Pfizer’s global headquarters is housed in four buildings in midtown Manhattan. Each year, nearly 250,000 square feet of office space are renovated as part of Pfizer’s ongoing effort to provide its employees with improved work environments.
In the past, in projects of this type, suspended ceiling panels would normally be removed, thrown into a dumpster and taken to a landfill for disposal. However, the company was now looking for ways to fulfill its corporate commitment to protect the environment.
Today, the ceiling panels are finding new life as a result of Pfizer’s participation in the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program.
According to Pfizer project manager, Mal Schuster, ceiling recycling fits in well with the company’s commitment to sustainability. “As part of our commitment, we want to take a leadership role by seeking innovative ways to expand our current recycling efforts,” he says. The ceiling recycling program is now part of that effort.
The program, which was the first of its kind in the industry, enables building owners to ship old ceiling tiles from renovation projects to an Armstrong plant as an alternative to landfill disposal. Since it introduced the program in 1999, Armstrong has recycled more than 60,000,000 square feet of discarded ceiling tiles.
At the present time, ceiling recycling is only implemented at Pfizer’s headquarters buildings. However, as Schuster points out, “It’s our plan for the New York offices to be the bellwether for other Pfizer facilities around the country.”
He also notes that the cost of recycling ceilings is not much more than that of landfill disposal, if not the same. “I believe it is cost neutral for the most part,” he says. “And, even if it is a little higher, it’s not an issue because of our philosophy on protecting the environment.”