A local building materials company was given an award that recognizes energy efficiency.

A local building materials company was given an award that recognizes energy efficiency.

The Energy Star Awards are annual honors given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award was given to Saint-Gobain, the world's largest manufacturer of building products.

In order to receive the award, a corporation must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and utilize energy efficient solutions. After a company is awarded the Environmental Protection Agency's Partner of the Year Award, they must demonstrate continued progress toward energy efficiency.

CertainTeed, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, was a large contributor to the award. CertainTeed has a pipe and foundations plant, as well as a siding plant, in McPherson. Nicole Osuch, account executive with Saint-Gobain, said the McPherson branches have applied energy efficient technologies and techniques into their manufacturing in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company worldwide has reportedly saved 477,943 metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions.

Janet Lynch, plant manager for CertainTeed Siding, said energy improvements were made at the McPherson siding plant by installing energy efficient equipment, including motion sensors, programmable thermostats and high-efficiency motors.

Jeff Hovey, director of operations for CertainTeed Pipe and Foundations, said similar upgrades to his plant were the source of improvement.

"High efficiency lighting and motors, as well as upgrades to our process air and water systems, were the difference makers," he said.

Lynch said CertainTeed was honored to receive the award, saying it represents the collective effort made by both employees and their families.

"In McPherson, we make energy conservation and energy management a priority, and so to receive national recognition for protecting our natural resources is a great honor," Lynch said.

Saint-Gobain, along with CertainTeed, employs 370 people within the state of Kansas, with 165 employed within McPherson.

This is the fifth-consecutive year that Saint-Gobain has received the award. The official awards ceremony will be March 26 in Washington, D.C.