“Having the first combined asphalt and aggregates facility in California to be certified as ISO 14001 compliant provides independent confirmation of Vulcan’s commitment to the environment and demonstrates to our customers and to our neighbors how we integrate sustainability into our operations,” says Alan Wessel, president of the Western Division. “We are proud of the management systems framework we established to ensure continuous improvement in our environmental practices.”
The team at the Irwindale plant developed an array of methods to reduce and prevent pollution, including repowering large equipment and giving contractors access to the facility’s power grid. This allows contractors to eliminate the use of outdated equipment and generates a corresponding decrease in diesel and nitrogen oxide emissions.
Sustainability plays a key role in various initiatives at companies that are part of Holcim Group. In areas ranging from the development of environmentally friendly building products, to emission-reducing transportation strategies, to well-designed plants, the company considers its long-term social license in its business decisions and strategies.
For several years in a row, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index has recognized Holcim for having the best sustainability performance in the building materials industry. It also partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the SmartWay Transport program, which was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing efficiencies in the freight industry. And, the company’s plant in Theodore, Ala., was recognized with the 2007 Gulf Guardian Award for a stormwater conservation project.
The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction — supported by Holcim, but free of its commercial interests — promotes sustainability in the construction industry by supporting innovations around the world. For example, it conducts an international sustainable construction competition, provides financial support for research and construction projects, and promotes collaboration through publications and exhibitions.
“Holcim has long been a leader in sustainable construction,” says Susana Duarte de Suarez, vice president, communications, for Holcim (US) Inc. “We continue to invest in sustainable efforts both in our plant communities and globally because it is the right thing to do.”
During the 2006 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Holcim introduced a series of products named Envirocore. The environmentally friendly products meet various levels of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and have been used in projects such as the 7 World Trade Center and the Freedom Tower, both located at “Ground Zero” in New York City. The 7 World Trade Center has been called the city’s first “green” office tower after receiving a gold Green Building Rating System certification.
Aggregate Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of Holcim, has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2005. It also entered into a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Leaders program. The program is an industry-government partnership that works with companies to develop comprehensive climate change strategies. Partner companies commit to reducing their impact on the global environment by completing a corporate-wide inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions based on a quality management system, setting aggressive reduction goals, and annually reporting their progress to the EPA.
Similar to Vulcan’s foray into warm-mix asphalt, Aggregate Industries formed a partnership with the Cool Climate Concrete (C3) program. C3 is a monitored and verified carbon dioxide offset program based on the use of blended cement concrete in construction and civil works projects. Program participants create offsets by decreasing the use of Portland cement and receive financial benefits for their efforts.
Reclamation efforts have also provided strong returns for the company. Aggregate Industries’ West Central Region won the state of Colorado’s Sustainability Champion Award for reservoir projects at its Morrison Quarry and the Thornton/Hazeltine sand and gravel site.
The quarry reclamation project was a team effort with the town of Morrison to provide water storage for the Denver metro area. When the award was announced, Morrison Mayor Allen Williams said, “Sustainability for the town of Morrison is essential, and our partnership with Aggregate Industries has virtually guaranteed the survival and the future of the town of Morrison.”
The second reservoir reclamation project, located at a former sand and gravel site, includes three water reservoirs for the cities of Thornton and Arvada. A specialized mixture of clay and water was trenched into bedrock to create a watertight containment area that provides 2.6 billion gallons of water to the two communities.
“Our entire team of employees in the West Central Region has long been committed to the issue of sustainability,” says Regional President Pat Ward. “We have been working on these water reservoir projects for many years, even before sustainability became a buzz word.”
Lafarge, another industry leader in sustainable development, reiterated its commitment to ensuring environmental protection, social responsibility, and corporate governance last May when it launched its Sustainability Ambitions 2012 report. For years, Lafarge has published a sustainability report, but the new paper combines the results of in-depth conversations with stakeholders and the company’s management team. Its intent is to define major issues for the group and outline where Lafarge can positively influence the industry.
MORE FROM Articles
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Vulcan shareholders reject board changes at annual meeting972 Views
- Former gravel quarry-turned-landfill transforms into nature reserve507 Views
- Americans consume 3 million pounds of minerals in a lifetime245 Views
- North Carolina grants Martin Marietta water quality certification for limestone quarry245 Views
- Excavators uncover ancient quarry in Jerusalem204 Views