Five cement plants received special recognition for their commitment to improving the environment and their communities at the 12(th) 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 29, 2013.
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 North America, 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 Greg Scott, 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: Lafarge North America Inc., Bath, Ontario
- Outreach: Titan America LLC/Roanoke Cement Company, Troutville, Va.
- Environmental Performance: Lafarge North America Inc., Bath, Ontario
- Land Stewardship: CEMEX USA Brooksville South, Brooksville, Fla.
- Innovation: CEMEX USA, Balcones, New Braunfels, Texas
- Energy Efficiency: CEMEX USA, Victorville, Calf.
Eighteen cement plants in North America were nominated for the awards.
Overall Environmental Excellence
Lafarge North America Inc., Bath, Ontario
The Lafarge Bath plant took on projects to improve its efficiency and environmental footprint in 2012. For example, the plant reduced its specific heat consumption 2.5 percent compared to 2011 levels through improvements in energy management, process engineering, and production practices. To improve its footprint, Lafarge Bath engaged in low carbon fuel and virgin biomass research, waterfoot printing studies, a legacy landfill management effort addressing cement kiln dust, and achieved a waste diversion recycling rate exceeding 60 percent in 2012. The plant used social media throughout 2012 to provide daily updates on the project's progress and relay general information about low carbon fuels.
Titan America LLC/Roanoke Cement Company, Troutville, Va.
The plant participated in and initiated a number of outreach activities over the course of 2012, including sponsorship of a conservation and science-based Earth Week event involving Fishburn Park Elementary students. The Roanoke Times and Roanoke.com both attended and featured the festivities. The Roanoke plant also worked with the Southwest Virginia Chapter of the United States Green Building Council through a program called the Green Schools Challenge. This program is a friendly competition to encourage students, teachers, administrators, and others to implement a variety of no or low-cost environmental actions at their schools. In addition to these projects the plant has participated in environmental efforts such as the annual Catawba Creek Clean Up, and was recognized throughout 2012 for its numerous efforts in education and community awareness activities.
Environmental Performance Award
Lafarge North America Inc., Bath, Ontario
Throughout 2012, the Bath plant demonstrated full compliance with federal, provincial, and local regulations while engaging in several projects designed to minimize the facility's impact on the environment. During 2012 the plant applied for and received a first-of-its-kind environmental permit from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for a three-year demonstration pilot to test wide variety of fuels such as railway ties, shingles, construction wood, and non-recyclable beverage containers. In 2012, the Bath facility was one of only four industrial sites - and the only cement plant - to participate in the Council of Great Lakes Industry's water footprinting study. This study is an important step in the development of tools that can be used to present an accurate and representative picture of water usage by an industrial site. In addition to a successful Legacy Landfill Management groundwater re-direction project, the Bath facility has engaged in several other environmental performance enhancement activities such comprehensive recycling programs where general use recycled cement content has increased by nearly 60 percent since 2010.
CEMEX USA Brooksville South, Brooksville, Fla.
In March 2012, CEMEX Inc. selected its Brooksville South cement plant as the pilot quarry for a Biodiversity Action Plan study that subsequently paired the facility with the local Hernando Audubon Chapter. Together they documented the tremendous variety of bird species that populate the 10,000 acre site. This collaboration established a baseline survey for birds, evaluated a bird species conservation across CEMEX sites, and improved the potential for increasing biodiversity in the region. The Brooksville South quarry received Wildlife at Work recertification by the Wildlife Habitat Council for creating, conserving, and restoring habitat. In addition, in 2012 plant received Wildlife Habitat certification from the National Wildlife Federation.
CEMEX USA, Balcones, New Braunfels, Texas
In June 2012, CEMEX received a patent for its tire injection mechanism. The implementation allowed the Balcones cement plant to consume tire-derived fuel, significantly offsetting the plant's use of traditional fuels like coal and pet coke. Through increases in tire-derived fuel usage, the facility reduces greenhouse gas emissions, thus minimizing its environmental footprint.
CEMEX USA, Victorville, Calif.
In 2012, CEMEX USA commissioned its first wind turbines in collaboration with Foundation Wind power. This project led to the construction of four wind turbines at CEMEX Victorville that will generate a total of 6.2 megawatts of wind energy for the facility while advancing CEMEX's sustainability goals through a reduction of carbon fuels. Construction of the turbines has helped the plant reduce its CO2 footprint by 5,953 tons of emissions. In 2012, the facility received the EPA's prestigious ENERGY STAR® certification in recognition of the Victorville team's outstanding energy management leadership.
History of the Awards
The awards program was created in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association as part of its environment and energy strategic plan for the U.S. cement industry. The awards honor activities conducted during the previous calendar year, and the program is open to any cement manufacturing plant in North America. Judges for the 2013 awards Program included representatives from U.S. EPA-ENERGY STAR, Wildlife Habitat Council, U.S. Geological Survey, World Wildlife Fund, and Cement Americas.
Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.