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Energy and Environment Awards given at PCA Fall Congress meeting

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World Cement,

At its annual Fall Congress meeting in Chicago, PCA announced the winners of the 2016 Energy and Environment Awards, which recognise outstanding environmental and community relations efforts that go above and beyond requirement. Evaluated over five categories, plants from across North America were recognised for environmental efforts completed in 2015.

“The cement industry is committed to making the highest quality product in the safest and most efficient manner possible,” said PCA President and CEO James G. Toscas. “To that end, plants are constantly improving manufacturing practices and incorporating new technologies to reduce emissions, waste, and energy use. The facilities we are honouring today have gone even further in working with neighbouring communities to improve environmental practices.”

Overall Environmental Excellence: Holcim (US), Holly Hill, S.C.

The LafargeHolcim Holly Hill cement plant excelled in not only leading the industry in environmentally friendly plant operations, but also by protecting and nurturing the land around their facility. The plant led a positive community outreach effort about plans to increase use of alternative fuels. By the end of the year, the plant installed equipment with a 100% fuel replacement rate, which resulted in emissions reductions. For the sixth year in a row, Holly Hill was recognised by the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® program, scoring a 100 for its Energy Performance Indicator. Additionally, the plant has partnered with the South Carolina Waterfowl Association and the National Audubon Society on the management of birds on its property.

Energy Efficiency: CalPortland Company, Rillito, Ariz.

From their mobile fleet technology to an internal energy efficiency challenge, The CalPortland Company Rillito, Ariz. facility has been enhancing its energy efficiency for more than a decade. The plant had an operational uptime efficiency of more than 98% and improved its grinding and kiln-specific energy efficiency, while meeting the higher cement fineness demands of its customers. Additionally, for the last four years this plant has been certified by the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® program. Plant-wide efficiency efforts have reduced energy intensity by 1.2%, the equivalent of 9810 t of carbon dioxide per year. Besides improving the manufacturing process, CalPortland Rillito has hosted multiple energy efficiency plant tours and participated in local energy conservation events.

Environmental Performance Winner: Holcim (US), Theodore, Ala.

The LafargeHolcim US cement plant in Theodore, Ala., has continued to demonstrate a strong commitment to environmental performance. The plant has consistently met and exceeded its regulatory and permit emission limits. In 2015, its average visible emissions – or opacity – registered at 3.3% down from 9.3% the previous year. This represents an opacity emissions level that is one seventh of the permitted limit. In addition, the facility had zero waste-water discharges during 2015 due to the success of its water management program. The plant has also successfully incorporated recycled mineral components into the manufacturing process, including 100% recycling of cement kiln dust and other byproduct materials.

Land Stewardship: CEMEX USA, Lyons, Colo.

The CEMEX Lyons cement plant has exhibited exceptional land stewardship since 2008, when it made commitments to use native plants for land management and to exceed environmental regulatory requirements. The facility's diverse land stewardship program for 2015 included limiting invasive plants and weeds and cultivating native plants that attract local wildlife and migrating birds. The Lyons facility has optimised its quarry roads to limit fugitive dust emissions, improve energy efficiency, and improve employee productivity. The Wildlife Habitat Council has recognised the CEMEX Lyons plant for its environmental programs, such as increasing the areas dedicated to pollinator plantings and native species to 2.33 acres. On Earth Day, plant employees installed bee boards, bat houses, and bird nests.

Outreach Winner: Mitsubishi Cement Corporation, Lucerne Valley, Calif.

The commitment Mitsubishi Cement Corporation (MCC) has to the Lucerne Valley community is demonstrated by the fact that MCC engineer Lyle Thomas has received a third term as ‘honorary mayor’ from the Lucerne Valley Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, the MCC facility opened its doors for 20 tours, ranging from elementary school students to state politicians to environmental groups. The visitors were able to see the cement manufacturing process, the plant's environmental protection and energy conservation efforts, and the unique flora and fauna at the facility. In 2015, plant staff participated in local charities, educational organisations, and economic development groups, with MCC providing financial support toward those efforts.

Adapted from press release by

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