Association News

PCA Spring Meeting Brings Industry Together

APP-640X550-SPRING15More than 140 PCA members, allies, and staff gathered at the Marriott Chicago O'Hare last week for PCA’s twice-yearly committee meetings.

Under the theme of “Leading the Industry Together” PCA’s Spring Meeting celebrated plant and personnel innovation and leadership that enhances the cement industry’s impact on construction and society. In addition to several PCA committees, the PCA Board of Directors also held their meeting during the April 6-8 conference.

PCA President and CEO Jim Toscas and Chairman of the Board John Stull, opened the meeting by addressing their visions for the association and priorities for the next year.

Other sessions included:

  • Nick Rahall, former West Virginia 3rd District representative, presented his views on the need and obstacles for a new transportation bill.
  • Stull honored the 2015 Energy & Environmental awards as well as plant and terminal safety honors.
  • Edward J. Sullivan, PCA chief economist and group vice president, presented his 2015 Spring Forecast.
  • The Board of Directors elected Toscas president of the PCA Education Foundation and approved three fellowships for 2015.

The 2015 PCA Fall Meeting is scheduled for August 31-September 1 at The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago, 909 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois.

Contact Jan Farnsworth

Sustainable Development

PCA Launches EPD Webinar

PCA will launch its Industry Average EPD Project with a tutorial webinar for member company staff on April 22, at 11 a.m. EDT. More than 95 percent of PCA member companies have chosen to participate in this program.

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a credible, consistent and verified report of the environmental impacts of materials used in construction. The webinar will provide an overview of the project benchmarks, detail the data collection process, and provide invaluable tips for completing the data templates. 

Any PCA member company staff that will be compiling or submitting production data is encouraged to attend this informative session. The recorded presentation will be available at the Members Only portion of www.cement.org in the coming weeks.

Contact David Shepherd

Market Intelligence

US Cement Consumption to Continue Growth Trend in 2015 and Beyond

During the PCA Spring Meeting, Edward J. Sullivan, PCA chief economist and group vice president, projected that total cement consumption would increase by 7.5 percent from last year, and continue to grow in 2016 by 7.9 percent.

Sullivan noted that industry projects continue to be in line with generally improving economic construction fundamentals. The main downside risk is the impact of falling oil prices. The oil sector's expected 31.2 percent drop in 2015 will likely drag cement consumption.

Sustained strength in job creation, coupled with a gradual shift in the mix of jobs toward higher skills and more significant wage pressures suggest added strength to consumer spending. Consumer balance sheets have endured a healing period, and with improvement in the labor markets will be more able to spend than they have been in quite some time.

Contact Ed Sullivan

Manufacturing

Cement Industry Honors 2015 Leaders in Environmental Excellence

Three cement plants received special recognition for their commitment to improving the environment and their communities at the 14th Annual Cement Industry Environment and Energy Awards, presented by PCA at its 2015 Spring Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

The awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants went beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes and policies contributed to making their communities better places to live and work.

Six categories recognized plants throughout North America (listed by category, company and plant location):

  • Overall Environmental Excellence: Lafarge North America Inc., Alpena, Michigan
  • Outreach: CEMEX USA, Lyons, Colorado
  • Environmental Performance: Lafarge North America Inc., Alpena, Michigan
  • Land Stewardship: CEMEX USA Brooksville South, Brooksville, Florida
  • Innovation: Lafarge North America Inc., Alpena, Michigan
  • Energy Efficiency: CEMEX USA Brooksville South, Brooksville, Florida

PCA created the award program in 2000 as part of its environment and energy strategic plan for the U.S. cement industry. 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 2015 awards program included representatives from U.S. EPA-ENERGY STAR, U.S. Geological Survey, National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association, and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

Contact Tom Harman

Member News

CalPortland Named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year

CalPortland Company earned a 2015 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the company’s advancement as a global leader in the promotion of best energy management practices throughout the industry.

This recognition is the ENERGY STAR program’s highest honor and will be presented in Washington, DC, on April 20, 2015. This marks the eleventh consecutive year that CalPortland has received an ENERGY STAR award.

"CalPortland has been an ENERGY STAR partner since 1996," said CalPortland President/CEO Allen Hamblen. "For nearly two decades that relationship has been instrumental in the continuous improvement of our energy program. We have established a core culture of energy management that includes all levels of the company’s operations"

The 2015 Partner of the Year Awards honor contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency. The awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

Read the Think Harder. Blog post

Regional News

Tennessee "Day on the Hill" Connects Concrete Industry with State Legislators

The Tennessee concrete industry held its seventh annual “Day on the Hill" in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 1. This cooperative government relations effort between Tennessee’s cement, ready-mix, paving, pipe, and precast associations is making strides with the decision-makers in state government.

The day began with 25 industry representatives making scheduled small-group office visits to 40 Tennessee lawmakers. They emphasized the under-investment in infrastructure and the need for long-life, durable concrete solutions, and worked to increase awareness on increasing Tennessee’s gas tax. They also showed support for HB0686/SB0817, a bill to set maximum weight limits of axles and axle groups for permitted, non-divisible overweight on freight vehicles.

Morning and afternoon legislative visits bracketed a mid-day barbeque luncheon inside the Tennessee State Capitol. More than 200 legislators, staff, and other government officials attended.

Contact Roger Faulkner