Redefining Sustainability: More than just “Green” Products

Sustainability. A word we are all familiar with ever since the industry moved on from the “Green” movement. Yet while we know the definition of sustainability as it was at the start of the sustainability movement, have we as a whole kept up with the ever-changing concept of sustainability?

PFB: Sustainable in Products, Practice and People

Initially sustainability meant that what you produce as a manufacturer would not harm the planet or the people on it. That was the benchmark that we as manufacturers measured ourselves by. At the outset of the sustainability movement, that in itself was a good step in the right direction.

Now, the concept of sustainability has grown and progressed into an overarching thought philosophy of not just the products you make, but the way businesses operate, the way they treat people and the future impacts both environmentally and socially as well.

At PFB Corporation, we have embraced the changes and impact of the future of sustainability, and incorporated it into our business practices with our Sustainable Products, Practice and People ideology. No longer is it just about the products we produce –though they are still an integral part of our sustainable promise, but it now encompasses the way we do business on a daily basis. Manufacturing has historically received low marks in sustainability due to raw material consumption, chemicals, etc. At PFB, we are pleased to show our sustainability reporting every year, thus illustrating the ways our operations have continued to improve their sustainable operations.

As the only vertically-integrated manufacturer of EPS in North America, we have one of the largest offerings of sustainable brands and product selections. With a product mix that is inherently sustainable and adds to the energy efficient building industry, it is our goal to continue to provide a higher quality of product that gives customers a sense of comfort in knowing that not only do our product not hurt the environment, but help create healthier, sustainable spaces for them as well.

Our Sustainable culture, C. Alan Smith, Executive Chairman of the Board states, “Sustainability is about people. It is about the impact that our actions have on people. We are focused on activities that have positive impacts for our customers, for our employees and for the environment in our communities.”

As an organization we understand that sustainability cannot be stagnant. We cannot rest on our benchmark and be happy with today’s efforts. Instead, with a dedicated Sustainability Director, PFB continues to improve our sustainable practices and find new ways to provide sustainable benefits to everyone from our employees to our customers.

We are always looking for ways to make a difference in our environment. To learn more about our sustainable promise, check out our environmental data, or view our sustainable products visit https://www.pfbsustainability.com/   

Sustainable Products to be Showcased at this year’s Construct Canada in Toronto

It’s time again for the annual Construct Canada show in Toronto, Ontario. Visitors are able to see, touch and experience new sustainable technologies and products throughout the three day show. Plasti-Fab will be showcasing just a few of their many products this year that help with not just energy efficiency, but sustainable living and construction.

What is Construct Canada? The Buildings Show is the leader in sourcing, networking and education in Canada for the design, architecture, construction and real estate communities, creating the largest exposition for the entire industry.

More than 30,500 trade professionals attend the Show annually to discover new innovations across the building industry and source the latest materials, products, tools and technologies from more than 1,600 Canadian, US and international exhibits. Through the Show’s comprehensive seminar program, attendees can choose from 350+ seminars, keynotes, summits and roundtables led by a roster of 500+ industry experts.

Don’t miss a minute of the show and be sure to visit Plasti-Fab in booth #1026 to check out some of the showcased product lines below:

The Advantage ICF System®
Insulating Concrete Forming System for Above and Below grade applications. The Advantage ICF System is a patented insulating concrete forming system consisting of two layers of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation connected with a web molded into the EPS insulation.

EnerGreen® Insulation
EnerGreen® insulation Board is a moulded expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with a thin film laminated to the top and bottom surfaces. Features/Benefits: • Durable product less susceptible to handling damage • Easy to cut and install • Meets CAN-ULC S701, Types I, 2, and 3 • Meets International Residential Code requirements • For Retrofit and New Construction Continuous Insulation for: • Concrete Slab • Radiant Floor Heating Systems • Interior or Exterior Foundation Wall • Cathedral Ceilings & Roofs

EnerSpan® Insulation
EnerSpan® insulation is a rigid, closed cell, silver-gray insulation that meets or exceeds requirements for expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation manufactured to CAN/ULC-S701, Standard for Thermal Insulation, Polystyrene, Boards and Pipe Covering. EnerSpan insulation is manufactured using Neopor® F5300 GPS Plus, a graphite-enhanced expandable polystyrene (GPS) raw material provided by BASF. The graphite within the silver-gray cellular structure of EnerSpan insulation reduces radiation heat transfer and results in an enhanced thermal resistance compared to standard white EPS insulation manufactured to CAN/ULC-S701. EnerSpan Insulation applications: • Continuous exterior insulating sheathing • Interior or exterior foundation Insulation • Above or below concrete slab insulation Benefits: • R4.7/in. • No Thermal Drift • 100% R-value Warranty • Easy to cut, saw or score 2×8 ft, 4×8 ft 2 ft high bundles Plus special order sizes Thickness to meet job

GeoSpan® Compressible Fill
GeoSpan compressible fill material is an expanded polystyrene product designed to act as a compressible medium between swelling soils and structural elements. Where long-term soil movement can be predicted, GeoSpan compressible fill material can be designed to reduce the forces that would be induced on structures by soil movement, thus reducing the likelihood of damage to the structure above.

