SKOKIE, Ill. – The Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine acknowledged the Lafarge North America cement plant in Alpena, Mich., as part of the 2014 Cement Industry Energy & Environmental Awards honoring sustainable manufacturing practices.
The Alpena plant continues to improve and expand the wildlife habitat project surrounding the former Paxton shale quarry area, which includes about 600 acres in total with a 120 acre lake. Plant personnel, in partnership with volunteers from various local schools and organizations, perform numerous projects including the bird nesting box project. The goal is to return this area to its natural state and enhance the living conditions for area wildlife while providing educational opportunities to students, groups, and organizations.
The plant enhanced its curriculum and included additional grade levels for its “Education That WORKS!” program and once again took it to all elementary schools in Alpena County in 2013. The program is designed to inform students of Michigan’s rock and mineral resources and ultimately, to present the cement manufacturing process to the community’s grade school children
In 2013, the Alpena plant produced 85 percent of its own electrical needs. By producing most of its own power in 2013, the plant reduced its potential carbon footprint by approximately 100,000 tons of CO2.
The plant was a runner-up for the Land Stewardship. The Land Stewardship category recognizes a plant’s efforts to protect and enhance the surrounding land through landscaping, species protection, and remediation and rehabilitation of quarries, wetlands, and other features. The plant was also a finalist in the outreach, energy efficiency and overall environmental excellence categories.
The Energy & Environmental Awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants go beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes contribute to making their communities better places to live and work. Five categories are recognized: outreach, environmental performance, land stewardship, innovation and energy efficiency. Additionally, PCA presents a special honor to a plant demonstrating excellence in multiple categories.
The award program was created in 2000 by the PCA 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 2014 awards Program included representatives from U.S. EPA-ENERGY STAR, Wildlife Habitat Council, U.S. Geological Survey, World Wildlife Fund, and Cement Americas.
Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.