We are committed to using resources efficiently and driving sustainability throughout our entire value chain
We continue to strengthen our efforts across all areas of our footprint, including water, waste, energy and emissions.
Minimizing the footprint of our operations is an ongoing focus, and our locations are guided by our 2025 sustainability goals. In 2021, we furthered our commitment to progress through several actions, including:
- Appointed a vice president of global sustainability and developed a dedicated sustainability team;
- Defined oversight for all major elements of our ESG efforts under a respective Board committee;
- Redefined and renamed our Board Technology and Environment Committee to the Sustainability and Innovation Committee, with a key focus on tracking our sustainability progress and evaluating climate risks and opportunities;
- Integrated the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Framework into our business strategic planning process in order to better understand our risks and opportunities; and
- Established groundwork to define and quantify our Scope 3 emissions in order to establish Science- Based Targets, aligned with the Paris Agreement.
We continue to strengthen our efforts across all areas of our footprint, including water, waste, energy and emissions. In addition to our operations and our customers' operations, PPG takes responsibility for minimizing the environmental impact of our products throughout their entire life cycle. Our Product Stewardship Management System and an updated sustainable product assessment process are the bedrocks of our process. In addition, PPG has launched a number of sustainable offerings for our customers in our efforts to achieve our 2025 goal of 40% of sales from sustainably advantaged products. In 2021, we achieved 38%. Learn more about how we drive sustainability through our products and processes.
Together, our environmental stewardship strategy and efforts across our organization not only reduce our footprint but also help contribute to several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Clean Energy), SDG 9 (Innovation) SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
Managing our Environmental Stewardship
Minimizing the footprint of our operations is an ongoing focus, and our locations are guided by our sustainability goals.
Sustainability roadmaps require each location to identify, quantify and track projects that will enable them to meet each environmental goal by the 2025 deadline.
The PPG Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Policy provides the guidelines under which we manufacture, market and distribute products globally in a manner that protects our people, neighbors, customers and the environment. The policy incorporates elements from several voluntary global industry initiatives in which we are a participant, including the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA)/ American Chemicals Council (ACC) RESPONSIBLE CARE® program, the British Coatings Federation (BCF) COATINGS CARE® initiative and the American Coatings Association (ACA) PaintCare, program.
As members of these trade associations and others, PPG is an active participant in various environmental and sustainability committees within ACA and ACC.
For the first time in 2021, we reported sustainability metrics for certain PPG businesses to ACC in order to validate ACC's sustainability metrics development effort under Responsible Care®, and to help the industry identify thematic risks or opportunities to consider. We intend to submit these data on a regular basis.
Our locations implement our EHS policy through our global EHS management system, ensuring consistent execution against our EHS standards, sustainability goals and strategies worldwide. The system requires locations to conform to not only environmental regulatory requirements but also our global requirements for air emissions, energy management, water discharge, waste management, spill elimination and plant footprint. When new facilities or companies join PPG through acquisition, we implement a defined process to ensure they align with and adopt PPG EHS standards, as well as our EHS management system. In 2021, we invested more than $3.8 million to upgrade acquired sites to meet these standards and ensure regulatory compliance for EHS matters. Learn more in the Safety and Health section.
The EHS management system enables us to track our progress on a location, business and global level, with metrics reported monthly to facilitate frequent performance monitoring. (See the Safety and Health section for additional information.) Financial data for capital projects related to environmental expenditures are tracked through our financial systems rather than the EHS management system.
We continue to seek and adhere to new industry guidelines and certifications, pushing our products and operations to be more sustainable each year. In 2021, we had 56 manufacturing and R&D locations (31.5%) certified to the ISO14001:2015 standard for environmental management systems. Our corporate environmental management system was also certified to the standard. Over the last year, PPG completed a climate-related scenario analysis to evaluate transitional and physical risks as well as opportunities. We continue to embed these insights into our business strategic planning process, with the intent to announce Science-Based Targets as one outcome. To see the full range of initiatives, visit the Climate-Related Risks section of this report.
As one part of our ongoing focus on reducing our environmental impact, our annual internal Sustainability Awards celebrate achievements in support of PPG's ESG objectives in the categories of safety and health, wellness, customer sustainability solutions, environmental impact and community engagement. In a review of 162 submissions, 47 PPG projects were awarded the internal environmental impact sustainability award. These awardees are comprised of facilities and teams that contributed to reducing PPG’s environmental footprint.
PPG facilities are "buzzing" about sustainability
Three PPG manufacturing sites, Saultain, Marly and Genlis, France, have installed multiple beehives, and are monitoring honey production to share with staff and area residents.
The initiative began in 2017 with the installation of three beehives at our Automotive OEM and Industrial Coatings plant in Saultain. By 2020, the three hives produced 90 kgs (nearly 200 pounds) of honey, all of which was sold to benefit Maison de l’Enfance et de la Famille du Valenciennois, a public facility that cares for vulnerable children and serves as the site's Charity Partner. The bees are on track to produce a similar amount of honey this year. A professional beekeeper maintains the hives, and helps promote the project through honey tasting, harvesting and other programs as part of annual Wellness Week activities at the Saultain site. Nearby, employees from laboratories in Marly have installed and are maintaining nine beehives for honey production.
Similarly, three professionally maintained hives have been installed at our Architectural Coatings site in Genlis as part of a sustainable development project between PPG and ID Logistics. The project, designed to protect the black bee, generated 50 kg of honey (approximately 110 pounds) in 2020 and includes bee-focused workshops for employees.
"The beehives are a great way to promote sustainability and biodiversity at our sites and in our communities. They've become a part of our facilities and we look forward to helping the bees continue to thrive in the years to come."
PPG logistics manager, Genlis
Wildlife Team facilitates educational resources on biodiversity
Our Monroeville Specialty Coatings and Materials location has a diverse population of wildlife and plant life – so much so that we have created a "Wildlife Team" dedicated to educating employees, local students and community members about our habitats through hands-on learning programs focused on butterflies and bluebirds. The team reaches more than 500 employees, local students and community members annually through educational initiatives that use the site as an outdoor classroom. While the Wildlife Team is focused on using our corporate lands for learning through inquiry-based education, it continues to develop links between PPG wellness initiatives and wildlife activities, encouraging the development and use of the site's nature trails. Because of the team's initiatives and efforts, the Monroeville site has maintained certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council since 2000 and has been recognized with several awards over the years.