- Published: Friday, 01 August 2008 08:00
Everywhere people are being indoctrinated to Think Green. Clever marketing agencies are concocting schemes to convince the public that their products and services are greener than the others. Shoppers pat themselves on the back for reusing cloth grocery bags that the stores ironically sold to them. Leading industry members preach ìsustainabilityî and use the environment as leverage to develop more funding for construction projects. Even children are coming home from school demanding that their parents turn off the lights and recycle those aluminum cans. Everyone is ìGoing Green.î
Rock Products also was determined to make this leap but quickly realized that it wasn't very far. All we had to do was look through some past issues and recall all of the state-of-the-art aggregate operations that we visit year after year. These operators might not have there heads floating off in some green cloud, but they are much greener then the average citizen. They just keep on doing what they do best, crushing as much rock as possible at the smallest cost possible. It boils down to simple mathematics: cut costs and decrease carbon emissions. So this ìGreen Issueî is taking time to celebrate some of the entrepreneurs that have been green long before it was trendy.
The following is a list of companies and individuals that have stood out in Rock Products as environmental leaders and have received the magazine's first Environmental Recognition Award. This award helps mark a new era of sustainable business practices.
In 2002 Sunrock Corp. bought a nine-acre land parcel to develop a ready-mixed concrete plant, an asphalt batch plant and concrete recycling center. Economically, this was ingenious because patrons would pay to dump concrete debris and buy the crushed product on the way out. The RDU Distribution Center's proximity to a developing urban area also gave Sunrock a competitive edge. From an environmental perspective, they were preventing tons of material from entering the landfill.
FELTES SAND & GRAVEL
When Lafarge bought Feltes Sand & Gravel in 2007, it was investing in one of the most environmentally friendly loadout systems in the industry. Of course, the Feltes were looking to increase the speed of the system through automation and RFID, but they also decreased the diesel consumption of the trucks crossing the scale. Four years later, this operation remains the envy of many operations in the area.
YOUNGQUIST BROTHERS ROCK,
FORT MEYERS, FLA.
The Youngquists developed a plant that is entirely electric. Their 500,000-pound track-mounted primary crushes up to 3,000 tph and is powered by a series of electric motors. The crusher is fed by an electric dragline, and crushed material is moved to the plant by electric conveyors. The need for diesel fuel has been almost eliminated along with the other costs associated with mobile equipment.
CASPER STOLLE'S FALLING
From the ground out, Casper Stolle's Falling Springs is an impressive, well-automated operation. The loadout area consists of six 200-ton bins monitored by an Allen-Bradley PLC. The system allows drivers to load themselves, eliminating the need for wheel loaders. Naturally, idle time for the trucks also is reduced.
Tim Stalp is an owner of aggregate and concrete facilities in Omaha, Neb. He was one of the first in the industry to experiment with biodiesel. Stalp recommends a 20% blend for most engines, but at times he has used 100% biodiesel in his dredges. He also has promoted its use as an NSSGA event speaker, citing environmental, political and mechanical advantages.
CEMSTONE'S SACHS SITE,
Cemstone has been able to build value into the operation and the environment by tapping the enthusiasm of its employees and the community. The company recently restored property near an operation entrance without digging into profits. Under the guidance of Aggregates Manager Eric Eckstrand, and the help of Pheasants Forever, Cemstone created 10 acres of prairie habitat for native species.
National Cement recently donated a 147-acre parcel of property in Alabama that was unsuitable for mining. This generous donation to the community will help mitigation needed for wetlands and provide a recreational area for nature lovers. The site is now known as Blue Springs nature preserve, and was accompanied by a $250,000 donation from the company.
LAFARGE NORTH AMERICA
Lafarge North America has been called an environmental leader in the construction materials industry. The company has won many awards in the environmental arena. The man at the helm is David W. Carroll, vice president of environmental and public affairs. He is a former chairman of Wildlife Habitat Council and also worked for the Environmental Protection Agency.
STAKER & PARSON
Staker & Parson has used technological ingenuity to decrease its consumption of resources while strengthening its bottom line. It recently incorporated an in-house environmental awards program. The Presidents Award for Environmental Sustainability is part of its environmental management system, which encourages managers to consider the impact and cost of all operations.
UNIMIN TAMMS/ELCO PLANT
This site is world famous for its Magazine Mine, an abandoned silica mine that serves as a hibernacula for federally protected Indiana bats. It has been recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council as an exemplary model for the potential of private sector involvement in biodiversity conservation. This cave, however, is only one element of the company's land. Tamms/Elco also uses this land to preserve habitat for several other species including rattle snakes, turtles and waterfowl.
See page 32, this issue.