Kingspan Workers Expose the Dark Side of a “Green” Industry

The secretive, toxic materials behind the green building revolution

With thousands of green building professionals and manufacturers set to gather in Washington, D.C. this week for the annual GreenBuild conference, Kingspan insulation manufacturing workers expose the dark side of a “green” building industry.

Kingspan Group is a $15 billion public firm claiming to be the world’s leading producer of “green” high-performance insulated panels and building envelope products. It is scheduled to have four booths at the GreenBuild expo this week. Many in the United States are not aware that between 2006 and 2020 its U.K. insulation business had a 14-year record of making misleading fire safety claims, revealed in 2021 through the U.K. government’s public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire. Kingspan claims it is reformed, but workers at its Modesto, Calif., factory have filed a complaint. with the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal-OSHA). Their allegations not only call Kingspan’s compliance reforms into question, but raise important questions as to what it means for a company to be “green” when its workers face daily occupational health hazards.

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Congressman Joins Kingspan Factory Workers to Celebrate Wins and Push for Fair Process  

OCTOBER 19, 2022

(SANTA ANA, CALIF.) — U.S. Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., joined Kingspan factory workers at a community rally today to celebrate their victories advocating for safety and environmental protections in the Santa Ana skylight factory where they work. He then marched with workers in the city’s industrial zone.  

“Workers at Kingspan are leading a movement for dignity, fairness, and health and safety,” said Correa, who represents California’s 46th congressional district, which includes the Santa Ana factory. “I support their struggle and celebrate the changes that have come about through their advocacy and leadership.”  

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Local and National Environmental Groups Call on Green Building Community to Stop Partnering With Kingspan

Forty-five (45) local and national groups organizing against climate change and for environmental justice have signed a statement calling on the green building community to reconsider partnerships with Kingspan Group. Led by the Labor Network for Sustainability, local groups including Orange County Environmental Justice, Madison Park Neighborhood Association, The River Project and others were joined by national groups including Greenpeace USA, Friends of the Earth, Climate Justice Alliance, Sunrise Movement, the Climate Advocacy Lab and 36 others. The green building community includes architects, specifiers, the US Green Building Council, and trade associations such as the American Institute of Architects. You can support this call by signing on as an individual or organization. There are updates on the OSHA and EPA regulatory actions.

Kingspan Calif. Employees Hold Vigil in Solidarity with Survivors of U.K. Grenfell Tower Fire 

One week after Mercedes-Benz ended its partnership with Kingspan 

DECEMBER 14, 2021

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Kingspan manufacturing workers in Santa Ana held a candlelight vigil today in solidarity with thousands marching in London on the 4 ½ year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people in the worst residential fire in the United Kingdom since World War II. Workers in Santa Ana are calling on Kingspan to listen to them about workplace safety. Grenfell fire survivors and bereaved are fighting to hold Kingspan accountable for safe homes.

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