The Holcim (US) Inc. cement plant in Theodore, Ala., recently received the Outreach Award from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine as part of the 2006 Cement Industry Energy and Environment Awards. The award was presented at PCA's Spring Meeting in La Jolla, Calif.
"We are proud to be recognized for our efforts to enhance community, employee and government relations through innovative communications and programs," said Patrick Dolberg, president and chief executive officer, Holcim (US) Inc.
The Holcim (US) Theodore plant worked in 2006 to make its community a cleaner place to live and work. Employees participated in the annual household hazardous waste recycling day and in an event to dispose of electronic equipment in an environmentally sound manner. The plant also participated in a cleanup of the Mobile Bay and its surrounding waterways. As part of the Nineteenth Annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup Day, a worldwide event where volunteers remove trash and debris from coastal waters, Theodore employees organized an event for the Theodore Industrial Canal. During the event, volunteers removed 3,000 pounds of debris.
In addition to accepting the highest honor in the Outreach category, the plant was recognized as a finalist for Environmental Performance, the category it won for 2005.
The plant, located on the Theodore Industrial Canal, had historically discharged as much as 88 million gallons of water annually into the canal. In 2006 the plant utilized storm water as cooling/conditioning water in its production process, reducing its reliance on city water and eliminating all canal discharges. Additionally, the Theodore plant increased its use of alternative fuels by 53 percent and installed a selective non-catalytic reduction system last October, leading to tremendous success in emission control.
"Being a good corporate citizen has always been a top priority for all of us here who work and live in Theodore," said Joe McFalls, plant manager, Holcim Theodore plant. "We will continue making community outreach a top priority for our plant."
The Cement Industry Energy & Environmental Awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants go beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes contributed to making their communities better places to live and work. Five categories are recognized: Outreach, Environmental Performance, Land Stewardship, Innovation, and Energy Efficiency. Additionally a special honor is presented to plants demonstrating excellence in multiple categories.
"Cement companies take very seriously their responsibilities to towns where their employees and customers live," said Charlie T. Sunderland, PCA chairman and CEO of Ash Grove Cement Company. "The awards program recognizes these ongoing efforts to continuously challenge manufacturing policies and procedures to minimize our environmental footprint."
The 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 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.