Brick Industry Honors Excellence in Environmental and Safety Programs
The Brick Industry Association (BIA) honored outstanding programs in environmental stewardship, and employee health and safety at its annual banquet in Orlando on March 31.
BIA President and CEO Richard Jennison said: "Brick manufacturers and distributors are demonstrating that — just as all-natural brick, itself — they're operating in a sustainable manner: safeguarding the health and well-being of the environment, their employees and society at large."
Nashville, Tenn.-based Alley-Cassetty won for the "Reduced Truck Emissions" program that significantly cut vehicular emissions. This was done through regulating truck speeds; monitoring exhaust emissions; and recycling waste oil, anti-freeze, and hydraulic oil, leading to a 6-percent increase in fuel efficiency.
Roswell, Ga.-based Boral Bricks won for its "Journey Toward Sustainability" program that implemented a new diagnostic tool to assess resource conservation successes. Conservation goals were set, the attainment of which impacts employees' performance bonus plans. Boral believes it has developed a transparent system for measuring greenhouse gas emissions, enabling Boral to participate in a future emissions trading system.
Wyomissing, Pa.-based Glen-Gery Corporation won for its "Energy Reduction Program," in which heat from the mass of bricks exiting the kiln was re-circulated back to the Proctor driers. To achieve this, Glen-Gery redesigned the kiln's exit in order to supply all of the drier's energy needs, thus eliminating the need for supplemental burners. The result was annual cuts in both natural gas consumption by more than 7,780 million cubic feet, and CO2 emissions by more than 938,000 pounds.
Lawrenceville, Va.-based Lawrenceville Brick used its "Scrubber Waste Recycling Program" to identify beneficial uses for the waste that accumulates in dry limestone absorbers (or "scrubbers"). Rather than send the waste to a landfill, the company provides the waste, free of charge, to local farmers for peanut, soybean and pasture lands where the lime waste reacts favorably with the soil.
Rocky Mount, N.C.-based Nash Brick won for its "Secondary Containment" program, protecting the environment by reducing the likelihood that suspended solids or sediment would leave the sediment basin. This innovation resulted in more environmentally-friendly mine reclamation, cleaner water for streams, and a highly favorable inspection report from the North Carolina Division of Land Quality, stating the "site looks good. Owner shows interest in, and dedication to, exceeding expectations."
New York-based Belden Brick Sales & Service won for its "Do the Right Thing for our Friends" program, delivering wellness, medical and pharmaceutical insurance to all employees, free of charge. In addition to the coverage, any staff member wishing to quit smoking is given up to $500 for treatment.
Pueblo, Colo.-based Summit-Lakewood Brick won for its safety program steered by a plant safety committee that meets monthly to proactively address employee safety issues; this effort is supported by other safety teams, including lockout/tagout, forklifts, fleet safety and respiratory protection. Monetary awards are given to each department that meets its goals.
More than 24 entries were submitted to the BIA contests. Entries were assessed by magazine editors, Roy Bigham of Pollution Engineering; Dave Johnson of Industrial Safety and Hygiene News; and Sandy Smith of Occupational Hazards. Judging criteria included the degree to which the entrant provided both quantitative and qualitative information on the company's effective management of EH&S issues, and examples of expanding employee knowledge of these issues.
About the Author
The Brick Industry Association (BIA) is the national trade association representing distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products and services. Go to www.gobrick.com for more information.