Saint-Gobain to upgrade technology at its Palatka, Florida gypsum plant, increase wallboard recycled content and reduce carbon emissions

Saint-Gobain, through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed LLC, will install recycling technology at its gypsum plant in Palatka, Florida, increasing recycled content in its wallboard products manufactured in Palatka by 18,000 tons/year and also reducing the site’s carbon dioxide emissions. 2,260 tons/year.

The project represents a $1.1 million investment from CertainTeed and Saint-Gobain continues to roll out its new Global Grow and Impact strategy, which includes increasing waste reduction and recycling efforts at its manufacturing sites.

Gypsum wallboard is made from a gypsum slurry that is poured between two sheets of paper and dried. Some scrap materials, including gypsum and paper, are typically created each time a production line is started or shut down, or when production equipment is changed to manufacture different sizes of wallboard.

The new recycling technology at Palatka will work by grinding waste gypsum and waste paper into fine particles, allowing the plant to capture and internally recycle the materials, which are sorted and then reintroduced into the production process at the plant.

Today, every wallboard produced at CertainTeed’s Palatka facility contains recycled materials. The upgraded technology, which the company plans to take online later this year, will increase the amount of recycled material in the wallboard manufactured in Palatka.

The new equipment is powered by electricity and replaces older equipment currently powered by diesel, reducing the plant’s Scope 1 emissions from its operation. Additionally, by consuming more recycled gypsum, the plant is less dependent on feedstock shipped to Palatka from external sources, allowing the site to also reduce Scope 3 emissions associated with feedstock transportation.

The investment in Palatka follows similar investments to increase the recycled content of wallboard made at CertainTeed’s gypsum plants in Silver Grove, Kentucky, and Nashville, Arkansas.

“At Palatka and all of our manufacturing sites in North America, our team will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to maximize our company’s positive impact, for our customers and the communities in which we operate, while minimizing our environmental footprint,” said Jay Bachmann, CertainTeed Internal Products Group. Vice President and General Manager. “The new technology at Palatka will allow us to increase recycled content in our products, reduce our carbon dioxide emissions at the plant and strengthen our operations at a time of unprecedented consumer demand for gypsum wallboard in the southeastern United States.”

CertainTeed’s Palatka plant began operations in 2001 and sits on more than 100 acres of land in Putnam County. Today the plant is home to 150 employees and is one of the largest employers in Palatka, and one of the largest gypsum plants in the southeastern United States. The plant is currently recruiting for several roles in engineering and manufacturing. A complete list of job openings at all Saint-Gobain locations, including the specific TED site in Palatka, can be found on the company’s website.

The investment in recycling technology at Palatka follows several recent actions by the company to strengthen its commitment to sustainability:

  • In July, Saint-Gobain announced major equipment upgrades at its Buchanan, New York gypsum plant, which will save about 700,000 kWh of electricity per year and also reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In June, Saint-Gobain announced a $91 million CAD investment in its gypsum plant in Montreal, creating the first zero-carbon manufacturing site for wallboard in North America and increasing the plant’s production capacity by 40%.
  • In May, Saint-Gobain announced newly installed recycling technology at its gypsum wallboard plant in Nashville, Arkansas that will save 65,000 tons of material per year from landfills.
  • In April, Saint-Gobain entered into a recycling partnership at the SageGlass electrochromic glass production site in Fairbanks, Minnesota, saving 1,000 tons of material per year from landfills over the next five years.
  • In March, Saint-Gobain North America announced the installation of heat recovery technology at its Fixed Tide gypsum production site in Vancouver, British Columbia, which will reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and improve its energy efficiency.
  • Also in March, Saint-Gobain announced that through a virtual power purchase agreement with Blooming Grove Wind Farm in McLean County, Illinois, and an additional renewable energy agreement, the company received renewable energy certificates that effectively reduced about 33% of its CO2 emissions from electricity. Use in the United States and Canada in 2021.
  • In February, the company invested $32 million in equipment upgrades at its insulation plant in Chowchilla, Calif., reducing the facility’s carbon footprint by more than 4,000 metric tons per year.
  • In January, Saint-Gobain North America donated a zero-energy prefabricated home made up of more than 20 of its products to Habitat for Humanity in Canton, Ohio.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 115 years. Founded in 1904 as the General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, solar, fences, railings, trim, insulation, drywall, and roofing.

About Saint-Gobain

A global leader in lighting and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. Its integrated solutions for the renovation of public and private buildings, lighting, and the decarbonization of construction and industry are developed through a continuous innovation process and deliver sustainability and performance. The group’s commitment is guided by its mission, “Making the world a better home”.

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