SKOKIE, Ill.— St Marys Cement a Votorantim Cimentos Company cement plant in Charlevoix, Michigan, received the Land Stewardship Award from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine as part of the 2014 Cement Industry Energy and Environment Awards.
Several St. Marys outreach initiatives in 2013 involved partnerships with the community on biodiversity conservation efforts. These included US-31 Corridor Enhancement Project, and the plant’s fourth eagle release. Other community related efforts include the Phragmites Removal Project and the Rails to Trails Project.
In 2013, St Marys Cement was granted a permit by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality which allowed the plant to discontinue the use of Lake Michigan water for process noncontract cooling and consumptive needs, and instead use the plants own quarry dewatering water for these uses. This means that over a half a billion gallons of water will no longer be drawn from Lake Michigan annually. This project is expected to be completed by fall of 2014.
Additionally, in September of 2013, St Marys Cement announced that the plant achieved recertification in all three ISO systems. They are one of very few plants that have all three ISO certifications. The plant was also the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Partnership Award presented in December of 2013.
The Land Stewardship category recognizes efforts to protect and enhance the surrounding land. The plant was also a runner up in the Environmental Performance category. The Environmental Performance category honors facilities that take steps beyond those contained in environmental laws, regulations, permits and requirements to minimize their impact on the environment.
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.