company, Inc., Madison, North Carolina and Fairmount, Georgia
Building Products Produced: Outdoor Pavers
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Increased Recycling, Employee Conservation Incentives
Water Savings: All water used at the plant is recycled/re-used.
Onsite Energy/Heat: Manufacturing facility uses recycled sawdust to supplement natural gas used to fire brick.
Polycor Vetrazzo, Tate, Georgia
Building Products Produced: Countertops, Outdoor Pavers, Tile and Stone Surfaces.
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saivng, Waste Re-Use, Packaging Reduction, Increased Recycling, Increased Daylighting, Rainwater Harvesting, Increased Telecommuting.
Water Savings: The plant features a closed-loop water filtration process.
Sloan Valve Company, Franklin Park, Illinois
Building Products Produced: Plumbing Valves and Fixtures
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Packaging Reduction, Increased Recycling, On-Site Power Generation
Energy Savings: Sloan headquarters and plant also uses energy-efficient lighting.
Water Savings: High-efficiency toilets and urinals in the restrooms, along with 0.5 gpm
Onsite Energy: Wind turbines on top of the headquarters building supply energy, and the employee parking lot features charging stations for electric vehicles.
Taco, Inc., Cranston, Rhode Island and Fall River, Massachusetts
Building Products Produced: Heating and Cooling Systems, Hot Water Systems, HVAC Controls, Solar Hot Water Panels
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Fleet Management, Packaging Reduction, Increased Recycling, On-Site Power Generation, Noise Reduction, Increased Daylighting, Rainwater Harvesting, Employee Conservation Incentives, Ride Sharing Incentives, Bicycling Incentives, Increased Telecommuting
Onsite Energy/Heat: Solar thermal DHW, radiant heat, harnessing of heat within the plant, thermal storage, extensive use of chilled beams with special mixing devices to broadly expand the efficiency of the chilled beams.
Certification: Taco’s main plant is a LEED Gold facility with a wide range of energy-saving facets.
Tarkett, Florence, Alabama
Building Products Produced: Flooring and Carpets
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling
Water Savings: A closed-loop water system has resulted in a 13.5% reduction in water usage
Certifications: ISO 14001; WCM: Environmental Pillar
TOTO USA, Inc., Morrow and Fairburn, Georgia
Building Products Produced: Faucets and Fixtures
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Fleet Management, Packaging Reduction, Increased Recycling, Employee Conservation Incentives, Ride Sharing Incentives, Increased Telecommuting
Energy Savings: Plant kilns use pulse fire technology and reuse the exhaust heat from the firing process.
Energy Sourcing: Green electricity is purchased from Georgia Power, some of which comes from a gas-fired generator that uses methane produced at the local landfill.
Waste Recycling: Imperfect and damaged china is upcycled by Crossville, Inc., in the manufacture of new tile.
Recycled Materials: Clay slurry is repurposed for other manufacturing processes; post-industrial graywater is recycled within plant operations; Plastics, aluminum, glass, cardboard, brass and pallets are recycled to reduce waste.
Soy Oils: Biodegradable soybean-based oils are used in all hydraulic systems to reduce reliance on carbon-based lubricants.
Certification: All TOTO facilities are ISO 14001:2004 certified.
Uponor, Apple Valley, Minnesota
Building Products Produced: Heating and Cooling Systems, Hot Water Systems
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Packaging Reduction, Bicycling Incentives
Energy Savings (past year): Improved overall equipment efficiency (OEE) by 7.8%.
Waste Reduction: Plant reduced scrap rate by 9%.
Safety Improvements: This was the plant’s best year for reducing severity and frequency of accidents.
Other/Awards: The Uponor Apple Valley Manufacturing Facility recently received the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year award from the Manufacturers Alliance.
VT Industries, Inc., Multiple Locations
Building Products Produced: Doors, Countertops, and Stone Surfaces
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling, Increased Daylighting
Energy Saving: High-efficiency T5 fluorescent lights have replaced metal halide lamps, helping the Hagerstown, Maryland, plant reduce its energy consumption by 43% and the Bryan, Texas, plant to reduce its energy consumption by over 50%.
Water Saving: 95% of the water used in the fabrication of VT Stone Surfaces is reclaimed and reused in our onsite water treatment facility.
Waste Reduction: Paper, cardboard, metal, plastic strapping, wood pallets, plastic used in packaging and plastic barrels are all collected for recycling. Stone drop-off is also collected and used for backfill, crusher run, pavers and aggregate for concrete. Approximately 5,000 tons of sawdust created in production is diverted annually from landfill to agricultural uses, such as livestock bedding and compost.
Onsite Heat: Wood waste is burned for comfort heat in Holstein and Sac City plants.
Resource Conservation: VT Stone Surfaces fabricates quartz countertops containing a significant percentage of post-consumer recycled material. .
Other/Awards: In 2010, the Bryan plant was given an Energy Saver award from the Department of Energy (DOE).
Wellborn Cabinet, Inc., Ashland, Alabama
Building Products Produced: Cabinets
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Fleet Management, Increased Recycling, On-Site Power Generation, Heat-Reflective Roofing
Onsite Heat: Wellborn utilizes steam from the wood fired Co-Generation Plant in its Dry Kilns, Heating Ovens & Paint Room. This process saves approximately 300,000 (MCF) thousand cubic feet of natural gas annually, a nonrenewable resource, by using collected wood shavings.
Solvent Recycling: All spent solvents are collected and recycled through a blending process offsite
Transportation Fleet: A satellite system monitors vehicle operating characteristics, including fuel economy and maintenance requirements, so that fleet fuel economy has improved more than 18% in the past year.
Waste Recycling: More than 150 tons of metal is collected annually for recycling, along with another 150 tons of paper, cardboard and related products. Many are used for cogeneration fuel.
Whirlpool Corporation, Multiple Locations
Building Products Produced: Appliances
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use
Certification: The Whirlpool Corporation premium cooking manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Tennessee is expected to obtain LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Xero Flor America, Multiple Locations
Building Products Produced: Green Roofing
Key Plant Sustainability Efforts: Water Saving, Waste Re-Use, Increased Recycling, Green Roofing, Increased Telecommuting
Energy Sourcing: For the final manufacturing stage of the product, 5% of purchased electricity is renewably sourced or offset with renewable energy projects, and 5% of direct on-site emissions are offset.
Certification: The Xero Flor Green Roof System features the only pre-vegetated mats that are C2C Certified; C2C Silver-Level water conservation standards are met.