Leading Manufacturers Receive Cement Industry Awards
Enhanced manufacturing processes benefit the global environment
By Ryan Puckett
Five cement plants received special recognition by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine for continuous environmental improvement at PCA’s Spring Board Meeting in New York, N.Y., on April 25, 2005.
The Fourth Annual Cement Industry Environment and Energy Awards recognize individual facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action.
The awards recognize plants in six categories (listed by category, company, and plant location):
- Overall Environmental Excellence: St. Lawrence Cement, Mississauga, Ontario
- Environmental Performance: St. Lawrence Cement, Mississauga, Ontario
- Land Stewardship: CEMEX Inc., Fairborn, Ohio
- Outreach: Lafarge North America, Inc., Tulsa, Okla.
- Innovation: CEMEX Inc., Knoxville, Tenn.
- Energy Efficiency: California Portland Cement Company, Colton, Calif.
Overall Environmental ExcellenceSt. Lawrence Cement – Mississauga, Ontario
St. Lawrence Cement’s Mississauga plant was recognized as the winner of the Overall Environmental Excellence Award for its environmental achievement in several areas. The facility won the environmental performance category and was the runner-up for the outreach, innovation, and energy efficiency categories. In addition, St. Lawrence made an investment in equipment designed to reduce noise output. As a result of its efforts, the plant reduced its number of noise complaints to zero. The Mississauga facility has also been recognized by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Canada’s Climate Change Voluntary Challenge and Registry Inc., and local environmental leaders for its efforts.
Environmental Performance AwardSt. Lawrence Cement – Mississauga, Ontario
St. Lawrence Cement’s Mississauga plant won the Environmental Performance Award, which honors facilities that take steps beyond those contained in environmental laws, regulations, permits and requirements to minimize their impact on the environment. In 2004, Mississauga implemented an environmental management system and was the first cement plant in North America to achieve ISO 14001 certification. The plant achieved secondary plume opacity of zero percent, it voluntarily tested stack emissions, reduced roll-off waste by 30 percent and waste management costs by 22 percent, utilized by-products to reduce natural resource consumption, and further reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide by 8 percent to 16 percent below already low levels.
Land StewardshipCEMEX Inc. – Fairborn, Ohio
CEMEX Fairborn, Ohio, won the Land Stewardship Award, which recognizes efforts to protect and enhance the surrounding land through landscaping, species protection, and remediation and rehabilitation of quarries and wetlands.
The Ohio facility participated in two land rehabilitation projects in 2004. In one project, CEMEX made progress on the reclamation of a 200-acre limestone quarry. This included a complete reclamation release of 52 acres and partial release of 150 acres that were recently vegetated. The second project was the demolition of an 80-year old cement manufacturing plant that was closed in the 1990s and was the source of aesthetic concerns for its neighbors. CEMEX’s voluntary effort proved to be a significant task as the building needed asbestos abatement. Construction rubble was segregated so that inert materials could be used to backfill and reclaim an old quarry. Nearly 10 acres were backfilled with these materials.
OutreachLafarge North America Inc. – Tulsa, Okla.
Lafarge’s Tulsa facility won the Outreach Award, which recognizes facilities that strive to enhance community, employee, and government relations through communication, partnerships, voluntary efforts, and contributions. The Tulsa facility’s outreach program in 2004 included wildlife habitat conservation and renewal, educational alliances, participation in community and environmental organizations, plant tours, community affairs activities, charitable sponsorships, environmental educational alliances, and Earth Day festivities. In addition, the plant’s environmental manager serves on a local air quality committee.
InnovationCEMEX Inc. – Knoxville, Tenn.
The CEMEX plant in Knoxville won the Innovation Award, which recognizes industry leaders in the development and application of innovation technologies and techniques relevant to environmental protection or energy efficiency. The Knoxville facility explored alternative abatement methods to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOX) beyond regulatory requirements. After evaluating various technologies, the plant installed a water injection system, that studies showed would reduce NOX emissions by approximately 15 percent.
The water injection technology was simple to use and install and proved to be a cost-effective innovation. In 2004, the plant also developed a continuous monitoring system to measure sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions. Moving forward, CEMEX has committed over a million dollars to researching and developing new technologies for the Knoxville facility.
Energy EfficiencyCalifornia Portland Cement Company – Colton, Calif.
The California Portland Cement Company won the Energy Efficiency Award, which evaluates energy planning, applications of efficient technologies and practices, and climate change mitigation efforts. Using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program as a guide, the facility implemented a corporate energy management program along with an energy management team. The plant’s policy establishes baseline energy use through new and existing metering and other reporting methods, sets goals based on benchmarking and industry best practices, requires periodic audits to determine savings opportunities, implements energy saving ideas through capital spending and maintenance, and provides training and awareness of energy efficiency best practices. The implementation of this program resulted in an energy consumption reduction of 4.5 percent from 2003 levels, which translates into savings of $842,000.
History of the AwardsThe awards program was created in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association as part of its renewed environment and energy strategic plan for the U.S. cement industry. PCA and Cement Americas magazine presented the first Cement Industry Environmental Awards in 2002 to the winners for 2001.
“The cement industry was one of the first industries to tackle climate change by developing policies and improving manufacturing processes that benefit the global environment,” said Andy O’Hare, PCA’s vice president of regulatory affairs. “The awards program is recognition of these ongoing efforts.”
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 awards represent independent groups such as PCA, Cement Americas magazine, the Cement Association of Canada, World Resources Institute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the World Wildlife Fund.
About the Author
Ryan Puckett is the Media Relations Manager at the Portland Cement Association.