Construction Specialties was an early industry adopter of sustainability as both a practice and philosophy. For example, CS was the first manufacturer to launch a completely PVC-free wall protection line, which is called Acrovyn. The global company was also one of the first partner manufacturers to sign on as part of mindfulMATERIALS, an organization it still supports today. But in an industry where “green” has become something of a throwaway word or a box to check, CS has established a new position that intends to harness learning up to this point and help define its future in sustainable manufacturing.

“CS is never satisfied with the status quo — so we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible,” said Frank Probst, president and CEO of Construction Specialties. “In a world that desperately needs all of our best ideas and energy, we invite challenge and partnership to provide real-time innovation and forward-thinking solutions.”

Roadmap: The Common Materials Framework

Construction Specialties has established a sustainability plan for 2024 that affects all levels of the organization and is structured using the Common Materials Framework. The Common Materials Framework is the outcome of a detailed, cross-stakeholder industry effort to analyze and organize more than 100 of the most common building product and material certifications and disclosures. By distilling the 650+ factors relevant to material sustainability identified within these programs into five distinct pillars of health and sustainability, the CMF helps the industry communicate in the same way with an aligned goal of driving holistic impact:

  • Human Health
  • Climate Health
  • Circular Economy
  • Ecosystem Health
  • Social Health and Equality

Using these five pillars, Construction Specialties has identified specific and measurable actions that establish a strong stake in its pledge to sustainably manufacturing, from beginning to end.

Human Health

  • PVC and Red-List Free – Acrovyn avoids the worst-in-class chemicals of concern; PVC, ILFI’s Red List and Green Science Policy Institute’s Six Classes.
  • Health Product Declaration – Ingredient transparency with LEEDv4-compliant HPD at 100 parts per million for Acrovyn sheet products.
  • Indoor Air Quality – Intertek-Certified Clean Air GOLD, meeting the California Department of Public Health Standard Method v1.2 01350-2017 indoor air quality for low-emitting products on many of CS’s interior product solutions.

Climate Health

  • One Hundred Percent Renewable Electricity – CS conducted energy audits and is implementing energy reduction projects at its manufacturing facilities in Hughesville, Pennsylvania, and Muncy, Pennsylvania. The company is also using 100 percent wind electricity through power purchasing agreements at the same manufacturing facilities.
  • Low-Embodied Carbon – CS holds 38 product-specific wall protection environmental product declarations, and one for louver products is coming soon.

Circular Economy

  • Recycled Content – To reduce embodied carbon, CS recently switched its resin and has relaunched Acrovyn as the first wall protection product with up to 50 percent post-consumer recycled content from PET bottles and other food-grade single-use plastics. This innovation allows the company to maintain performance and material health characteristics, leading to better outcomes for all.

Ecosystem Health

  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain Environmental Impacts – Through certifications like FSC and Cradle to Cradle on GridLine and Acrovyn products, environmental impacts, such as pollution and water footprints, are analyzed and impact reduction strategies are implemented.

Social Health and Equality

  • Positive Impact Projects – Across the globe, employees volunteered at various nonprofits in honor of CS’s 75th anniversary. This amplified the company’s ongoing partnerships with nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Highway and more.

“Our people-first culture drives us to pursue a better future for all,” Probst said. “We’re committed to creating positive change through education, social impact, wellness programs and healthy environments for our employees, customers and communities. We have a responsible philosophy that governs our product design, manufacturing and life cycle through the five pillars of sustainability.”