EPA revisits SCM in procurement guidelines; honors CalPortland and Cemex

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has opened a public comment period through July 6 on the Agency’s current list of 61 items that are or can be made from recovered materials in eight Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) categories, plus recommendations to federal agencies on purchasing such items. The largest category, Construction Products, includes blended cement or concrete containing fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag and silica fume.

EPA seeks input regarding whether the right products are listed; if any should be deleted, added or modified; and, whether current recycled-content and procurement specifications are appropriate. CPG updates would be the first since 2007.

“Through Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, EPA is furthering our ‘America Recycles’ work, and responding to stakeholder input to help increase demand for recycled-content materials, by promoting government programs to purchase recycled materials,” says Office of Land and Emergency Management Assistant Administrator Peter Wright. “Buying recycled-content products fosters markets for materials from the recycling stream and ensures that these materials will be used in the manufacture of new products, strengthening the United States’ recycling system.”

The federal government’s buy-recycled program uses federal purchasing power to stimulate demand for products made with recovered materials. EPA designates recycled-content items and publishes recommendations to assist procuring agencies using federal funds in meeting their CPG-designated obligations. Guidelines background, along with comments on the recovered materials inventory and product categories, can be obtained or submitted through www.regulations.gov, referencing docket number EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0589.


EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy have named CalPortland Co. in Glendora, Calif., the 2020 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence – Energy Management for continued leadership and superior contributions to the Energy Star program. Sustained Excellence is the top award; candidates are companies that have received Partner of the Year recognition for a minimum of two consecutive years, and gone above and beyond the criteria needed to qualify for recognition. The latest recognition marks the 16th consecutive year CalPortland has earned the honor—a feat unmatched by any other industrial entity in Energy Star program history.

“Finding new and innovative solutions to create energy efficiencies has become an integral part of our company culture and we are honored to celebrate employees’ ongoing efforts by achieving this tremendous award,” says CalPortland CEO Allen Hamblen. “CalPortland remains committed to reducing emissions and reducing our company’s environmental footprint by contributing to the circular economy.”

CalPortland has been an Energy Star Partner since 1996 and remains dedicated to demonstrating and promoting energy efficiency within the company and to other construction materials companies, he adds. Energy management efforts since 2003 have reduced the producer’s overall energy intensity by 16.5 percent, avoiding $135 million in unnecessary energy costs. Key 2019 accomplishments include:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint and embodied energy of cement products by developing the market blended cements;
  • Advancing energy efficiency and emission reductions through extensive upgrades to the company’s mobile fleet, rail operations and cement plants;
  • Working with the leadership of the national cement, concrete, and asphalt trade associations to increase industry involvement in energy management and Energy Star;
  • Focusing on community engagement and in-person education by reaching more than 136,000 individuals on good energy management best practices and Energy Star; and,
  • Incorporating energy management and Energy Star into a corporate-wide professional development training program through videos, an intranet site, new employee orientation, and regular employee engagements.

Energy Star Award recipients, observes EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Anne Idsal, “Demonstrate how energy efficiency drives economic competitiveness in tandem with environmental protection.”


EPA and the Energy Department have likewise named Cemex USA as 2020 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence – Energy Management, marking a second consecutive year the Houston-based producer has been honored for its power conservation practices and longstanding commitment to sustainability.

Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence is the latest EPA and DOE honor for Cemex USA’s active Energy Star program participation. In 2019, two cement plants attained Energy Star certification. Since 2007, Cemex USA operations have earned more than 50 such certifications.

“Sustainability is embedded in our day-to-day operations and an integral part of our core business strategy,” says Cemex USA President Jaime Muguiro. “Energy conservation is part of our vision as we are building a better future and believe it’s our responsibility to vigorously practice energy management through ongoing initiatives and the use of alternative fuels. We’re proud to be recognized again for our efforts as EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year and applaud our operations for consistently working to make a difference.”