The Cement Industries Are Being Awarded For Going Above & Beyond in Green Innovation

There have been many great contributions made by the Cement Industry as a whole, for their continued efforts to discover new environmentally safe and sound options in the creating and processing of cement materials. In 2000 an awards program was established by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) in a committed effort to excel programs that would not only ensure a healthier and safer environment for communities, but would also improve technologies for maximizing sustainability and energy efficiency for “green building” designs.

April 27, 2010 The Ninth Annual Cement Industry Environmental and Energy Awards revealed five U.S. companies, along with the Lafarge North America Inc. of Ontario Canada, which were being honored and presented Awards by the PCA and Cement Americas magazine.

Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO had this to say, “The United States cement industry is dedicated to producing a superior product while challenging manufacturing policies and procedures to improve energy efficiency., The actions taken by these plants and many others are at the fore-front of manufacturing technology and position the industry as a key contributor to the development of the latest energy expertise.”

The one company that stood out the most, bringing home 3 awards in different divisions of its company, was Lafarge North America Inc. In Ontario Canada they received the 2010 Overall Environment Excellence Award for implementing a project that is on the path of lowering fuel consumption and will result in a reduction of Carbon Dioxide and Sulfur Emissions being released into the environment. A focal point of the project was the planting of a variety of crops and the harvesting of others for use in promising trials to find a renewable and sustainable biomass source.

Kiln operations were drastically improved after the installation of a new blower technology, and cement kiln dust has almost been completely eliminated during production. Topping off their impressive list of accomplishments was the planting of 3,000 trees on their plant property for habitat restoration. The project was also designed to promote education and the importance of climate change by including the community and enrolling the help of local scouts, scout leaders and parents.

The second award, Environmental Performance Award, went to Lafarge North America Inc. in Sugar Creek, MO. The Sugar Creek Facility completed a wide variety of different projects in 2009 with the hopes of expanding their use of alternative raw materials and fuels that are used by the plant. With the joining of a third source, landfill gas, they were able to change out 17{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f} of their fossil fuel consumption. The 17{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f} less fossil fuel that is now not consumed by this facility works out to be over 30,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide from the combustion of coal.

The third award, for Innovation, was given to the Lafarge North America Inc. in Tulsa Okla. During 2009, the Tulsa plant took advantage of an already existing waste fuel resource that the industry had been using for many years. Fuel derived from tires is often done by utilizing old used and broken tires; the Tulsa facility took this concept one step further and joined with Goodyear to recycle the waste that is procured from the tire manufacturing industry into the kiln cement manufacturing industry.

The fourth award, the Outreach Award, was given to The Holcim (US) Inc. in Theodore, Alabama and was in honor of their extensive community outreach and compelling efforts during the 22nd annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup Day, in 2009. With a total of 71 volunteering employees and community members an extensive “hands on” cleanup mission began on the Theodore Industrial Canal. Many Holcim Inc. employees volunteered to take a leading role and be designated “zone captains” in the cleanup. The commendable results were the removal of 1.5 tons of waste from the water and shorelines. Holcim also assists their local community on Used Electronics Recycling Day; which has collected nearly 200,000 pounds of discarded electronic devices.

The fifth award, the Land Stewardship Award, was presented to CEMEX of Xenia, Ohio for their plant’s cooperating efforts in helping to eliminate an invasive vine plant species that was encompassing approximately 5 acres of land; which continued with threats of aggressive spreading. In a joint effort from the local community, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Cedarville University a plan was developed and implemented which killed the infestation, allowing for the return of the area’s native vegetation.

The final award, the Energy Efficiency Award, was given to CalPortland from Colton California. Their recognized accomplishments include some newly installed and highly efficient equipment. Their cutting-edge grinding of finished cement process will result in an annual reduction of 7 million KWh, while another 5.7 million KWh will be saved annually by maintaining their completed kiln leak prevention programs. They also installed a new cement terminal, which is projected to add another reduction of 3.7 million KWh.

Any North American cement manufacturing plant can qualify for the Annual Cement Industry Environmental and Energy Awards Program; for their accomplishments that have taken place within the prior calendar year. The judges for the 2010 Awards were awarding performances that companies delivered in 2009. The judges came from independent groups which included the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, U.S. EPA-ENERGY STAR, U.S. EPA-Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, Cement Association of Canada, Cement Americas, U.S. Geological Survey, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund.

Another program that further compliments the Portland Cement Association’s commitment to making long-term sustainable upgrades available to communities is their Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards. Concrete provides not only improved efficiency and sustainability, but the versatility to be easily incorporated into many “green building” upgrades and designs. These awards honor government leaders who advance their communities development through concrete products.