The Johns Manville Insulation Systems plant in McPherson, Kan., was honored with a 2017 Pollution Prevention Award, also known as the P2 award at the annual Kansas Environmental Conference sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The plant manufactures fiberglass insulation products for residential, commercial, industrial and retail markets.

The McPherson plant submitted a High Energy Air Filtration optimization project completed in mid-2016 for award consideration. The project resulted in the reduction of 49 tons of special waste over one year, which translated into a significant amount in cost savings and cost avoidance. The process optimization also resulted in a reduction in particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. 

The project evaluated ways to optimize the operation of 122 and 123 HEAF units to minimize failures and subsequently reduce both waste and potential air permit deviations. A cross-functional team worked tirelessly to evaluate the manufacturing process, analyze the failure modes and, through repeat experimentation, determine optimized advancement times for the filter media.

“This is a wonderful example of how Johns Manville and the McPherson team are working together to drive environmental improvements in our community,” said JM Insulation Systems Operations Director Rhett Butler. “We’re proud of the way our employees continue to go above and beyond for both our customers and the environment.”

The KDHE offers the P2 Awards annually to businesses, industries and organizations that have made a significant improvement in protecting the environment by preventing pollution in the form of air emissions, water waste, landfill waste or energy. Any Kansas business, industry, community or community group, school or organization is eligible to apply for a P2 Award.

JM employs about 275 people at the McPherson plant. Fiberglass products are manufactured in various widths and thicknesses with varying insulation values. The finished products are produced in the form of blowing wool or in rolls, batts or blankets and then packaged for warehouse storage. The products are primarily shipped to locations throughout the central United States.

“I would like to congratulate the McPherson employees on winning this award,” said Insulation Systems Multi-Site Leader Innocent Chikunya. “This just shows what can be achieved when a team pulls together and dedicates itself to the relentless pursuit of excellence.”