Sustainability, It’s not as spooky as it seems…

Sometimes the word Sustainability brings about visions of mass recycling centers, large under-takings, added time to your daily routine, and more. While many of us desire to live a greener lifestyle, preserve the planet, and add to a general sense of sustainable life, it can seem daunting at times.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Think of sustainability less as an immediate overhaul, and more as a process. Anyone from a large corporation to a college student in their dorm room can practice sustainability in small steps. It’s through all the small steps that the impact begins. When you make changes in the smallest details of your life or the way you conduct business, you are making an impact.

Let’s take the college student for a moment. According to Boston College, the average college student goes through about 320 pounds of paper, PER YEAR. Imagine the impact if that college student recycled all those rough drafts instead of using them in the ever popular waste basket basketball. Small steps, Big impact.

Large corporations don’t have to set out to turn the tide right away and completely change the culture of their company. Little incentives that encourage employee buy in for things like riding their bike to work, or using reusable water bottles all will begin to change the corporate culture and create the platform for larger sustainable change.

Small steps in sustainability
So as you ponder what types of small steps you can take in your sustainable journey, let’s look ahead to a mere two weeks from now to Halloween where we have everything from costumes to candy to decorations. Each one of the elements can be a part of your sustainable process. Instead of buying the costumes in the store, get creative! Assemble or make your own costumes from household items. The same goes for Decorations. Do-it-yourselfers everywhere have the ability to create beautiful decorations, and we all have Pinterest to thank for the inspiration.

As you can see, sustainability isn’t scary or daunting, it’s a process. Start small, and you will make an impact.

Small steps to sustainability

About PFB Corporation: PFB is a North American manufacturer of insulating building products committed to long-term sustainability. The PFB product offering represents “Better Building Ideas” because our brands, when used alone or more effectively integrated together as building systems, provide excellent insulating qualities in a cost effective way that reduce energy consumption in the heating and cooling of buildings in which they are incorporated. All PFB products coupled with their policy to pursue sustainable development goals in all our activities, will provide economic and environmental benefits to all their stakeholders.

Next Week….How to Make Your Own Halloween Decorations with Plasti-Fab EPS Foam

PFBSustainability.com | PFBCorp.com | PlastiFab.com

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Why Sustainability is important to us

 

A lot of articles on this blog has been written about the importance of Sustainability in general, but in this article we dig deeper and answer the question: “Why is sustainability important to PFB Corporation?”.

Sustainability: our top priority

At PFB Corporation, commitment is given on its operations that would affect environmental and social concerns. Protecting the environment has always been a top priority, as seen in our processes, products and practices.

The concern for the environment also goes beyond the local scope of the business; it comes from a global scale mindset. The company wants to address the long term preservation of the planet and the effects that modern lifestyles may be having on climate change. Company operations is done responsibly, mindful of the economic, environmental and social impacts of its operations. Aside from this, the company continues to strive for improved performance with regards to input (e.g. materials and energy) and output conversions (e.g. products and emissions).

Sustainability: Less energy use, more savings

Nowadays we learn that more and more green homes are being built; this has to do with the considerable energy reduction, and eventually leading to more cost savings. As the market demand for better sustainable products increase, all the more it affirms the company’s belief that green is the way to go. PFB continues to support sustainability methods, as it produces several product solutions that help the goal of accomplishing energy efficiency.

Sustainability: Environmental Awareness

Sustainability is essentially defined as the “ability to sustain our way of living in our environment”. This fundamental truth explains that our basic survival is either directly or indirectly dependent on our environment. The company’s mission and vision is behind this principle of safety to the community. Efforts on maintaining sustainability has always part of the company’s important business directives.

PFB Corporation has also been a part of several sustainability projects events. The company continues to take part in the community’s green drive for environmental awareness.

Sustainability: Brand alignment

“Better Building Ideas”. With its corporate slogan follows it’s brand alignment towards greener solutions and offering products that are both energy efficient and cost effective. As one of the leaders in the industry, PFB’s corporate culture is rooted in sustainable development. This not only is reflected on our applications but also to the awards and recognition gained throughout the years.

A leader in sustainability

As discussed, PFB Corporation is committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in our practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

 

Saving costs with Sustainable Products

It is the common perception that sustainability solutions are geared mostly towards benefitting the environment and community, though with these ground breaking methods starting to take place, not enough information has been disseminated to the general public on the other factored benefits.

What is not taken into consideration is the financial aspect with regards to using these products or methods. Most people immediately perceive these promising changes as another cost to deal with; what they don’t realize are how beneficial  it is with regards to costs.

