Construction Specialties sets a holistic plan to propel its future in sustainable manufacturing

Posted by Janet B. Stroud — June 14, 2024 — Building products manufacturer Construction Specialties has announced a major sustainability initiative dedicated to directing its operational practices towards sustainability, embedding it at all levels of the organization. This ambitious 2024 sustainable manufacturing plan, structured using the Common Materials Framework, is a commitment to responsible business practices and includes measurable actions that range from reducing waste and  conserving resources to rethinking its manufacturing process.

CS sustainable materials

To reduce embodied carbon, CS switched its resin and relaunched Acrovyn as the first wall protection product with up to 50% postconsumer recycled content from PET bottles and other food-grade single-use plastics. Image courtesy of CS

Construction Specialties was an early industry adopter of sustainability as both a practice and a philosophy. For example, CS was reportedly the first manufacturer to launch a completely PVC-free wall protection line, called Acrovyn. The global company was also one of the first partner manufacturers to sign on as part of mindfulMATERIALS (mM), an organization it still supports today. But in an industry where “green” has become something of a throwaway word or a box to check, CS has established a new position that intends to harness learning up to this point and help define its future in sustainable manufacturing.

Frank Probst, president and CEO, stated:

CS is never satisfied with the status-quo — so we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. In a world that desperately needs all of our best ideas and energy, we invite challenge and partnership to provide real-time innovation and forward-thinking solutions.

Roadmap: The Common Materials Framework

Construction Specialties has established a sustainability plan for 2024 that affects all levels of the organization and is structured using the Common Materials Framework. The Common Materials Framework is the outcome of a detailed, cross-stakeholder industry effort to analyze and organize more than 100 of the most common building product and material certifications and disclosures. By distilling the 650+ factors relevant to material sustainability identified within these programs into five distinct pillars of health and sustainability, the CMF helps the industry communicate in the same way with an aligned goal of driving holistic impact:

    • Human Health
    • Climate Health
    • Circular Economy
    • Ecosystem Health  
    • Social Health + Equality

Using these five pillars, Construction Specialties has identified specific and measurable actions that establish a strong stake in its pledge to sustainability manufacturing from beginning to end:


    • PVC and Red-List free – Acrovyn avoids the worst-in-class chemicals of concern; PVC, ILFI’s Red List, and Green Science Policy Institute’s Six Classes
    • Health Product Declaration (HPD) – Ingredient transparency with LEEDv4 compliant HPD at 100ppm for Acrovyn sheet products
    • Indoor air quality (IAQ) – Intertek Certified Clean Air GOLD, meeting the California Department of Public Health Standard Method v1.2 01350-2017 indoor air quality for low-emitting products on many CS Interior Product Solutions


    • 100% renewable electricity – CS conducted energy audits and is implementing energy reduction projects at its Hughesville and Muncy, PA, manufacturing facilities. It is also using 100% wind electricity through power purchasing agreements at these same Pennsylvania manufacturing facilities.
    • Low-embodied carbon – CS holds 38 product-specific wall protection environmental product declarations, and one for louver products is coming soon.


    • Recycled content – To reduce embodied carbon, CS recently switched its resin and has relaunched Acrovyn as the first wall protection product with up to 50% postconsumer recycled content from PET bottles and other food-grade single-use plastics. This innovation allows the company to maintain performance and material health characteristics, leading to better outcomes for all.


    • Manufacturing and supply chain environmental impacts – Through certifications like FSC and Cradle to Cradle on GridLine and Acrovyn products, environmental impacts such as pollution and water footprints are analyzed and impact reduction strategies are implemented.


    • Positive impact projects – Across the globe, employees volunteered at various nonprofits in honor of Construction Specialties’ 75th anniversary. This amplified the company’s ongoing partnerships with nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Highway, and more.

Probst commented:

Our people-first culture drives us to pursue a better future for all. We’re committed to creating positive change through education, social impact, wellness programs, and healthy environments for our employees, customers, and communities. We have a responsible philosophy that governs our product design, manufacturing, and lifecycle through the five pillars of sustainability.

Founded in 1948, Construction Specialties (CS) is a family-owned building products manufacturer. CS provides solutions to complex challenges that architects, designers, building owners, facility managers (FMs), and contractors face daily. Since inventing the first extruded louver, CS has become a global leader in all of its product categories: Acrovyn interior wall protection; impact-resistant doors; entrance flooring; expansion joint solutions; architectural louvers and screens; façade solutions; safety venting; and modular stairs, awnings and balconies.