Celebrating Water Sustainability at GAF

By Annie Crawford 03-19-2021
QUICK SHARE
Tag Icon

As a roofing industry leader, GAF puts a high priority on its efforts toward conservation and sustainability.

Across energy and efficiency to recycling, waste diversion, material optimization, and social responsibility, GAF consistently strives to conserve natural resources and protect surrounding communities.

A significant part of that effort is water sustainability. The United Nations celebrates World Water Day annually on March 22 to protect and conserve fresh water around the globe, and this year's theme is "valuing water." Water is vital to all aspects of work at GAF. From a manufacturing perspective, water is integral to the production of our roofing products that protect homes around the world. From a human perspective, fresh water means life for each and every valued GAF employee, their families, and their communities.

With water stewardship as a key tenet to the company's sustainability efforts, GAF has recently completed three major water conservation projects at its facilities in Shafter, California; Mt. Vernon, Indiana; and Tampa, Florida.

Thanks to ever-improving technology and engineering innovations, the improvements at these three facilities promote conservation of fresh water in GAF's manufacturing process. The ability to reduce water usage and protect this precious commodity benefit the facilities, employees, surrounding communities, and the entire world.

A Water Win in Shafter

The Shafter plant, which manufactures fiberglass mats for GAF and external customers, recently installed a 100% closed loop water system which is set to reap major water sustainability rewards. "The new solution included installation of piping and tanks that could repurpose over five million gallons of processed water annually from the reverse osmosis water purification system," said Bonnie Sharphouse, Sustainability Manager at GAF. "This effort has resulted in redistributing over five million gallons back into the Shafter community."

This water—previously discharged to the public sewer utility—will now be reused as cooling makeup water, which recirculates in the manufacturing process.

The Shafter closed loop system not only recycles water and reduces burden on the city sewer utility, but it also results in significant water savings.

"The system has proven to reduce our water consumption by an average of 194,000 gallons per month," said Rick Quiroz, environmental engineer at the Shafter plant. This results in a direct benefit to not only the surrounding community but the entire United States.

"Central Valley, where the Shafter plant is located, is home to four million Californians. It also produces about one-third of the nation's fruits and vegetables," said Quiroz.

Ample water in the valley helps feed the country. The water conservation at Shafter demonstrates how local efforts can ripple out and help support food production, and life, for all.

New and Improved in Tampa and Mt. Vernon

The Shafter plant is not the only GAF facility with water-saving capabilities.

In Mt. Vernon, Indiana, GAF reduced cooling water use by 10%-15% thanks to engineering upgrades. Additional filtration, a booster pump for better water pressure, and eliminating one water source in the manufacturing process all contributed to this water win.

In the Tampa, Florida plant, a new closed loop system recirculates cooling water and works toward a goal of zero discharge.

Make World Water Day Personal

On World Water Day and every day moving forward, anyone can turn the lens toward their own home and find ways to turn water conservation into a daily habit.

"Fixing leaky faucets and watering your lawn wisely are easy ways to conserve water," said Quiroz. Even an action as simple as turning off the water tap while brushing your teeth helps the planet.

"Remember not to take our access to water for granted," encouraged Sharphouse. "Treat it as a precious commodity so that we can conserve it in our communities, for others, and for future generations to come."

What small water conservation steps can you take today to make a positive ripple effect in our world?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Annie Crawford is a freelance writer in Oakland, CA, covering travel, style, and home improvement. Find more of her work at annielcrawford.com.
Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!
LATEST UPDATES
By the time a potential customer reaches out to you, they've likely already researched several roofing contractors. Your business faces competition right from the start—how do you edge out multiple competitors and close the sale? In many cases, these efforts hinge on a fast response to lead management.
When a building owner asks you if they need a commercial roof repair or replacement, your assessment of the roof's condition hinges on a few key areas. Veteran commercial roofing experts Dave Scott and Wally Brown share their roof inspection expertise in GAF's Roofing It Right with Dave and Wally: Roof Project from Start to Finish video series to help you assess the condition of critical areas on the roof.
Good employees are key to building a successful contracting business—but recruitment and retention don't happen all on their own. Employee rewards and recognition programs can help you foster workplace loyalty and strengthen employee retention, and there are many ways to reward your staff and crew for the work they do every day.
Shown here: The This Old House 2020 Cottage on the Cape Idea House features GAF Timberline® AH Shingles in Appalachian Sky which feature a blend of deep grays and browns for added dimensionality. Photo by Jared Kuzia.
The polyiso insulation you choose for your commercial roofing project can make a big difference in terms of durability and performance of your roofing system. But with so many options on the market, it can be easy to get lost in the details and risk choosing the wrong material for your project.
Beth McSorley, General Manager, Coatings Operations at GAF, and Katrina Baker, Plant Manager of GAF Tuscaloosa, share core personal values that have helped them drive results as women in manufacturing, and establish lasting relationships through their leadership.
This blog contains information created by a variety of sources, including internal and third party writers. The opinions and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of GAF. The content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

Interested in sharing or republishing our content? We kindly ask you to adhere to our guidelines.