Long recognized as a world leader in sustainable manufacturing and green building innovation, TOTO looks forward to expanding its best-in-class sustainability initiatives through this partnership. TOTO recently announced its partnership with Pine Hall Brick Company to “upcycle” its high-grade clay sediment waste by sending it to the brick company, which will make premium white brick for commercial and special construction projects. Because they are recycled materials produced in an Eco-conscious way, these Pine Hall Brick products will score much higher than average brick material for LEED-based projects.
Unlike many of its competitors, TOTO recycles all water used during the production of vitreous china products at its Morrow and Lakewood, GA facilities. The fully filtered, treated, and purified water is eventually returned to the Clayton County Water Authority, but an enormous amount of high-quality white clay particulate is left behind in the filters. This “filtercake” sediment is sent to Pine Hall Brick Company, which will then use the material to make specialty pavers, face brick, and custom-shaped bricks. This upcycling process will prevent 3.8 million pounds of white clay from being disposed of in landfills each year.
Bill Strang, President of TOTO Operations for the Americas, says that”upcycling our high-grade filtercake to create premium commercial/specialty brick building material is another of our incremental projects and processes that…reduce our manufacturing facilities’ environmental impact.”
While the move is not a total solution for reducing the company’s carbon footprint, it does help TOTO “upcycle, recycle, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and re-buy the environmental resources that we use in the production of our water- and energy-saving premium plumbing products.” TOTO has achieved a nearly carbon-and water-neutral status at all five of its North American plants.
TOTO is the only plumbing fixture manufacturer to be awarded the coveted EPA’s Water Efficiency Leader award, which it received alongside numerous awards and recognitions for its leadership in water-efficient product development, environmental sustainability, and water conservation advocacy. Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue awarded TOTO the Conserve Georgia: Water Conservation Award for achieving exemplary levels of efficiency in its Morrow plant and education employees and community members alike about water conservation strategies.