Owens Corning

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Owens Corning
Type Public
Traded as NYSEOC
Industry General Building Materials
Founded Toledo, Ohio (1938)
Headquarters Toledo, Ohio, USA
Key people Michael H. Thaman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Products

Insulating Systems [1]
Composite Solutions [2]
Roofing & Asphalt [3]

Other Building Materials & Services [4]
Revenue Increase US$05.335 billion (2011)
Operating income Increase US$00.461 billion (2011)
Net income Increase US$00.267 billion (2011)
Employees 18,000
Website www.owenscorning.com

Owens Corning Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer of fiberglass and related products. It was formed in 1935 as a partnership between two major American glassworks, Corning Glass Works and Owens-Illinois. The company was spun off as a separate entity on November 1, 1938. However, major medical liabilities due to the company's use of asbestos as a fireproofing agent led to the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. The company emerged from Chapter 11 in October 2006.

History[edit]

It was formed in 1935 as a partnership between two major American glassworks, Corning Glass Works and Owens-Illinois. The company was spun off as a separate entity on November 1, 1938. The company achieved major successes after the Second World War, with eventual annual sales of $6 billion (USD).

Asbestos lawsuits[edit]

Galotti vs. Owens-Corning[edit]

In 1995, the company was sued for asbestos-induced pleural mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lung) in Galotti vs. Owens-Corning Fiberglass. The company was ordered to pay $6.25 million in damages, making it the largest compensatory verdict in the history of the state of Florida for a mesothelioma case.

Owens-Corning vs. McKenna[edit]

In 1997, in Owens-Corning vs. McKenna, the company was ordered by the jury to pay the victim $5 million, making it the highest jury verdict in the history of the United States for a single non-malignant asbestos case.

Owens-Corning vs. Ballard[edit]

In 1999, a jury in federal district court in Florida awarded $1.8 million compensatory damages and $31 million punitive damages against the company. According to the court, evidence showed that: "for more than thirty (30) years Owens-Corning concealed what it knew about the dangers of asbestos. In fact, Owens-Corning's conduct was even worse than concealment, it also included intentional and knowing misrepresentations concerning the danger of its asbestos containing product, Kaylo. For instance, in 1956, Owens-Corning, after having been told by the Saranac Laboratory that Kaylo dust was 'toxic,' and that asbestos was a carcinogen, advertised Kaylo as being 'non-toxic.'" Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Ballard, 749 So.2d 483 (1999).

Bankruptcy[edit]

Liabilities due to the company's use of asbestos as a fireproofing agent led to the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. The company emerged from Chapter 11 in October 2006.

Products[edit]

Among the many products of Owens Corning is its fiberglass insulation. Since 1956, the company's insulation has been dyed pink to provide visual contrast; the company became so associated with its pink insulation product that it even registered the term "PINK" (in capital letters only) to refer to its insulation. It was granted a trademark on the color in In re Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., 774 F.2d 1116 (Fed. Cir. 1985). The cartoon character of the Pink Panther is used by Owens Corning as a visual representation and (albeit silent) spokestoon of their brand identity.

Another major product of Owens Corning is derived from its use of fiberglass as reinforcement for plastic products. The resulting fiberglass-reinforced plastic is used in boat hulls, automobile roofs, pipes, electric windmill blades, etc. This product is sold under the trade name of "Fiberglas".

The company also manufactures other building materials systems and composite solutions including roofing shingles and accessories, and glass composite materials used in transportation, electronics, telecommunications, other high-performance applications, and acoustical solutions including the Basement Finishing System™ which is designed specifically for the basement environment and Conwed Designscape® acoustical walls and ceilings for large commercial applications.

Environmental record[edit]

Owens Corning sells significant amounts of energy-saving products.[1] For instance, sand and recycled glass is used for making insulated fiberglass which saves energy. Such products are responsible for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

In May 2006, an Owens Corning facility accidentally released HCFC 142b, a potent greenhouse gas and ozone depleter, into the air.[undue weight? ] The National Environmental Defense Center responded by sending a sixty-day notice that they would sue under the Clean Air Act.[2][3]

Glass recycling efforts[edit]

In the Kansas City metropolitan area, Owens Corning purchases locally-sourced recycled glass from Ripple Glass to manufacture fiberglass insulation in its local manufacturing plant. The joint effort between Owens Corning and Ripple Glass is helping to greatly reduce the amount of glass that would have been deposited in local Kansas City landfills.[4]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Owens Corning received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign starting in 2004, the third year of the report.

Financial data[edit]

The largest percentage of Owens Corning's 2007 sales came from its insulation division, at just over 34%. OC earned $5.4B in revenues in 2006, and $4.9B in revenues in 2007, for an 8% revenue drop. Net income was $96MM in 2007.[5][dated info]

References[edit]

External links[edit]