At Andersen, being environmentally responsible is nothing new. For more than 100 years, responsibility with our resources has been an integral part of our manufacturing process and our choice of materials and sources. Since our founding, the Andersen headquarters have been located on the banks of Minnesota’s scenic St. Croix River. We feel our location has influenced our decision to choose green practices, as we recognize how important it is to protect the river and the surrounding environment while supporting our community and all our neighbors.
We have the mantra “reduce-reuse-recycle” built into our manufacturing process. Below, follow one window from tree to installation to learn how we live out our sustainability commitments.
- Over 70 percent of our wood is sourced from managed forests that maintain the ecological system of their plants and animals.
Transporting Raw Materials
- We bring materials such as glass and wood into the manufacturing process by using rail instead of trucks. Rail is known to reduce carbon emissions.
Milling the Wood
- Excess wood is recycled into a smaller component for a different window or door, and sawdust is saved to use in our Fibrex® material or as fuel. Today, 99 percent of our Bayport manufacturing by-products become fuel or are reused, reclaimed or recycled.
- Fibrex material was developed in 1991, and is a blend of 40 percent reclaimed wood fiber by weight and 60 percent thermoplastic polymer by weight, extruded into window and door components. To date, this innovation has helped prevent the harvesting of approximately 90 million board feet of timber.
- Wood by-products are converted into fuel at the Andersen Steam Generating Facility in Bayport. Thermal energy is also recovered from warm water discharged at the nearby Xcel Energy power plant. This thermal energy helps heat the Bayport plant during the winter months. The Bayport Steam Generating Facility provides the entire heating and cooling demand for the 2.5 million square foot Bayport facility and some of its manufacturing power.
- Exterior wood components are treated and coated to protect them from wear and decay due to weather damage. At this manufacturing stage, damaged components are evaluated and re-used in other applicable manufacturing processes in order to reduce our solid waste. Landfilled solid waste at the Bayport, Minn., facility has been reduced by over 90 percent since 1990.
- We use coatings with minimal to no content of TRI chemicals, HAPs and/or chlorinated solvents. Corrugated material used on finished window and door packaging is made of materials that can and should be recycled.
Transportation to Distributors
- As a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay® Transport Program, Andersen tracks its private commercial motor vehicle fleet driving performance, excess idle time, emissions and other measures. Andersen uses this data to set standards that result in better fuel efficiency.
Andersen wants our employees to take pride in their workplace while being engaged in our corporate mission. To achieve this, we've worked hard to provide ongoing employee education about our environmental impact, and opportunities for individual engagement and ownership of our sustainability goals.
This “giving back” has included opportunities for employees to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, to which we've donated windows and sponsored homes.
We remain committed to exploring how we can incorporate more environmentally sustainable materials into our products, increase our recycling, and continue to develop environmental product labeling rules for our industry and product category.