The foundation of James Hardie’s sustainability initiative starts with our innovative products which have an extended lifespan that require minimal maintenance and can be used in energy efficient buildings. These incorporate product design, manufacturing processes and logistics resulting in a holistic approach toward sustainability.
- Sustainable Product Design
Our products are manufactured with a focus on reducing their environmental impact, using sustainable and low toxicity products with minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We have continued to invest heavily in the development and design of fibre cement products and other building product materials that are durable, low maintenance and energy efficient.
- Sustainable Manufacturing Processes
Our manufacturing facilities in Virginia, Illinois and Nevada continue to maintain the internationally recognised ISO 14001 certification with recent upgrade to the new 2015 standards.In addition, our global environmental policy mandates all of our manufacturing facilities implement ISO 14001 best practices.As such, the rest of the manufacturing locations worldwide operate in conformance with our global environmental policy.
Emissions Reductions and Controls.Aligned with our effort and focus to meet or exceed all applicable environmental regulations and requirements, we have implemented effective environmental control systems such as high efficiency dust collectors at each facility worldwide. Our new Tacoma plant expansion, which we expect to commission in Fiscal Year 2019, will include state of the art material handling equipment and water treatment facilities which will continue to reduce our environmental footprint.
Resource Conservation and Waste Minimisation. Another key area of focus is the practice of recycling raw materials that are used in our manufacturing process, which include water, sludge, and dust. In addition, we continue to make energy efficient infrastructural improvements at our facilities, such as LED lights which dramatically reduce overall electricity use. Our Asia Pacific operations are undergoing an infrastructural upgrade as well which will result in improved energy efficiency across the region.
A highlight of our waste minimisation efforts over the past year was our Reno, Nevada manufacturing facility’s partnership with a local mining company to secure the environmental permits necessary to allow us to beneficially reuse our treated process water effluent for the purpose of controlling dust across their operations.The joint initiative had the added benefit of not only allowing the mining company to avoid pumping ground water thereby reducing their energy use, but also preserving valuable groundwater at this arid location.The success of this project has encouraged us to look for other similar opportunities.
- Sustainable Approach to Logistics
Raw Materials Use. The majority of raw materials used in our manufacturing process are sourced from local or regional suppliers in close proximity to each manufacturing facility. As a consequence, our operations benefit from minimising fuel and maximizing transport efficiency and reduces our facilities’ impact on the environment. This approach is a key factor that has been incorporated into our long-term planning for future manufacturing locations. Further, James Hardie does not use any conflict minerals in the manufacturing of our products.
Product Distribution. By strategically locating our manufacturing facilities near key markets, we minimise the overall shipping distances of our products and thus reduce our carbon footprint associated with downstream product distribution.
Environmental Management Principles
We maintain a comprehensive environmental management system in support of our stated environmental policy which is designed to help reduce our global environmental impact. Whenever possible, we seek to use renewable and recyclable resources, practice appropriate conservation techniques and take steps to protect the environment against pollution.
In Fiscal Year 2018, we began reporting global carbon emissions via the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting platform. James Hardie is committed to the continued improvement of its environmental performance as evidenced by the upgrade to the new ISO 14001-2015 global standard. The new standard increases engagement with all stakeholders in the value chain, including key vendors, via life cycle analysis to ensure we positively influence our supply chain partners. To assist, a third-party EHS management system was purchased in Fiscal Year 2018 and is currently being implemented across the organisation.
Operate with Respect is a core value that is shared globally by all James Hardie employees and reflected in the company’s focus on social responsibility. Through our Charitable Giving Program, we seek to have a positive social impact in the communities where we operate and in our markets by actively participating in charitable and humanitarian activities and projects. Every employee and each of our facilities is encouraged to support local charitable efforts that align with the company’s dual vision of (1) meeting the basic needs of at-risk individuals and families by helping them gain stability and self-sufficiency and (2) enhancing a community’s vitality through the support of organisations that serve our communities or create and foster economic and environmental vitality. Our commitment can be in the form of matching financial gifts made or time volunteered by our employees, as well as through the donation of James Hardie products.
In fiscal year 2018, the company and our employees contributed to the following charitable organisations:
- Habitat for Humanity, in the form of materials, tools and labor to housing projects at various locations across the country
- Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria Relief fund drives
- Lower Nine organisation, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the long-term recovery of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans
- A Soldier’s Journey Home
- Toys for Tots
- Relay for Life
- Tacoma Rescue Mission
- Product donations to schools
- Donation of school supplies and material to foster homes and shelters
- Philippines medical out-reach program donating medical supplies to local displaced people