The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the cement industry for significant progress in continuing to reduce its environmental footprint
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the cement industry for significant progress in continuing to reduce its environmental footprint by increasing energy efficiency, cutting air emissions, and better managing the manufacturing process. Data provided by sources including the Portland Cement Association is examined in the annual EPA Sector Strategies Performance Report to determine industry trends over the past 10 years.
The 2006 EPA report clearly demonstrates that the U.S. cement industry is committed to a sustainable future, affirms Andrew O’Hare, PCA vice president of regulatory affairs. [Cement producers] are taking the initiative to ensure that their processes are as efficient as possible by voluntarily tracking environmental performance, and the 2006 report again illustrates the effectiveness of those efforts.
The report cites progress on several fronts:
Cutting cement kiln dust disposed of in landfills by half (49 percent) since 1995.
Reducing the rate of nitrogen oxide emissions by six percent between 1996 and 2002 Û The agency also noted that less than one percent of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions can be attributed to the cement industry.
Developing long-term climate change strategies, including the participation of California Portland Cement Co., Holcim (US) Inc., St. Lawrence Cement, and Lafarge North America in EPA’s Climate Leaders program.
CalPortland’s manufacturing process improvements, equipment upgrades and new policies for equipment procurement, plus enlistment in EPA’s Energy Star program. (Between 2003 and 2004, the Colton, Calif., plant reduced its energy consumption per unit of production by five percent, cutting nearly 30,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.)
Similarly, PCA’s Concrete Thinking for a Sustainable World initiative was recognized by EPA as an example of environmental leadership by a trade association. PCA launched this voluntary code of conduct in 2003 to reduce emissions and promote the superior environmental benefits of concrete.
Reporting on the progress of the Concrete Thinking initiative, PCA released its second annual Report on Sustainable Manufacturing in September. The document lends further support to EPA’s recognition of the cement industry as a leader in manufacturing process management for optimal efficiency, as it details producers’ proactive implementation of sustainable practices, environmental stewardship, community involvement, workplace health and safety plans, plus eco-friendly concrete construction.
Voluntary goals set by PCA through Concrete Thinking entail the adoption of environmental management systems and controls by the majority of U.S. cement plants by December 2020, as follows:
- Carbon dioxide Û reducing CO2 emissions by 10 percent (from a 1990 baseline) per ton of cementitious product produced or sold.
- Cement kiln dust Û a 60 percent reduction (from a 1990 baseline) in CKD disposed per ton of clinker produced.
- Environmental Management Systems Û implementation of an auditable and verifiable EMS by at least 40 percent of U.S. cement plants by the end of 2006, 75 percent by the end of 2010, and 90 percent by the end of 2020.
- Improving energy efficiency Û as measured by total Btu-equivalent per unit of cementitious product Û by 20 percent from a 1990 baseline.
The 2006 Report on Sustainable Manufacturing can be viewed at http://www.cement.org/smreport06/index.htm
Developer: Eimers Group, Destin, Fla.
General contractor: Walton Construction, Harahan, La.
Shores of Panama
Developer: Breland Corp., Daphne, Ala.
General contractor: C.F. Jordan, El Paso, Texas
Concrete contractor: Highrise Concrete Systems,
Grand Prairie, Texas
Forms: Mesa Imalat