Sustainability at PPG

Environment, Health and Safety


PPG will design, build and operate our facilities in ways that prevent harm to public health and the environment, conserve energy,water and raw materials, integrate pollution prevention and make a positive contribution to the surrounding community and to society as a whole.

Environmental compliance with government regulations is the responsibility of each PPG business unit and all associates within that business. Recognizing the differences in governmental regulations at the national, provincial, state and local level is critical to environmental compliance. PPG is committed to acquiring, interpreting and complying with these laws and regulations throughout the world.

Key elements of PPG’s environmental assurance process include: 

  • Air Programs - PPG routinely evaluates equipment and process modifications that reduce emissions, conserve energy and provide environmental benefit. One such focus for PPG is on the generation and reduction of global greenhouse gases.   
  • Water Programs – PPG global operations rely on high quality of water in sufficient quantity to produce our products. PPG carefully reviews and manages how water is obtained, treated, used and discharged from our operations.  
  • Waste Programs – PPG focuses on the use of raw materials and product yields to minimize the generation of waste. Since 1987, PPG has incorporated pollution prevention programs throughout global manufacturing facilities. PPG collects and analyzes global waste generation data to identify opportunities to increase productivity and efficiency. PPG maintains a global program for responsible waste management including the auditing of our contracted waste disposal and recycling locations.  
  • Environmental Risk Management – PPG incorporates risk management concepts into business activities following the principles of Responsible Care® or Coatings Care®.
  • Land Management and Conservation - PPG endeavors to understand and manage environmental impacts to land and groundwater associated with our operating activities (past and present), products and services.  MORE>

Recent highlights from PPG’s environmental efforts:

  • The Toxic Release Inventory Report, also referred to as SARA 313 or the Form R, is an annual accounting of certain, listed chemicals and how they are released, transferred, and managed at PPG manufacturing facilities in the US. This mandatory reporting began in 1987. The chart at the right tracks PPG TRI releases in millions of pounds. These values include materials shipped offsite for recycling, energy recovery, and disposal, as well as direct releases to air and water. In 2006, total releases and transfers increased 1.1 million pounds. This increase is attributed to our growing businesses including newly acquired manufacturing locations. 
  • PPG has enrolled in EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities. Through this effort PPG has committed to making voluntary reductions in mercury emissions. Since 2004, PPG's Natrium facility in West Virginia has reduced mercury emissions by over 72%, and will continue to focus on additional reductions. PPG is also eliminating a major source of mercury emissions from the Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA chlorine production facility by replacing the current mercury cell unit with a mercury-free membrane technology. Conversion is targeted completion in mid 2007.  MORE>
  • The Beauharnois, Quebec, Canada facility lead a Wildlife Habitat Council project for a pedestrian and cross country ski trail on plant-owned property. In collaboration with a local biologist, an environmental education program was developed to educate on the biodiversities of the wildlife of the area. To date, the site has had over 2000 visitors. 
  • PPG is a leading pioneer in oxygen-fuel furnace technology and one of the first companies to install this technology on a float glass production line in North America. Today, this technology is in operation at two major PPG float glass production facilities in the USA and at all but one Fiber Glass plants. For a float glass furnace, this technology reduces fuel consumption by 15 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions from the two float furnaces have been reduced by 10 percent and emissions of nitrogen oxides have been lowered by 50 percent. 
  • PPG was able to sell 52,000 European Union (EU) carbon credits in 2005 for approximately 1.2 million Euros as a result of improvements in operational and energy efficiencies. It is anticipated that the total number of credits available for sale in 2006 and 2007 will be approximately the same as 2005. 
  • The PPG Clarkson facility outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada has developed an advanced biological process to treat solvent-laden water on-site, reducing the amount of water-based cleaning waste. This process eliminates 150,000 gallons of wastewater per year. 
  • The Natrium, West Virginia, USA facility utilized Sigma Logic principles to reduce its ammonia fugitive air emissions from 110,000 pounds per year to an annual average of 15,000 pounds per year. 
  • PPG has made large investments to improve its energy use. For example, in 2001 PPG put into operation a $242 million, 425-megawatt cogeneration power plant at the Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA, Chemicals plant. 
  • PPG is a member of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council which has worked with the Department of Energy and other organizations to sponsor innovative projects that lead to innovative fuel efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions.