Environmental Impact Policy Statement
Quanex Building Products Corporation (“Quanex” or the “Company”) is committed in all respects to acting in an environmentally responsible manner and to doing our part to promote sustainability of the Earth and its resources. To this end, we focus not only on continually improving our operational practices and processes to minimize our impact on the environment; we also work continuously to develop or improve our products so that we can provide goods that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Our commitment is evident in a number of areas. Download our 2019 corporate responsibility report
We employ a Quanex-wide director of environmental, health and safety (EHS) who is charged with ensuring that our facilities maintain full compliance with all laws, regulations and governmental permits in the states, countries and localities where we operate. Our EHS director in turn works directly with regional and plant-level EHS leaders to manage the Company’s environmental programs and meet our goal of company-wide compliance. Any identified compliance issues are given high priority and corrected as quickly as possible.
Our environmental compliance efforts are bolstered by an online task alert system that allows our operators and leadership teams to continually track and monitor the completion of necessary environmental tasks. If a particular task has not been completed, the system elevates the issue by automatically informing someone at a higher level of authority, promoting visibility of environmental compliance matters and assuring accountability for those charged with ensuring compliance.
In addition to our day-to-day compliance work, we annually bring together all of our plant managers and leadership teams for a multi-day conference to discuss various issues related to operational excellence and our environmental, health and safety efforts. This conference helps to develop better contact and communication among our plant leadership teams so that they can share environmental and safety best practices year-round.
Minimizing our Footprint
We strive to manage our business to minimize our environmental footprint. Our PVC extrusion business recycles almost all of its own scrap vinyl, and has repurchased and then recycled scrap from its customers for many years. Likewise, our cabinets business has partnered with a number of third parties to recycle or repurpose much of the sawdust and wood chip waste that results from our manufacturing process. Waste sawdust is also used as an alternative fuel to fire our drying kilns. Throughout the business, we look for similar opportunities to avoid contributing waste to our country’s already-overburdened landfills and waste disposal sites, and we utilize continuous improvement and six-sigma techniques to help improve quality and reduce waste both at our own facilities and those of our customers and suppliers.
We believe that access to safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. As such, we take steps to reduce our wastewater and waste outflows so that we can minimize the impact of our operations on any water sources or freshwater ecosystems that may be near our facilities, and we expect the same of our suppliers.
Another important avenue to protect our environment is the reduction or elimination of waste, especially hazardous waste. Our locations are committed to continuous improvement in reducing waste through recycling programs, improved manufacturing processes and using waste products as alternative fuels. Our goal is to have zero facilities that qualify as Large or Small Hazardous Waste Generators, and to reduce our non-hazardous landfill waste to a minimum.
Internal Audit Program
Under the leadership of our EHS director and internal legal team, and with the participation of auditors from many levels of the organization, we maintain a robust internal audit program. We conduct multiple on-site audits every year, with audit locations determined annually by our EHS director in conjunction with the legal team. We use standardized audit protocols that ensure our facilities meet a consistent set of standards regardless of their location. Upon completion of each audit, any required corrective actions are developed in conjunction with the plant’s leadership team. We then utilize our online alert system to ensure that all corrective actions are completed in a timely manner. Finally, our EHS director verifies completion of all tasks within the prescribed time period.
We strive to develop products that are environmentally friendly. Across our North American and European Fenestration businesses, we develop products that are specifically designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy waste associated with window openings. Many of our vinyl extrusions and insulating glass spacer products, for example, exhibit world class performance in energy efficiency, and are used around the world in LEED-certified and other energy efficient buildings.
Our dedication to sustaining the environment is evident at all levels of our business, and we will continue our efforts in the future. Around the world, we will continue to seize available opportunities to reduce our environmental impact and to continue our development of products and technologies that are energy efficient and eco-friendly.