Saint-Gobain to upgrade technology at its gypsum plant in Palatka, Florida, increasing recycled board content and reducing carbon emissions

Saint-Gobain, through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed LLC, will install recycling technology at its gypsum plant in Palatka, Florida, increasing the recycled content of its wall products manufactured in Palatka by 18,000 tons/year , while reducing the site’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2,260 tons/year.

The project represents a $1.1 million investment from CertainTeed and comes as Saint-Gobain continues to implement its new global strategy for growth and impact, which includes reducing waste and increasing recycling efforts at its manufacturing sites.

Gypsum board is made from gypsum slurry that is poured and dried between two sheets of paper. Some scrap materials, consisting of plaster and paper, are usually created whenever a production line is started or stopped, or when production equipment is changed to produce different sizes of wallboard.

The new recycling technology at Palatka will work by grinding waste gypsum and waste paper into fine particles, allowing the plant to capture and internally recycle the materials, which are sorted and then reintroduced into the plant’s production process.

Today, every wall manufactured at CertainTeed’s Palatka facility incorporates recycled content. The advanced technology, which the company plans to bring online later this year, will increase the amount of recycled material in the wallboards produced at Palatka.

The new equipment is powered by electricity and replaces older equipment currently powered by diesel fuel, reducing the plant’s Scope 1 emissions from its operations. Additionally, by using more recycled gypsum, the plant is less dependent on raw material being shipped to Palatka from outside sources, allowing the site to reduce Scope 3 emissions associated with the transportation of the raw material.

The Palatka investment follows similar investments that will increase the recycled content of wallboard produced at CertainTeed’s gypsum plants in Silver Grove, Kentucky, and Nashville, Arkansas.

“At Palatka and at all of our North American manufacturing sites, our team will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to maximize our company’s positive impact for our customers and the communities in which we operate while minimizing our environmental footprint,” said Jay Bachman, Vice President and General Manager of CertainTeed Interior Products Group. “The new technology at Palatka will allow us to increase the recycled content of our products, reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the plant and strengthen our operations at a time of unprecedented consumer demand for drywall in the Southeast.”

CertainTeed’s Palatka plant began operations in 2001 and is located on more than 100 acres of land in Putnam County. Today, the plant is home to 150 employees and is one of Palatka’s largest employers, as well as one of the largest gypsum plants in the southeastern United States. The plant is currently hiring for several engineering and manufacturing positions. A complete list of job openings at all Saint-Gobain sites, including the CertainTeed site in Palatka, can be found on the company’s website.

The investment in recycling technology at Palatka follows several other recent actions the company has taken to reinforce its commitment to sustainability:

  • In July, Saint-Gobain announced the upgrade of key equipment at its gypsum plant in Buchanan, New York, saving nearly 700,000 kWh of electricity annually and also reducing the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In June, Saint-Gobain announced a C$91 million investment in its Montreal gypsum plant, creating the first zero-carbon production site for wallboard in North America and increasing the plant’s production capacity by 40%.
  • In May, Saint-Gobain announced its newly installed recycling technology at its gypsum board plant in Nashville, Arkansas, which will save 65,000 tons of material annually from landfill.
  • In April, Saint-Gobain entered into a recycling partnership at its SageGlass electrochromic glass manufacturing facility in Fairbaugh, Minnesota, saving 1,000 tons of material annually from landfill over the next five years.
  • In March, Saint-Gobain North America announced that it will install heat recovery technology at its CertainTeed gypsum plant in Vancouver, British Columbia, which will reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and improve its energy efficiency.
  • Also in March, Saint-Gobain announced that through its virtual power purchase agreement with the Blooming Grove wind farm in McLean County, Illinois, and additional renewable energy contracts, the company has received renewable energy certificates that effectively reduce approximately 33% of its CO2 emissions from electricity use in 2021 in the United States and Canada.
  • In February, the company invested $32 million in equipment upgrades at its insulation plant in Chowchilla, California, reducing the facility’s carbon footprint by more than 4,000 metric tons annually.
  • In January, Saint-Gobain North America donated a zero-energy house in Canton, Ohio, made with more than 20 of its own products, to Habitat for Humanity.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 115 years. Founded in 1904 as the General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the company’s slogan “Quality Assured, Satisfaction Guaranteed” inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products including roofing, siding, solar panels, fences, railings, siding, insulation, drywall and ceilings.

About Saint-Gobain

A world leader in lightweight and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. Its integrated solutions for renovation of public and private buildings, lightweight construction and decarbonisation of construction and industry are developed through a continuous process of innovation and ensure sustainability and performance. The Group’s commitment is guided by its purpose “TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER HOME”.

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