Media website Adweek (http://www.adweek.com/digital/what-smart-cities-of-the-future-will-look-like/) recently featured an article that talks about the upcoming trends in the social and digital space.  Entitled “What Smart Cities of the Future Will Look Like”, the site states: “Saving money through efficiency: Much of the driving force behind everything “online” revolves around the bottom line, and improvements in efficiency lead to a solid reduction in needless spending.

While upgrading all 160,000 streetlights in Los Angeles with remote monitoring and smart controls will cost about $14 million, the city is saving $8 million per year by switching to more energy-efficient LED bulbs, according to CNN Money. The technology alerts city employees when bulbs are out, but eventually, it may gather reams of valuable information about air quality, traffic patterns and more pertinent information for improving the city’s quality of life.”

Dealing with change

Recent improvements with environmental directives and the gradual involvement of more industries investing in sustainability has had a positive impact. One of the biggest challenges that these new strategies face however, is the idea of change.

Change can bring down massive adjustments to the processes of an organization, and the turnover time could take a while. At times the implementation can drag systems and affect the overall functional area of an organization. The worst thing that can happen is dropping the new strategy altogether and reverting back to the old methods.

Positive outweigh negatives

In the grand scheme of things, the positives brought by sustainability products simply outweigh the negatives. If more information is given out, when more and more industries and communities realize the positive effects of these products, then the process can improve.  So by making the focus shift to efficiency and making problem solution methods move faster and better, less cost is ultimately realized. Thus, more and more expenses are being mitigated and more money saved.

Supporting cost-effective trends for 2017

Aside from significant savings and reduction in energy consumption, energy efficient materials support one very significant objective: sustainability.

As companies continue to recognize the importance of selecting the right materials in constructing buildings, so does the rate of positive impact to the environment.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit www.pfbsustainability.com.

Top 5 Sustainability Trends for 2017

As the month of June comes to a close and we approach the middle of the year, trends start to form in terms of sustainable directives.

Sustainability Reporting website EnergyWatch (https://energywatch-inc.com/top-5-sustainability-trends-2017/) recently featured an article that talks about the importance of green buildings and the direction on where Sustainability is headed.  The site states: “Going green isn’t an option anymore, it’s a requirement. Environmentally friendly buildings are financially superior in nearly all aspects. As climate change goals become stricter and investors increase interest in green developments, sustainability initiatives are increasingly coming to focus.”

We discuss three of these green trends that the article has mentioned.

Clean Energy Corporate Support Growth

Energy saving benefits have started to attract the attention of companies because it not only encourages health benefit opportunities that has shown promise in boosting employee morale, it can also provide less energy usage, providing cost saving measures that are a welcome advantage.

Rise in Renewable Energy Investments

Renewable Energy offers benefits such as self-sufficiency, and even though it has its share of pros and cons, ultimately the concept is something being considered based on the steady growth of organizations investing on this green alternative.

Organizations considering Net Zero Energy Buildings

As discussed in previous blog posts, Net Zero Energy Buildings offer energy efficient benefits which warranted more consideration as it can significantly improve a company’s corporate footprint. More and more such buildings are being built for organizations; this is among the most important trends for 2017 that should garner more traction as more sustainability practices are being talked about.
green-building

Supporting Sustainability trends for 2017.

Aside from significant savings and reduction in energy consumption, energy efficient materials supports one very significant objective: sustainability.

As companies continue to recognize the importance of selecting the right materials in constructing buildings, so does the rate of positive impact to the environment.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit www.pfbsustainability.com.

Low-carbon buildings for a greener future.

In Canada, the energy used in homes and buildings, e.g. heating, air conditioning, running appliances and office equipment accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Left alone, inefficient, leaky buildings will suck energy and spew emissions for several decades.

The important role played by buildings.

According to an article from the website Policy Options (http://bit.ly/2rSbUxR) “Buildings have long lifespans — longer than those of power plants, cars and appliances. The consequences of inefficient buildings can last generations, so we have some important choices to make today about how we build and maintain them. A bold, long-term commitment to well-built, nearly-zero-energy buildings — which create almost as much energy as they consume — will generate economic, health and environmental benefits for Canadians for years to come.”

Though some steps have been made, this is not enough. The post adds: “Many home and business owners have taken simple actions to improve the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings, such as replacing weather-stripping around windows and doors, insulating roofs and walls and swapping out old boilers and furnaces. But time is not on our side.”

