Editor's Note: This story is part of an editorial series featuring companies on CR Magazine's 20th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking, which recognizes outstanding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure and performance among the Russell 1,000 Index. You can follow the series here.
Owens Corning is in the home business; its products are used to build, insulate, improve, cover and protect homes. Through the company’s work with Habitat for Humanity, it is achieving even more by making safe, affordable homes a reality for communities and families around the world.
From 2018 to 2020, Owens Corning and the Owens Corning Foundation will give more than $1.2 million in cash and in-kind donations, including insulation and roofing products, along with thousands of volunteer hours, to Habitat for Humanity.
The number of houses built each year though this partnership has grown. Last year, teams of company employees built or renovated 47 homes for people in need in the U.S., Canada and China, Frank O’Brien Bernini, Owens Corning's chief sustainability officer, told TriplePundit. This number is up from 28 homes in 2017, according to the company’s 2017 sustainability report.
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, and was later made famous by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The organization says it has helped 9.8 million people in 70 countries “achieve strength, stability and independence through safe, decent and affordable shelter.”
This is the third multi-year commitment Owens Corning has made to Habitat for Humanity during the organizations’ 22-year partnership. Since 1997, Owens Corning has sponsored Habitat events such as the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, World Habitat Day activities, and the Habitat on the Hill annual legislative and advocacy conference.
“We’re so proud of our work with Habitat for Humanity over the years, which now includes building, insulating or roofing homes in partnership with more than 2,000 families around the world,” said Don Rettig, president of the Owens Corning Foundation, in a press statement announcing the latest three-year commitment. “Engaging our people and products in support of Habitat’s mission brings safe, affordable housing to people in our own communities, providing safety, stability and an opportunity to thrive.”
In 2016, Owens Corning joined with its Platinum Preferred Contractors (independent roofing specialists who meet what is described as the company’s highest quality standards) to launch the Roof Deployment Project. The initiative was created “to identify, honor and help protect veterans” by installing new, safer roofs on their homes, according to the company. The following year, Habitat for Humanity joined the Project, further expanding the Owens Corning-Habitat partnership.
In November 2018, Owens Corning celebrated the Roof Deployment Project’s 100th roof. Habitat for Humanity of Mid-Ohio and Universal Builders, an Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Contractor, joined forces to install the roof for the homeowner, a veteran of the Marines and Navy.
Habitat for Humanity is not Owens Corning’s only community partner. Additional community partners include World Vision Storehouse, The Gary Sinise Foundation and United Way WorldWide. The company also administers an ongoing product donation program.
In addition, Owens Corning global locations are encouraged to participate in at least one community service project each year. These projects vary from volunteering, to donating time or product, to hosting events like open houses or fundraisers. The community service participation rate has been steadily growing each year: from 66 percent in 2015, to 72 percent in 2016, to 82 percent in 2017.
“All 20,000 of our global employees are truly part of our sustainability team,” Brian Chambers, CEO of Owens Corning, told TriplePundit—citing the community service participation rates. “Sustainability is a core value of our company. Leveraging this commitment accelerates our progress and maximizes the impact we can make in the communities where our employees live and work—and beyond.”
Image credit: Owens Corning