Radon Guard™ Insulation
Radon Guard™ insulation is a patent-pending sub-slab depressurization panel. Radon Guard allows for soil gas removal, insulates the concrete slab and provides a capillary break between the ground and the air barrier system.

Don’t forget to stop in and see us! BOOTH #1026 – See you there!

Defining Sustainability in your Brand

With the surge of the importance of sustainability not just in our products, but also in the way we produce those products, it is easy for companies to claim sustainability. Certain products are easily identified as sustainable (think electric cars and stainless steel water bottles). However, our culture has increased the accountability of companies claiming to be sustainable, especially when you create a product that might not be immediately associated with a green, clean sustainable future. (Let’s face it, we all can’t make clothing from a straw bale, or shoes from old tires) But as a society, we want proof.

It’s no longer just about the products you make, or the way in which you make them. Now, sustainability is about who are as an organization and the belief and support system that illustrates to everyone you live and breathe sustainability as a culture. At PFB, our bottom line is underscored with the belief that we make sustainable products in the most sustainable way possible, by people who believe in making the most sustainable difference. Now we can easily sit behind a desk and write all sorts of press about our sustainability, but the proof is in the pudding so to speak. This is where the Global Reporting Initiative comes in to play. Every year we supply this organization with our sustainability numbers in our operations, and publicly post them to our website for all to see. Now you have a baseline to build from. Once you have the foundation of sustainability in your products and practices, turn your attention to people.

Who represents your brand? Your people do. So if you want sustainability associated with the definition of who you are as an organization, you start with the people. You may be surprised at the ideas percolating within your organization for ways to turn even the smallest every day activity into a sustainable action. Not only will you empower your employees to take initiatives and make a difference, but you create sustainability ambassadors, the same people who represent your brand, are an extension of your sustainability practices. When everyone is working towards a goal for change, when you have buy-in and support from those on the ground floor all the way to the top, it creates the culture of your brand. You now have living breathing messaging that your brand values the future and how your company impacts it.

A few years ago, PFB featured a sustainability initiative contest among all of its North American locations, imploring its people to think outside the box, and generate sustainability ideas that could be implemented within the organization. It was a hit. The participation was like no other contest before it. Why? Because the concept touched every single person regardless of whether they worked on the manufacturing floor or sales, human resources, and more. Sustainability touches every single one of us. When a corporation understands and listens to the ideas of all involved in the process, it broadens the scope of possibilities for change and enhances the belief in the brand.

People want to make a difference, and by implementing sustainability initiatives within your organization it helps show them they make an impact. I encourage you, no I CHALLENGE you to try it. Call out to the people who make your brand what it is. You will be surprised how innovative and creative your organization can be when you put your faith in the people who don’t just make your products, but make your brand, and therefore make a difference.

Want to see our sustainability reporting? Take a look today at http://www.pfbsustainability.com/envdata.html

Plasti-Fab Polymer Plant recipient of “Proof Not Promises”

GE - Proof Not Promises

Energy and environmental solutions provider GE Power & Water Technologies recently presented Plasti-Fab Polymer Plant with the “Proof Not Promises” award.

“Proof Not Promises” is a category of GE’s Customer Awards that are given to companies they have worked with based on successfully implementing efficiency improvements.

The award was presented to Plasti-Fab after Dan Mooney, Chief Steam Engineer of its Polymer Plant had worked with GE in the reduction of utilizing the “Steamate” condensate corrosion inhibitor for the Moulding Plant Boiler by more than 75%.

With the help of a GE representative, Polymer Plant staff and employees, a chemical addition reduction initiative targeted at steam condensate return piping amine in the Crossfield Block Moulding Plant was completed. Amines are added to the steam systems to coat iron piping and prevent corrosion. Amines are the most expensive component of a boiler water treatment system.

The goal of this initiative was to add controls in order to optimize the addition to the required points which reduces the consumption to the minimum amount required in achieving piping protection.

Not only has the Amine consumption in the system reduced dramatically over the 3 month evaluation period without sacrifice of the piping protection, it also produced annual operational savings in the range to $9,000 to $10,000.

A new direction to Frank’s Green Speak blog

Since 2009, the Frank’s Green Speak blog has been providing readers with content on sustainability that helps raise awareness on the well-being of the environment. Our mission to provide customers with energy efficient products and applications reflect our conscious efforts towards this goal.

In a period where diligence for environmental health has improved significantly along with the recent developments unfolding in the organization, we deemed it time to move to a new direction which would benefit readers of the blog. We aim to continue providing informative and relevant content which is focused not just on environmental issues and ecological footprint but also providing articles on ways to improve the environment as a whole.

Changes will be occuring soon so check out the blog for updates.

