Our Environmental Impact
At Corning, we’re keenly aware that everything we do has an impact on the environment. Some of the brightest scientific and engineering minds in the world are working to ensure that impact is positive – whether through products that make for a greener planet, manufacturing operations that reduce waste, or community outreach to advocate and educate about green practices.
Guided by Integrity – one of our core Values that ensures we always conduct our business in a way that is honest, decent and fair – we follow environmental policies that are broad and comprehensive. We hold ourselves accountable for meeting or exceeding all legislative requirements that pertain to environmental protection, and helping our customers do the same. Here is just a small sampling of the ways that we demonstrate our commitment.
You experience the results of Corning’s clean-air technology every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle with a catalytic converter engine. More than three decades ago, Corning became the pioneer in creating specialized honeycomb substrates, the keystone components that enable catalytic converters to reduce harmful engine emissions. Our innovation set the standard for the industry and earned our scientists a National Medal of Technology.
More recently, we built on that knowledge to create large substrates and filters for diesel engines. It’s now possible to stand on a corner in New York and not have to gasp for breath when a city bus or delivery truck rumbles by – and for your children to ride a school bus without breathing in harmful air-borne pollutants.
We all enjoy the spectacular viewing images we get on LCD televisions. Corning’s innovation in LCD glass technology has helped make those images possible. Our EAGLE XG® glass is the industry’s first LCD glass with no added heavy metals or halides, so it helps make the sleek, new TVs eco-friendly before, during and after their use in homes around the world..
And in our labs today, many more innovations are under development to help our customers and end-users greatly reduce or eliminate their impact on the environment. Our Advanced-FlowTM glass reactors, for example, help chemical producers gain much greater efficiency from the energy they use in creating new chemicals. Our ceramic substrate filter technology has potential application in purifying water. We’re also investing some of our technical firepower into the intriguing world of solar energy – an area where our leadership in specialty glass compositions gives us a distinct advantage in developing alternative energy sources.
We firmly believe that one of the best ways we can help the environment is to use less energy. So in 2005, we formulated a comprehensive Global Energy Management (GEM) strategy, aimed at reducing our overall consumption of fuel – from natural gas and electricity to propane, water and fuel oil. As part of the process, we launched exhaustive studies of our manufacturing processes, looking for ways to increase our energy efficiency. We also accelerated our strategy on maintaining more energy-efficient buildings, from our plants to commercial offices. As a result, we are on track to increase our overall energy-related productivity by as much as 30 percent in just a few years.
In 2006, we joined the California Climate Action Registry, which enables the voluntary tracking of GHG emissions in a certified and consistent format. Using the Registry’s specific protocols established by the World Resource Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we will be able to track our GHG emissions. And because the Registry’s information is public, all of our customers, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders will be able to follow our progress with us.
We encourage each location to explore other environmental programs suited to their unique circumstances. One of our optical fiber plants, for example, ships a fine, powder-like manufacturing by-product to decorative tilemakers, putting thousands of tons of other-wise discarded material back to good use. Our Life Sciences organization recycles its product packaging for repeated use, cutting down on customers’ waste streams. In Spain, the team operating our cable-installation vehicles measured emissions from the fleet, and began systematically replacing vehicles with less-polluting models. Within a year, the team had significantly reduced the rate of per-vehicle CO2 emissions while increasing fuel efficiency.
Our People and Our Communities
Our commitment to the environment extends far beyond our products and manufacturing plants. We are also strong and visible advocates for environmental responsibility in the communities where we do business around the world.
In our headquarter community of Corning, N.Y., we partner with local agencies each Earth Day to encourage responsible recycling of electronic equipment. At our most recent event, Corning collected more than 40 tons of used electronics – much of which is dismantled and parts re-used for other purposes.
Our employees in Shizuoka, Japan each year volunteer time to clean the exterior grounds of our manufacturing and office operations. After several years of their dedicated attention, the plant consistently presents a sparkling presence to the community, and the ecosystem of the nearby river has dramatically improved.
Many of our locations also sponsor environmental education programs for employees, a great way to encourage greener practices at home. From handing out reusable grocery bags and compact fluorescent bulbs to hosting lunchtime seminars on composting and green gardening techniques, Corning is equipping employees with the knowledge and information to extend sound environmental practices into every area of their lives.