Four cement plants received special recognition for their commitment to improving the environment and their communities at the Eleventh Annual Cement Industry Environment and Energy Awards, presented by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and "Cement Americas" magazine at PCA's Spring Meeting in Chicago, April 16, 2012.
The awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants went beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes and policies contributed to making their communities better places to live and work.
“Although it is one of the most highly regulated industry sectors in the United States, cement companies are consistently challenging manufacturing policies and procedures and are on the forefront of new technologies to make their plants more energy efficient and to become better stewards of the land and resources,” said Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO. “Making a quality product is not enough. These and other cement companies take extra steps to ensure their communities are excellent places to work, live and learn.”
Six categories recognized plants throughout the United States (listed by category, company and plant location):
- Overall Environmental Excellence: CEMEX, Louisville, Ky.
- Outreach: Titan America LLC/Roanoke Cement Company, Troutville, Va.
- Environmental Performance: Holcim (US) Inc., Theodore, Ala.
- Land Stewardship: St. Marys Cement Inc. (U.S.)/VCNA, Charlevoix, Mich.
- Innovation: CEMEX, Louisville, Ky.
- Energy Efficiency: CEMEX, Louisville, Ky.
Nineteen cement plants in the United States were nominated for the awards.
Overall Environmental Excellence
In 2011 the CEMEX plant engaged in a wide range of innovation, energy efficiency, land stewardship and environmental improvement activities to make their plant a better steward of the environment and the community a better place to live. For example, to reduce maintenance and the resulting significant downtime, the Louisville plant replaced the traditional pug mill with a “pug screw,” a common material handling screw. Not only were maintenance costs reduced, but the plant also decreased energy consumption. Modifications to the preheater tower resulted in improved capture efficiency and reduced the heat required to preheat raw material. In 2011, the CEMEX Louisville Plant earned the prestigious national Wildlife Habitat Council’s Wildlife at Work Certification for its on-going wildlife, habitat and environmental stewardship initiatives. In addition to these activities, the Louisville facility has successfully developed and continues to implement an effective alternative fuels program and in 2011 utilized nearly 1 million whole tires as kiln fuel for an annual substitution of 10 percent.
The environmental strides that Roanoke Cement Company (RCC) achieves are largely community-driven. In 2011 the company’s efforts showcased the plant’s commitment to several local initiatives including visits from local Cub Scouts and high school physics students. For the sixth consecutive year plant employees participated in creek clean-up activities. Roanoke Cement reached out to neighbors through letters, brochures and meetings to brief them regarding its proposed quarry expansion and on-site mitigation proposal. Scores of residents signed letters in support of the plant’s plan, which would improve the Catawba Creek habitat and environment through the planting of open canopy riparian buffers and additional efforts designed to reverse increasing sediment loads and reduce cattle intrusion into the creek.