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Setting a high standard: Owens Corning

Case Studies | July 1, 2019 | By:

Owens Corning’s philanthropic efforts, charity work and progressive employee policies have produced impressive results.

By Paul Johnson

Owens Corning has a long history of supporting Habitat for Humanity through volunteer hours and financial donations. One program is the Roof Deployment Project, and under this program Platinum Preferred Contractors have installed many new roofs on the homes of veterans.

For more than 40 years, Owens Corning, a developer and producer of  insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites, has been a supporter of a wide range of philanthropic endeavors and a key partner assisting charitable organizations across the globe. Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, the company has a long list of accomplishments.

Don Rettig, director of community affairs and president of the Owens Corning Foundation, has been instrumental in implementing many of the programs. “Owens Corning engages in community outreach through the Owens Corning Foundation, which has been in operation since the 1970s,” he says. “The foundation supports the company’s stakeholder communities in the U.S. and around the globe, including Habitat for Humanity, The Gary Sinise Foundation, United Way Worldwide, United Way Mumbai and the Mexican Red Cross.”

Owens Corning and its employees invest time, products and financial resources, so these charities can thrive within its community network. “We track metrics related to the number of homes built or renovated for people in need, the number of children provided clean water and sanitation and other similar measures,” says Rettig.

The crew at Owens Corning helps pack meals for Snack Pak 4 Kids. Employees helped pack 190,000 meals for a variety of charities. Photos: Owens Corning.

Habitat for Humanity provides affordable housing for families in need. In many cases, the homes are a springboard for families to become integrated members of their communities. Rettig explains, “In 2018, we built or renovated 47 homes for people in need in our communities. We also partnered with Habitat in India to provide 50 toilet facilities in villages near our plants, a significant impact related to basic health.”

Snack Pak 4 Kids provides nutritious food for school-age kids of lesser means. According to Rettig, “Working with Snack Pack 4 Kids, The Pack Shack, World Vision and others, our people packed or served 190,000 meals for people in need.”

Owens Corning has amassed a long list of achievements over the past year. Retting says, “2018 was a tremendous year of giving and volunteerism that brought positive impact to people in need in our communities around the world. Each year our volunteerism grows as our teams seek new opportunities to make an impact.”

Owens Corning also fosters an inclusive work environment for employees. The company garnered a perfect score on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index for best places to work for LGBTQ equality. Ava Harter, Owens Corning senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, states, “This is the 15th time Owens Corning has received top marks on the Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices. We view inclusion and diversity as key elements of the high-performance-people pillar of our sustainable enterprise framework.” 

Owens Corning’s diverse range of charity, philanthropic and community work has not gone unnoticed. For the fourth consecutive year, the company placed third on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens. In addition, Owens Corning made the list of the 19th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens because of its astute policies on environmental stewardship and social and governance performance. Also, the Ethisphere Institute recognized Owens Corning as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the second year in a row. 

Paul Johnson is a writer based in Minnesota.

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