USG Corp. has joined the Alliance for Sustainable Built Environments, a group of international companies that has been working to educate the marketplace and top management on the benefits of reducing the overall impact facilities have on the natural environment and on building occupants.

The alliance includes Johnson Controls, Milliken & Co., Forbo Flooring, Philips Lighting, JohnsonDiversey and Owens Corning.

The alliance invited USG to join based on the company's commitment to green operations and product offerings, as well as its recognition of sustainability as a part of its business strategy. Participation allows USG to contribute solutions to its customers and offer opportunities to leverage critical partnerships within the marketplace.

"Our commitment to the sustainability movement is embodied in our product innovations, from the ingredients we choose to the processes we employ," said William C. Foote, chairman and CEO of USG. "We use recycled and renewable raw materials, which reduces consumption of energy and resources and maintains superior product performance characteristics. By joining the Alliance, USG can work with like-minded companies to help other organizations understand and embrace the triple-bottom line benefits of ‘going green.'"

In other company news, USG's Alabaster, Mich., quarry near Tawas City recently received Habitat Program Recertification from the Wildlife Habitat Council. The quarry operation qualified for this recognition through its ongoing projects to restore and improve wildlife habitat on 3,500 acres of company property. Projects include tree planting, wetland remediation, forest thinning, installation of bird nesting boxes, deer management and control of invasive plants.

The company's Alabaster plant was originally certified by WHC in 1998. Since then, the company has had 4,400 trees and shrubs planted on its property, including 3,000 tamarack trees or Eastern larch, in wetland restoration areas. Employees and local Boy Scouts have also installed 26 wood duck boxes and seven songbird houses to encourage diversity of species. As a result of these efforts, wildlife abounds. Employees have sighted bald eagles, ring-necked pheasants, badgers, otters, black bears and many other birds, mammals and fish.