The Life Cycle Benefits of SIPS

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)

Reduce Global Warming

 

Life Cycle Benefits of SIPS

The basic design concept for SIPS is elegant in its simplicity, and offers several advantages for constructing walls and roofs. There is general agreement that SIPS provide better overall air tightness and practical thermal performance than conventionally framed walls.

– NAHB Research Center

SIPS Environmental Advantage

By providing substantial energy savings and critical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the energy invested in the production and delivery of SIPS yields an exponential benefit to the environment, when compared to traditional stick framing.

The exceptional performance of SIPS as an insulator coupled with low air leakage for the built environment offers the construction industry the tools and technology needed to achieve superior thermal performance while making a significant and restorative contribution to the reduction of global warming.

Read the rest of “Life Cycle Benefits of SIPS” here.

SIPs could be the future of home construction

By ROBERT KOOPMANS
Daily News Staff Reporter

An untrained eye would have a hard time seeing what’s different about the house being built at the corner of Linfield Drive and Aberdeen Way.

To those in the know, however, the level-entry rancher is the cutting edge of a new wave of high-tech home construction, using new methods and materials that could make traditional dimensional lumber framing a thing of the past.

Check out the full article here.

Insulspan’s Lakeside Green Cottage Wins Green Building Category in the BSC 2011 Excellence in Home Design Awards

Blissfield, Michigan, November 8, 2010 — Blissfield-based Structural Insulating Panel System home manufacturer Insulspan, Incorporated received a national home building accolade with its Lakeside Green Cottage, capturing First Place, Green building using SIPs in the 2011 BSC Excellence in Home Design and Marketing Awards program. The honor was awarded by the Building Systems Councils (BSC) of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)—a trade association that represents the concrete, log, modular, and panelized building system industries—at their annual awards program on November 8, 2010.

Sponsored by the NAHB Building Systems Councils, the BSC Excellence in Marketing and Home Design Awards has promoted excellence in the systems-built housing industry for more than ten years. All winners were announced at an awards luncheon in New Orleans, held in conjunction with the BSC SHOWCASE event—the leading trade show and conference based centered on the systems-built housing industry. Home manufacturers, builders and industry associates were among the groups recognized.

“This year’s award winners like Insulspan, Incorporated prove that despite a sluggish housing market, the systems-built industry is raising the bar in residential marketing and home design concepts,” said BSC Chairman Vic DePhillips, a modular manufacturer from Moosic, Pa. “Our award winners are adding credibility to their businesses and shedding a positive light on the building systems industry as a whole.”

The annual BSC Excellence Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts and companies like Insulspan were given praise for the quality of their submittals. The Lakeside Green Cottage  is a model of sustainable construction that maintains the design & character of its historic community.

“It is truly an honor for the Lakeside Green Cottage to receive the BSC Excellence Award for Green Building with SIPs,” said Frank Baker, Lakeside Cottage Homeowner and PFB Board member “At Insulspan, we strive to provide innovative, practical housing solutions using systems-built technologies. This award shows the hard work and vision of Insulspan dedicated employees. It is a proud day for them.

Awardees were recognized for excellence in achievement in several marketing and design categories and covered a range of concrete, log, modular and panelized homes.
There were scores of entries submitted for award categories ranging from Outstanding Model/Sales Center, to Presentation of Home Plans and Best Web site.

For a complete list of winning companies and projects, including Insulspan and its Lakeside Green Cottage, visit www.nahb.org/2011bscawardwinners.

Award winners were announced to a crowd of nearly 200 systems-built industry professionals at the awards luncheon. Winners received plaques to commemorate their efforts. They will be featured in upcoming editions of NAHB’s e-newspaper, Nation’s Building News.  Some projects will also be on display on the BSC Awards Wall at the 2011 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

ABOUT THE BSC: The Building Systems Councils of the National Association of Home Builders is made up of manufacturing, builder, and associate members who advocate building with systems. Systems-built homes are constructed with concrete, log, modular, or panelized systems.  They are constructed to the same code standards and reflect the same, and often enhanced, quality levels as any site-built construction. The advantage of systems-building is it’s done in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the waste, reducing costly weather exposure.  Many systems-built homes are inherently “green,” adding an environmentally friendly label to the product.

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 175,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for 2010.

Lakeside Green Cottage – Open House

You’re invited to a preview of

The Lakeside Green Cottage

Saturday, May 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At 174 Vine St., Lakeside, Ohio

The Lakeside Green Cottage is a model of sustainable construction that maintains the design and character of its historic community. You’re invited to tour this high-efficiency home, now in its final phase of construction, and discover how eco-friendly building technology and historic character can go hand-in-hand.

Learn more about the project and the Chautauqua community of Lakeside.

Come for the open house, stay for…

Lakeside Daisy Day and the Lakeside Association’s Annual Plant Sale

Celebrating the hearty yellow flower that grows only on the Marblehead Peninsula, Lakeside Daisy Day will be marked with events throughout the area, including Lakeside’s Annual Plant Sale on the steps of Hoover Auditorium. For more information visit www.LakesideOhio.com or www.LakesideDaisy.com