In Macon, GA, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (AWI) and Irving Consumer Products have formed a partnership between their facilities with the goal of improving both companies’ environmental footprints.
In the second quarter of 2022, Irving Consumer Products began diverting its tissue fiber waste to AWI’s mineral fiber plant, reducing Armstrong’s need to source and purchase recycled newsprint as an input raw material for its ceilings. As a result, AWI and Irving Consumer Products expect to divert more than 3,500 tons of fiber waste annually from landfill disposal, supporting their circularity and waste diversion sustainability goals.
AWI is committed to circular manufacturing as an important element in its effort to grow profitably and sustainably. Since 1999, AWI has been using recycled paper as a raw material and recycling old ceiling tiles back into its manufacturing process through the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program, helping customers meet their own waste reduction targets in the process. The company estimates that more than 200 million square feet of used ceiling materials have been diverted from landfills through the program.
Irving Consumer Products’ manufacturing operations leverage innovation to reduce waste as well, including diverting ash and lime to local farmers to enrich their fields and using post-consumer cardboard to pack its products.
“This partnership is a win-win, and a great example of companies working together at a local level to help solve a global problem while improving our own processes,” said AWI Macon Plant Manager William Woolard. “We diversify our raw material stream and save in cost and energy related to shipping heavy material like paper. Irving Consumer Products saves on landfill costs and its fiber by-product can live another life as Armstrong ceiling tile.”
“The partnership demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint,” commented Irving Consumer Products Macon Finance Manager Greg Kinsman. “Continuous improvement and innovation are important parts of our company’s values. We are always looking for new ways to become more efficient, and this partnership will help us move toward even more sustainable practices.”
The Macon ceiling tile plant is one of AWI’s largest mineral fiber facilities with over 400 employees. Irving Consumer Products’ state-of-the-art household tissue products manufacturing plant in Macon employs more than 320 people.
AWI’s sustainability goals include a comprehensive set of science-based targets for 2030, including, among others, a 30% absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, a shift to 100% renewably sourced electricity, and a 50% absolute reduction in waste from operations. AWI is committed to transparency and accountability through globally recognized reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force for Climate-Related Disclosure (TCFD).
Irving Consumer Products is part of J.D. Irving, Limited. J.D. Irving has been committed to the environment and the lands it owns and manages since its foundation in 1882. All lands it owns and manages in Canada and the U.S. are certified by accredited sustainability certification organizations. The company manages the full chain of custody for its paper products, from seed to shelf, ensuring its products meet high standards for sustainability and quality. J.D. Irving has planted more than one billion trees since 1957 and ensures that harvested trees are fully used in the manufacture of lumber, pulp, paper and tissue.