CalPortland forms Carbon Reduction Team, earns Wildlife Habitat recognition

A new CalPortland Co. Carbon Reduction Team will focus on research and development plus decarbonization project implementation, and operate from the cement, aggregate and concrete producer’s Crestmore Center of Technical Excellence in Jurupa Valley, Calif. Vice President of Research & Development Hamed Maraghechi and Vice President of Carbon Reduction Implementation Hartmut Riess will lead the team, tasked with science-driven activities spawning projects netting innovative carbon reduction for the cement and concrete industries.

Maraghechi earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Penn State University and MSc degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He received his undergraduate degree in Polymer Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. Riess is a second-generation cement engineer and has more than 25 years of industry experience. He received his BS and MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen, Germany.

“CalPortland has made an unwavering commitment to decarbonizing cement production through the research of carbon reduction opportunities,” says CalPortland CEO Allen Hamblen. “By creating a team strategically focused on science-based strategies, we will achieve significant carbon reduction and surpass our sustainability goals.”

Crestmore Center of Technical Excellence pollinator garden

Concurrent with the Carbon Reduction Team announcement, CalPortland attained Wildlife Habitat Council Conservation Certification for its pollinator-friendly garden areas at the Crestmore Center and El Segundo Ready Mix Plant near Los Angeles. Conservation programs support each facility’s unique local landscape. The establishment of the gardens stands as a testament to CalPortland’s innovative approach to environmental sustainability. They serve as vital green spaces for local pollinator species, providing essential resources such as nectar, pollen, and shelter. Conservation programs also encompass educational events for both employees and local youth programs—fostering environmental awareness and engagement within the community.

“The El Segundo Ready Mix Plant and Crestmore Center for Technical Excellence are recognized as meeting the strict requirements of WHC Conservation Certification,” says WHC President Margaret O’Gorman. “Companies achieving certification are environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them.”

“CalPortland remains committed to providing a resilient and sustainable environment forgenerations to come,” notes Allen Hamblen. WHC Conservation Certification reflects employees’ personal and professional commitment to protecting natural resources and a broader organizational move to sustainability and environmental responsibility, he adds.

Crestmore Center of Technical Excellence pollinator garden

Nevada-based Jensen Precast, one of the top independent operators in utility and drainage structures, has strengthened its California market presence in a deal with CalPortland Co. for Southwest Concrete Products, Ontario. Jensen Precast has operated a facility in nearby Fontana since 1989, primarily providing underground electric and telecommunication utility products, septic tanks, grease interceptors, and Caltrans highway barriers. Southwest Concrete Products, founded in 1966, has vast experience in the southern California sewer and storm drain manhole and drainage inlet markets.

“Since our inception, we have been a major producer of sewer and storm drain manholes,” says Jensen Precast CEO Eric Jensen. “We deeply understand the manufacturing and application of these products. However, until the addition of this Ontario location, we had limited manufacturing resources to be an effective supplier of sewer and storm drain manholes. Now we are all in. Jensen Precast is fully committed to continuing and expanding sewer and storm drain manhole and drainage inlet products across southern California.”