Starting this year, asphalt plants earning a Diamond Achievement Commendation have the option to further assess the sustainability of their facility’s operations with the Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation.
This expanded commendation assesses the social, economic, and environmental efforts of an asphalt production facility to gauge how well it puts the principles of sustainability and community engagement into action.
The Diamond Achievement program (www.AsphaltPavement.org/diamond) began in 1999 to recognize asphalt plants that met or exceeded national best practices for operations, environmental practices, safety, permitting and regulatory compliance, and community relations. The Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation lays out additional best practices for sustainable operations and community involvement and challenges asphalt producers to strive for an even higher level of excellence.
“The Diamond Commendation program encourages continuous improvement. It is a way for asphalt plants to benchmark their operations, and it provides a blueprint for how to improve them,” said Bill Ensor, the 2014 NAPA Chairman. “With the Diamond Achievement Sustainable, plants that are already good, conscientious operations will have new guidelines to make their facility an even better neighbor.”
The new commendation requires plants to understand, quantify, and control their energy use, emissions, and use of recycled materials, as well as to articulate a corporate sustainability plan. It also covers related issues ranging from noise and light pollution to volunteer programs. Plants must first qualify for a Diamond Achievement Commendation before seeking the new commendation.
The Diamond Commendation program consists of three commendations: Diamond Achievement and Diamond Achievement Sustainable, which outline best practices for asphalt plant operations; Diamond Quality, which outlines best practices for asphalt mix production; and Diamond Paving, which outlines best practices for paving operations. The commendations use a self-assessment process to help companies benchmark their operations against national standards, to identify areas for improvement, and to earn national recognition for their commitment to quality.
The 2014 Diamond Commendation will begin accepting applications, including the new Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation, on April 1, 2014. Additional information and the application process can be found at www.AsphaltPavement.org/diamond.