Big changes need to be done

Sweeping changes are needed to make high-efficiency buildings the norm rather than the niche. Low-cost, high-return opportunities are all around us, in our homes, office towers, schools, factories, hospitals and more. For policy-makers looking to cost-effectively and rapidly cut carbon pollution, building improvements are the low-hanging fruit. In fact, in the building sector, we could and should be aiming to exceed Canada’s national emissions reduction targets.

Two areas where this can be addressed: old buildings being modernized and new buildings being upgraded with energy-efficient standards.

There are two specific areas where we think the federal government, in collaboration with its subnational counterparts, could create clean economic growth by advancing the construction of healthy homes and buildings. First, drafty old buildings need to be modernized for the 21st century — the “clean growth century”. This can be done by creating a retrofit strategy that includes revising building codes to address retrofitting and encourages actions like fixing airtightness and heat loss; installing better windows, doors and insulation; and upgrading our heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Second, new buildings need to be constructed to the most energy-efficient design and construction standards.

Supporting green buildings 

The encouraging efforts brought forth by sustainable buildings provides not only the environmental benefits and long term gains for future generations, it could also help propel other organizations to pay more attention that possibly leads to positive action.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

Insulspan is an excellent choice to construct energy efficient buildings because of its energy efficiency features and ability to reduce energy consumption in buildings. Insulspan’s sustainable system and its ability to withstand natural disasters better than other construction methods makes it a top option for energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com

Making a Sustainable Difference

green-building

While sustainability in buildings has been the main topic in several previous blog posts, it’s really just one part of the whole; making a sustainable difference should encompass our overall way of living.

In this article we cover some of the ways where making a difference in sustainability can be achieved:

In The Home

Pollution prevention, also known as P2, happens when people change their plans, practices and habits in order to reduce the generation of pollution and waste at the source, instead of trying to clean it up after the fact. Pollution prevention also includes activities that protect natural resources (i.e. trees, water) through conservation or more efficient use of resources.

The key to environmental sustainability is thinking globally and acting locally. Pollution prevention (P2) is about making smart choices — both in what we buy and in how we use products. It involves looking at the causes of waste and pollution and figuring out how to prevent them.

There is a lot that you can do in your home that will save energy and water and reduce the amount of waste created, while at the same time saving your family money. Even though you may not know it, you are probably already implementing P2 around your home. Here are some activities you, your friends, and family may already be doing or can do in the future to prevent pollution. Protecting the environment and practicing P2 is something that the whole family can do!

Save Water

Water is such an essential part of our lives, that we often times take it for granted. Here are some tips to consider on water conservation:

  • Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth. Do not let it run continuously.
  • Have a short shower instead of a bath. It uses less water. When bathing, be sure not to overfill the tub.
  • When washing or shaving, partially fill the sink basin and use that water rather than running the tap continuously.
  • Ensure that you turn the taps off tightly to avoid dripping.
  • Do not let the water run continuously. Wash dishes or clean fruit and vegetables in a partially filled sink, then rinse them quickly under the tap.
  • Instead of letting the tap run until the water gets cold, keep a jug of drinking water in the refrigerator.
  • Wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher or washing machine.
  • If you can adjust the water level on your washing machine, ensure that you use only as much water as is necessary.
  • Promptly repair leaks in and around taps and faucets.
  • Place a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to reduce water use in the toilet.
  • Install water-flow-reducing attachments to faucets and showerheads to reduce water use.
  • Repair leaks in toilet tanks promptly. You can check for leaks from the toilet tank into the bowl quite easily. Put a small amount of food colouring into the toilet tank. If the coloured water appears in the toilet bowl without flushing, you should repair the leak.

Save Energy

Just like water, energy is another precious resource that we should conserve. Some energy-efficient tips to take note of:

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room.
  • Use the energy saver option or shortest cycle necessary on appliances.
  • If possible, line-dry your clothes outside in the summer.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient, longer-lasting fluorescent bulbs.
  • For small meals, try using the microwave instead of heating up the oven.
  • Turn the temperature on your water heater down. Most homes do not need extremely hot water.
  • Ensure that windows and door frames are sealed properly to avoid heat or cool air from escaping.

Reduce Waste

Some waste reduction measures to use for sustainability:

  • Ensure that your household is implementing a recycling program.
  • Find further uses for things instead of just discarding them. Be creative!
  • Glass jars and plastic containers can be used to store bulk food and odds and ends.
  • Re-use plastic grocery bags the next time you go shopping instead of bringing new ones home, or use them as garbage bags. Better yet, buy or make cloth shopping bags that can be used time and time again
  • Cardboard boxes and paper bags can be used to store things or when packing items for your next move.
  • Re-use items. Save items that you will use again, such as wrapping paper, gift boxes and bags, string, rubber bands, and twist ties.
  • Instead of discarding old or malfunctioning items, have them refurbished or repaired.
  • Many household items, such as clothing, toys, and furniture, can be donated to social service or religious groups.
  • Books and magazines can be donated to hospitals, senior citizens’ residences, and schools.
  • Many schools and day-care centres are always looking for items that can be used for arts and crafts projects. Give them a quick call to see if they need anything in particular.
  • Create and maintain your own compost pile, if feasible. This will produce your own fertilizer and reduce the amount of garbage from your home.

