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Waste Not; Want Not

Individually these may seem like small steps, but when combined they result in a big positive impact.

In the metal roofing industry, we talk a lot about how our products minimize waste. Each year, 20-million tonnes of asphalt end up in North American landfills, making them a significant component of building-related waste.

Asphalt is a petroleum-based product that takes 300 years to decompose. By the time one year’s batch of asphalt has disintegrated, there will be six-trillion more pounds of shingle-waste added to it.

Steel has long been lauded by builders for its strength, but its high recycled content is a huge environmental plus. The amount can vary, but most steel products contain upwards of 80% recycled content and are infinitely recyclable at the end of their life.

At Vicwest, our goal over the past five years has been the waste we generate during the manufacturing process of our products. During this time, we’ve reduced the amount of waste we produce that goes to landfill to 60%, with the remaining 40% being recycled. This year, our goal is to reduce our waste even further, with only 40% of it going to landfill.

To put this into context, back in 2016 we sent 240 tons of waste to landfill. Through our waste management efforts, last year we had reduced our waste overall by 100 tons – of which we recycled 60 tons so only 90 tons went to landfill.

Some of the ways that we’ll achieve this is by radically minimizing our consumption of lumber by redesigning our transport crates so they use less wood. A side benefit of this lumber project has been that it lightens the weight of every truck leaving our facility, which improves fuel efficiency.

We aim to reduce our lumber usage by another 10% in 2021. We’re installing rainwater harvesting capabilities at our facilities. And all of our scrap or defective steel will be recycled and reused.

We’ve embarked on a Planet Passionate journey together with the team at Kingspan.  Follow the steps we’re collectively taking to create a greener industry.