Companies, Associations, Talk About What Earth
Day Means for Them
April 22, 2010
In recognition of Earth Day's 40th anniversary, a number of companies
and organizations in the glass and glazing industry are taking steps
to make their businesses-and the industry-more earth friendly.
For James Bogdan, QEP, LEED-AP, manager, sustainability marketing
initiatives for PPG Industries, Earth Day stimulates more conscious
thoughts and awareness regarding the interaction between people's
needs and available resources.
"The glass industry, with advanced low-E coatings, dynamic
glass and collaborative BIPV, provides much needed solutions to
address energy and environmental concerns. As technologies develop,
it encourages further industry innovation, which always has positive
results," says Bogdan, who adds that PPG has taken on a number
of research and development activities that commercialized energy
efficiency and renewable energy products and technologies.
"From a manufacturing point of view, PPG is always trying to
improve process efficiencies to reduce emissions, effluent or waste.
These are not only costs to us, but opportunities to further reduce
our environmental footprint," says Bogdan. He adds that his
company also devotes resources to influence and advance legislation
and incentives for greater energy efficiencies for the building
"The building envelope is not fairly represented in tax incentives,
and collaboration in this area is imperative to drive efficiencies
as well as industry solutions," says Bogdan.
Curtainwall manufacturers also are taking green initiatives.
"Earth Day reminds me that we've come a long way, but sustainability
is a journey with no finish line," says Lisa Szematowicz, LEED
AP, product manager, Kawneer Company Inc. "Kawneer is committed
to developing innovative, sustainable solutions and to encouraging
everyone in the industry to make choices that make a difference
every day. Our high-performance products, services and tools are
focused on making a positive impact on our communities and the environment.
With [our] products and solutions, customers and architects can
make choices that achieve the business, performance and aesthetic
goals for their projects, while enhancing the sustainability of
those buildings, as well."
Mary Olivier, Tubelite's marketing manager has a similar perspective.
"We are proud to provide products and services that represent
exceptional, energy-efficient solutions without compromising the
environmental impact upon future generations."
Olivier continues, "We selectively partner with suppliers that
share this same passion and collaborate not only on developing and
improving energy-efficient fenestration products, but also on creating
and utilizing environmentally-responsible methods to produce these
products. These methods help us in reducing our overall carbon footprint
by dramatically lowering greenhouse gas, solid waste and water use."
The Glass Association of North America (GANA) is also celebrating
Earth Day and has posted thoughts from members on its website. These
thoughts from leaders of the commercial architectural glass industry
discuss the many ways the industry has promoted the green movement
and sustainability for several years. (CLICK
HERE to read more).
"The ongoing efforts of our members are inspirational in many
ways," says GANA president Tom Crawford. "Our industry
has long believed in providing products that promote better energy
efficiency while offering natural daylighting and a more natural
environment. Today we can celebrate that commitment within the glass
industry as a whole."
Brian Pitman, director of marketing and communications for GANA,
adds that the glass industry feels strongly about the importance
of Earth Day.
"Our industry has long produced new technologies and products
to increase efficiencies while enhancing natural daylighting inside
buildings," says Pitman. "The beneficial effects of daylighting
have been documented in the science community."
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is also
taking recognizing the positive steps that have been made toward
the pursuit of energy efficiency.
"Each year on Earth Day, there is a marked increase in announcements
and articles emphasizing the importance of 'going green.' While
this increased publicity does serve an important purpose, the intended
effects of these reminders should last long after Earth Day has
come and gone," says Rich Walker, AAMA president and chief
executive officer. "This day should serve as a reminder that
individuals have the power to daily make changes and decisions that
not only save money on their energy bills, but are also environmentally
friendly. On a broader scale, these changes on the part of consumers
not only help the U.S. in the national pursuit of energy efficiency,
but also help to reduce the nation's dependence on oil, from both
foreign and domestic sources."
Walker adds, "At AAMA, energy efficiency has always been a
priority initiative for us. We work with door, window and skylight
manufacturers who continually are creating new and improving existing
products with the goal of increasing energy-efficiency. The designation
of green doors, windows and skylights is simply market recognition
of these manufacturers doing their job well."
Though consumer awareness may not always be strong, just this last
year, an association has formed to promote the idea of glass repair
and conservation throughout the industry at largeand to consumers
as well. The Global Glass Conservation Alliance was formed last
November by several members of the National Windshield Repair Association
(NWRA) who are aiming to reduce the energy impact of glass upon
We do everything we can to assist our members with promoting
glass conservation to their customers, and hope that, in the end,
as a group we can cut down the impact the industry has on the environment,
says GGCA director of operations Wendy M. Jozwiak.
The association works with the flat glass industry to promote the
re-use and restoration of glass.
And in an effort that could benefit the entire construction industry,
Vice President Biden announced yesterday that 25 communities will
receive up to $452 million in Recovery Act funding to "ramp-up"
energy efficiency building retrofits. The models created through
this program are expected to save households and businesses about
a $100 million annually in utility bills, while leveraging private
sector resources, to create what funding recipients estimate at
about 30,000 jobs across the country during the next three years.
HERE to read Vice President Biden's full statement, including
a list of the governments and non-profit organizations selected
for Retrofit Ramp-Up awards.)
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