Be Consumer Wise

Being a smart consumer is important because it not only aids sustainable goals but also saves you money and is pro-health. Some ideas on being a smart buyer:

  • Buy in bulk to reduce waste.
  • Purchase products and services from companies that are environmentally conscious.
  • Purchase products that have been recycled or are recyclable. Keep your eyes open for reusable, recyclable or returnable packages.
  • Use safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals. For example, use insecticidal soaps instead of chemical sprays to get rid of insects on your plants at home.
  • Use less toxic cleaners, waxes, glues and adhesives, paints, paint removers, stains, etc.
  • Look for driveway sealers that contain low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This will minimize contributions to the formation of smog.

Making a Sustainable Difference

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com

How to be a Leader in Sustainability

ARCD-5800

Industry and community leadership

Being a leader in sustainability involves setting an example and becoming committed to  corporate values and accountable to the practices of an organization.

At PFB Corporation, supply chain links are with major corporations that support the Responsible Care® Initiative. At the interface with them, the operating practices are subject to audit by them, which helps the industry to operate safely, profitably and with care for future generations.

The company also train and expect its employees to be experts in their field. It also support numerous industry trade associations and expect employees to participate in them including Expanded Polystyrene Manufacturers Association (EPSMA), Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Construction Specifications Canada, local Home Builders Associations, local Built Green programs, regional building supply associations, regional roofing associations.

PFB Corporation is very active in the communities. To ensure the appropriate use of our products, it provide on-site technical advisory services and product knowledge training to its customers. They also provide professional instruction courses for credit with Architectural AIA, as well as ICF University and SIP School for builders, and Home Planning Seminars for consumers.

Greenguard Certification Program

As the demand for healthier, more sustainable products continues to expand, consumers and building industry professionals increasingly demand substantiation of product sustainability claims and rely on trustworthy third-party certifiers to guide purchasing and specification decisions. GREENGUARD Certification provides the market with solutions and resources to identify products with lower chemical emissions, and provides manufacturers with credible tools to legitimize and promote their sustainability efforts.

Habitat for Humanity Owen Sound

PFB Corporation participated in a Habitat for Humanity project located in Owen Sound, Ontario where twenty Grey-Bruce students helped build housing as part of a fast-tracked carpentry apprenticeship pilot program at Georgian College. 

Okanagan Home for Learning Project

PFB is proud to be a sponsor of the 2007 South Okanagan Home for Learning Project, where we supplied PlastiSpan under slab insulation and Advantage ICF System. 

The Home for Learning project provided college students the opportunity to expand their skills and their knowledge of energy efficient building systems. This home is Built Green certified and meets federal R-2000 and EnerGuide ratings. The project won several provincial Environmental Awards.

Burnside House

Michigan’s first platinum-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) award has been awarded to “Burnside’s Inn,” a home designed by Riverbend Timber Framing, in Blissfield , and built by Robert Burnside’s Fireside Home Construction company. The LEED Green Building Rating System, nationally recognized benchmark for high-performance green buildings, bases its certifications on sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. PFB believes that our Better Building Ideas products, when used in the construction of the building envelope, are an enabling technology that supports the certification of LEED designed buildings and Net Zero Energy houses.

Net Zero Energy Home

Two noteworthy research and demonstration projects in which PFB participated by providing Insulspan SIPS panels, are to the BASF NZE Demonstration House in Patterson, New Jersey and to a Habitat for Humanity research project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The objective for a NZE house is to balance, over a year time horizon, the generation of energy by the structure with consumption of energy in the structure. The energy efficiency of PFB products makes them enabling technologies in NZE building construction.

Holmes Foundation

PFB Corporation has been actively involved with several charitable organizations. A recent partnership has formed with The Holmes Foundation. Having worked with Mike Holmes on an episode of his show, we had a chance to see firsthand how passionate he is about the industry. This was a natural fit because his concern for well-trained tradesmen supports our jobsite training initiatives. PFB donated a percentage of our sales from a local trade show to the Holmes Foundation.

Becoming a leader in sustainability

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.