We are committed to reducing, reusing and recycling our waste.
PPG recognizes the importance of moving toward a circular economy. We work to reduce waste and its associated impacts from our products and processes, starting in the design of our products. We use raw materials as efficiently as possible, minimize our waste generated from operations and promote reuse and recycling throughout our value chain. Beyond the environmental benefits, reducing waste helps lower our costs.
Our efforts to reduce spills and releases are driven by employee engagement activities, operational improvements and self-assessments. Our median spill in 2022 was 26.4 pounds, with 99% of spills contained onsite. We had four significant spills during the year that totaled 17,750 gallons (67,187 liters).
Given the range of our operations and production processes, we empower management at each of our sites to implement waste reduction measures as they see fit. Over the past year, we have implemented new processes to:
- Reduce packaging waste associated with transporting raw materials and finished products
- Reduce production waste by finding new uses for byproducts of our manufacturing processes
- Reduce raw material use by incorporating recycled materials in products and packaging
- Take back and repurpose unused products from customers
- Reformulate products to enable reuse and recycling at their end of life
Although we are still on track to reach our waste goals by 2025, we faced challenges at one of our largest production facilities in 2022 that impacted the amount of material accounted for as waste.
One of our manufacturing processes at our Lake Charles, Louisiana, facility produces an inert, non-hazardous material that has historically been reused as a filler material. However, in 2022 the partner that reused the material paused operations, and the material had to be sent to landfill. We were able to secure a new agreement at the end of 2022 to keep the material out of the landfill, but over the course of the year 30,000 metric tons of this material was classified as waste. This raised our waste intensity from 2.07 to 2.79, and added significant waste hauling cost over the course of the year.
We also seek to reduce the total amount of waste sent to landfills by incorporating recycled materials in our product packaging. Some of our architectural coatings product packaging, excluding the handle and lid, contain up to 100% recycled content in the U.S. and in Europe. We are currently testing packaging that uses recycled content for the lid and plan to increase the amount of recycled content in our packaging as we move forward.
Multi-year data highlights
Total waste disposal
metric tons per 100 metric tons of production
thousand metric tons
Total waste disposed includes landfilled, incinerated and treated waste. Excludes waste associated with a 2017 furnace rebuild at our Lake Charles, Louisiana, plant, which is an infrequent event that occurs every 7 to 10 years. Data changes from prior reporting reflect adjustments for acquired and divested locations from the 2017 baseline onward.
Thousand metric tons
Disposed waste does not include waste that is recycled, reclaimed or incinerated for energy recovery. Data changes from prior reporting reflect adjustments for acquired and divested locations from the 2017 baseline onward.
Waste generated / recycled
thousand metric tons
thousand metric tons
thousand metric tons
thousand metric tons
Data for hazardous waste recycled include waste that was used to generate energy through direct incineration. We report our hazardous waste data using the regulatory framework of each country where we operate. Data changes from prior reporting reflect adjustments for acquired and divested locations from the 2017 baseline onward.
Spills and releases rate
Per 1,000 employees
Our approach to waste management
Our paints and coatings extend the useable lifespan of products across industries, improve the performance of existing products, and refresh them so they can remain in use for many years. In this way, waste reduction is inherent to our purpose to protect and beautify the world. We also work to reduce waste from our operations as part of our wider environmental performance management.
Improving resource efficiency
Our focus on operational efficiency reduces our waste footprint, resulting in both environmental and financial benefits.
PPG acquires raw materials from suppliers and our manufacturing process converts these materials into finished products. These products are then transported to customers in the construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation industries. Typical waste streams resulting from these activities include process waste from equipment cleaning, substandard product, by-products and packaging.
We track waste produced at our facilities around the world, and manage each waste stream according to internal and legal standards. Waste that is shipped off-site for disposal is reported into a central data system, allowing us to monitor performance, identify areas for improvement and share best practices.
Our global waste stewardship process covers all waste contractors that provide waste treatment, storage, disposal or recycling services. These contractors are rigorously evaluated through our waste auditing process, ensuring alignment to regulatory and PPG waste handling requirements. Once approved, we apply our commercial requirements and communicate the status to our sites.
Facility management works to reduce or eliminate waste streams one source at a time. We prioritize waste reduction work based on criteria that includes hazard profile, volume and cost. For anything that cannot be eliminated by increasing our efficiency, we search for options to reuse and recycle materials.
We also drive waste reductions beyond manufacturing, including by focusing on product formulation and raw material management. Learn more about how we’re designing out waste and factoring in environmental impacts in our Sustainably Advantaged Products and Supplier Sustainability sections.
We also foster partnerships with organizations focused on circularity and waste reduction, including the PAINTCARE™ program in the U.S., ProductCare in Canada, the ECO-PEINTURE™ non-profit in Quebec, and PaintBack in Australia, all of which allow consumers to recycle leftover or unwanted paint. We are exploring additional paint recycling opportunities globally where available.
Avoiding spills and releases
We recognize that even small spills can lead to environmental impacts, and risk exposing our business to clean-up costs, future liabilities and reputational risks. Our facilities have management practices in place to prevent spills and releases.
Our corporate spill elimination standard requires each facility to establish a spill elimination program and assess program performance each year. The program consists of an assessment of the facility's past performance and prioritized risks. Our EHS Management system requires that each of our sites assesses their environmental performance on an annual basis. PPG also performs periodic compliance audits, which are conducted by either internal experts or third-party consultants. Where necessary, facilities are provided with a corrective action plan that includes defined milestones for improvement.
All facilities conduct regular environmental and spill control training, as well as spill elimination workshops. During these events, employees from various functions assess their facilities to identify areas for immediate improvement and opportunities for longer term actions.
We prioritize interventions at our highest risk sites to further reduce the risk of spills. All of our sites are required to implement the following controls:
- Overflow protection for stationary processes and storage vessels
- Clear labeling of all lines and connections with contents and destination
- Securing portable tanks and loose containers on pallets when transported around the facility
We identify issues before they become significant through strict internal spill reporting requirements. Reporting thresholds vary by material and government-reportable levels, with the lowest threshold at 11 pounds (5 kilograms). Our internal reporting requirements include specific data related to each spill. This data allows a site to define and improve the process for material and product handling and movement to avoid future spills.
Some of our past waste disposal methods, which were once authorized and accepted industry practices, can require environmental remediation or land reclamation to meet current regulations, our internal standards or stakeholder expectations.
We follow regulatory guidance and rules to assess and manage environmental issues and impacts at our facilities. This commonly includes a site assessment, which is conducted at various stages of a remediation project lifecycle and provides an environmental evaluation according to standard industry practices. The assessment determines what, if any, remediation activities or restrictions will be implemented to meet our goal of leaving each facility in a condition in which it can be reused safely and productively.
To learn more about our remediation efforts, please refer to our 2022 Form 10-K, beginning on page 61.