Guardian will comply with all environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) laws and regulations that apply to our activities and with other standards or requirements the organization has adopted. Guardian may choose to go beyond full compliance with the law when it adds value. Guardian places an emphasis on eliminating or mitigating risks that may impact people, the environment, or the long-term success of our business.
As a result, Guardian and its employees will:
- Strive to achieve EH&S excellence by assuring compliance, managing other risks not covered by regulations, and addressing emerging issues.
- Create value for our customers, the company, and society through optimization and innovation while working to conserve resources including energy, water, and raw materials; increasing efforts to recycle and reuse; and reducing or eliminating waste.
- Maintain safe and healthy working conditions and processes, and develop effective and efficient EH&S management systems designed to assure compliance.
- Establish goals, targets, and objectives to achieve and measure improvements in EH&S performance.
- Integrate EH&S considerations into business planning, risk assessments, budget development, capital projects, and property transactions.
- Consider environmental impacts and safety during the design, manufacture, and distribution of our products.
- Provide strong leadership to assure compliance and work to continually improve the EH&S management and performance of our facilities and products to ensure long-term viability of the business.
- Build and maintain integrity-based relationships with employees, government officials, the community and other interested parties to identify and address EH&S concerns effectively.
- Utilize risk management tools including culture assessments, audits, risk assessments, and root cause analysis to improve our EH&S compliance and performance.
Awards Program Celebrates EH&S Excellence
Achieving safety and environmental excellence is critical to Guardian’s success. Across our businesses and around the world, we encourage employees to conduct safe and reliable operations, reduce our environmental impact and make responsible decisions regarding the environment, health and safety.
In an effort to recognize, share and celebrate how our team members apply innovation and entrepreneurialism to EH&S at Guardian, we launched the Environmental, Health and Safety Excellence Awards.
The goal is to capture the vision and passion of our EH&S teams and those individuals who have produced innovative solutions that deliver EH&S Excellence, and to share these successes for the benefit of others.
Teams and individuals that made outstanding contributions to the promotion and implementation of EH&S Excellence within Guardian are encouraged to enter. Last year, the EH&S team reviewed more than 80 submission, and the top 15 were presented to the Guardian EH&S Award Selection Committee, consisting of EH&S, HR, Energy, MBM® and Public Affairs representatives. The selection committee submitted final recommendations to the approval team.
The Dudelange, Luxembourg float glass plant, was winner of the first Guardian Environmental, Health and Safety Excellence Platinum Award. The plant made major improvements to reduce risks around safety and the environment.
“The Dudelange wet coater has undergone a major step change in terms of efficiency, production, cost and quality performance over the past two years by applying operational excellence and lean manufacturing tools,” says Wet Coater Manager Daniel Port, who submitted the nomination on behalf of the wet coater team and the engineering department. “In parallel it is our aim to significantly improve our safety performance on the line to demonstrate that we are fully committed to safety across all areas and employee groups in the plant.”
Tatuí Implements Wastewater Recovery Project
Treating process wastewater from the wet coater lines at Guardian Glass plants is a priority for the environment. In Tatuí, Brazil, the Project Team took on a challenge to create a more environmentally sustainable and cost-efficient process. Here's how.
Guardian Glass wet coaters are used for the production of mirrors and other coated glass products. During the process, annealed or fully tempered glass is thoroughly cleaned by the application of cleaners in conjunction with oscillating scrub brush units. After the glass is cleaned and rinsed, the surface of the glass is further processed to produce either mirror or specialty painted glass products.
The wet coater line has two wastewater streams, the reverse osmosis (R.O.) reject water and the wet coater process wastewater. The plant typically recovers approximately 90 percent of the R.O. reject water and 93 percent of the wet coater wastewater. The team completed research on many water technologies and designed a system to recover and reuse the wastewater. The system removes contaminants, such as silver, tin and iron, and separates any remaining solids. The resulting water then goes through an ultra-filtration process before being recirculated and reused.
Another opportunity was the reuse of the R.O. reject water, instead of sending the reject water to the local sewage treatment plant. Working with the plant's water supplier, the Project Team was able to analyze the composition of the water, and determined that it was okay to directly reuse the reject water in the float line cooling water system. The plant now recovers and reuses approximately 90 percent of the R.O. reject water.
"By optimizing current wastewater management practices, the Project Team is now saving the plant over 100 million liters of water per year, and reducing costs to the sewage company," says Carlos Cardia, Engineering Manager. "Not only is it environmentally beneficial for the community, but also financially beneficial to the plant."
The Project Team continues to look for opportunities to use fewer natural resources to eliminate waste.
Waste Heat Recovery System Earns Energy Star Certificate
The Waste Heat Recovery System (WHRS) at our Goole, UK float glass plant, recently received a Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and its ENERGY STAR® Program.
ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions.
The WHRS was selected as a Top Project at the 2017 ENERGY STAR Industrial Partner and Focus Meetings in September. Ray Siada, director, Corporate Energy Management, Guardian Glass, was on hand to accept the Certificate.
“The WHRS project is the first-of-its-kind for our company, and demonstrates our long-term commitment to sustainability,” says Ray. “This is a great example of creating value using fewer resources, while increasing productivity and profitability.”
The installation at Goole began in 2015 and was fully operational in 2016. The float glass process requires a large amount of energy. Regenerators on either side of the furnace capture waste heat but heat still escapes the furnace.
The WHRS uses a complex method of capturing waste heat from the furnace without disrupting the delicate convection currents which flow inside the furnace as the batch material is turned into glass. The system converts waste heat from our melting process to electric power.
Among the benefits, the system:
- Improves the company’s indirect carbon footprint
- Generates 30% of the plant’s electricity needs, which is enough to power 3,700 homes
- Has additional capability to facilitate increased electrical power generation with a larger furnace or increased temperature of exhaust gases toward the end of a furnace campaign.
- Reduces 33% of the wasted heat during the melting process
“The system is a long-term investment that significantly reduces the plant’s environmental impact,” adds Ray. “We expect to see this system installed at other Guardian Glass facilities in the future.”
This Certificate further promotes our efforts, and those of Koch Industries, to the efficient use of natural resources while operation in a way that protects the safety, health and wellbeing of our employees, the environment and our communities. Earlier in 2017, Koch was named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Energy Management.