Fortifiber was honored on Thursday as the Leader in Sustainability in Northern Nevada, the company announced in a press release. The award is based on the company’s history of sustainable practices, capped by the recent addition of a large scale solar project. The award was presented by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).
The family owned company began its sustainability initiatives long before it was fashionable to be “green”. According to company president Chris Yount, “Beginning in the mid-1990’s, the company started changing manufacturing practices to save energy and reduce its carbon footprint. For example, in the period between 2008 and 2012, Fortifiber reduced natural gas usage by 26% and electrical usage by 30% in the production process.” The company has also reduced its waste output by 265 tons annually, with over 65 tons of paper going to local recyclers each year.
In September, the company completed installation of a 499 kwh solar project on the roof of its manufacturing facility in Fernley, Nev. This system will offset CO2 emissions—its carbon footprint—by over one million pounds annually.
But Fortifiber sustainability activities are not limited to manufacturing practices. The company also has initiatives to make the products it produces more sustainable wherever possible. “Recently one of the company’s weather resistant barriers was the first in its class to pass California’s Department of Public Health Standard 01350 for VOC Emissions.” Yount goes on to explain the importance of this process. “This is by far the most stringent standard in the country, focused on indoor air quality and the harmful effects of VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions from building materials. Our Super Jumbo Tex product passed this rigorous test, which screens for harmful chemical compounds such as Benzene and Formaldehyde.”
The company is a sustainability innovator, not only in Northern Nevada, but in the national building products industry where it has been a key player for over 75 years. Yount says, “We are proud to receive this award, and will continue to innovate sustainability practices that improve the environment and set the standard for our industry.”