FIRST PLACE – IDAHO MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION
KETCHUM PLANT, KETCHUM, IDAHO
Among measures to ensure aesthetic appeal of the 45-year-old operation, plant equipment has been painted to match local architecture, and exterior signage clearly communicates an Idaho Materials and Construction facility. The yard area is swept and washed at least weekly to prevent material track out to city streets.
Management and staff steer significant resources to environmental stewardship. An environmental department conducts training, performs audits, and manages all legal or permit compliance matters and pollution prevention strategies. An auditing program and Environmental Management System (EMS) enable the department to provide quantitative feedback to upper management. Environmental performance at the Ketchum Plant and sister operations reflects collaboration between site managers, compliance professionals and the executive team.
Environmental protection is a major contributor to sustainable practices at Ketchum, as is perpetual emphasis on employee safety. Underscoring that is the “See, Stop, Do” program, which compels employees to take action whenever potentially unsafe behaviors are witnessed. The program helped garner Idaho Construction parent Oldcastle Materials a 2013 Associated General Contractors Platinum Award for Safety Excellence (25 percent below National Average Injury Rate).
|Paint and process water management are among improvements positioning the plant for Environmental Excellence recognition.|
In its mission statement, Idaho Materials and Construction commits to “Champion the safety, empowerment, and development of our employees;” “be recognized as the Preferred Source of quality sand, rock, landscape products, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, paving and construction services;” and, “succeed as a team by embracing integrity, mutual respect, innovation, service, sustainability, and financial strength.” The statement’s environmental sustainability portion references four EMS components or procedures:
- An impact assessment is conducted, and all required regulatory requirements are identified.
- Hard copies of required permits and recordkeeping are maintained on site; backup copies are stored on a company intranet accessible to plant operators.
- A cloud based inspection and recordkeeping system notifies operators via email when a required inspection or other data gathering activity is due. Employees can enter information directly into the system from a tablet or any other web portal device.
- The Presidents Environmental Sustainability Award Program is built around an EMS audit. It entails a detailed review of all regulatory requirements including air and stormwater permits, hazardous waste issues, housekeeping, safety fundamentals, employee engagement and community perception. A multidisciplinary team of inspectors not associated with the plant conduct the audit, score the site based on predetermined criteria and provide immediate, written feedback to the personnel.
At the end of the year, all sites are ranked according to their score; those with the highest scores received the Presidents Environmental Sustainability Award and are recognized with a plaque and ceremony. Sites scoring 100 percent on the compliance portion and 90 percent or greater overall are considered Gold Standard and also receive a plaque. Gold Standard attainment for five consecutive years nets the Diamond Achievement Award—an honor the Ketchum plant realized in 2015, its overall score 97 percent.
RUNNER-UP – CHANDLER CONCRETE COMPANY OF VIRGINIA, INC.
MONETA PLANT 706, MONETA, VIRGINIA
A policy statement outlines Chandler Concrete’s dedication to protecting, preserving and improving the quality of the environment, in turn supporting healthy communities, conserving natural resources, and reducing harmful emissions. It commits Moneta and sister plants to performance on six criteria:
- Regulatory. All legislative regulations are met or exceeded and a positive working relationship is established with federal, state and local regulatory agencies.
- Training. Viewed as on-going process to ensure each employee understands his or her duties and their relationship to the overall environmental objectives.
|The Moneta Plant’s three-tier pond system is designed and maintained for zero stormwater discharge. Berms direct stormwater to sediment basins and ponds. Top tier material is frequently moved to a drying area, becoming fill for a customer that hauls to local sites on a regular basis. Storm and process water are diverted along a back drive to the lower pond. The concrete-paved drive is lined with berms and barrier walls to help control erosion. Riprap stone is strategically placed beside the berms to act as a filter and erosion-resistant ground cover. The bottom pond is clean enough to attract large frogs and an occasional deer.|
- Pollution. Waste, noise and harmful emissions will be minimized and pollution reduced through proper use, recycling and reuse of resources.
- Aesthetics. Best management practices and planting of green boundaries are standard to improve aesthetics and foster community relations.
- Business. Environmental considerations are integrated into planning and decisions affecting design, procurement, production, management and product support.
- Continuous improvement. Environmental practices and programs are continuously reviewed, while new goals are established.
The Moneta Plant abides policy. It is located near a recreational lake and highly visible from both directions along a prime thoroughfare. Area businesses are expected to adhere to high environmental standards. Recognizing that Chandler Concrete has an impact on the community it serves, employees maintain the yard and landscaping while keeping the area free of unwanted debris. A visually pleasing facility and professionalism are required all at times. To that end, Moneta staff strives to present the surrounding community with an aesthetically pleasing facility through landscaping and vegetation. The main entrance has two trees that change with the seasons; as they mature, the trees play an increasing role in noise and dust control. A VersaLok masonry wall was added to the front entrance displaying merchandise produced from Chandler Concrete masonry facilities.
The Moneta Plant is NRMCA Green-Star certified. Its Environmental Management System (EMS) addresses water quality, air quality, solids, hazardous material, sustainability and energy. An internal Green Star Auditor and safety & environmental manager audit and inspect Moneta and sister plants per certification guidelines and Chandler Concrete mission statement. Together they provide consistent training, auditing and environmental promotion, and interface with a “Green Team,” which during quarterly meetings reviews and updates sites’ environmental objectives.