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Owens Corning
Type Public (NYSEOC)
Founded Toledo, Ohio (1938)
Headquarters Toledo, Ohio
Key people Michael H. Thaman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Industry General Building Materials
Products Insulating Systems[1]

Composite Solutions[2]
Roofing & Asphalt[3]
Other Building Materials & Services[4]

revenue = $5.6 billion USD (2008)
Employees 18,000

Owens Corning Corporation (NYSEOC) 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. The company achieved major successes after the Second World War, with eventual annual sales of $6 billion (USD). 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. 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). The company emerged from Chapter 11 in October 2006.

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 (originally planned as red, but the dye was not sufficiently concentrated, resulting in its current light pink coloring) 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 the mascot of its insulation division.

Another major product of Owens Corning is derived from its use of fiberglass as reinforcement for plastic products. The resulting fiberglass-reinforced plastic is the form of "fiberglass" 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, stonework, and glass composite materials used in transportation, electronics, telecommunications and other high-performance applications.


Environmental Record

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 released HCFC 142b, a potent greenhouse gas and ozone depleter, into the air. The National Environmental Defense Center responded by sending a sixty-day notice that they would sue under the Clean Air Act.[2][3]


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.

The company was referred to several times in the Family Guy episode "The Former Life of Brian" when the Pink Panther dies from his body being one-third Owens-Corning Fiberglass Insulation.


Financial Data

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.[4]


  1. ^ Pink Facts
  2. ^ Northwest Enivironmntal Defense Center
  3. ^ NEDC Clean Air Act
  4. ^ Owens Corning, Inc. FY2007 10-K, "Selected Financial Data", via Wikinvest

External links


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