CEMEX plant honored

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine acknowledged the CEMEX cement plant in Demopolis as part of the 2009 Cement Industry Energy & Environmental Awards, honoring sustainable manufacturing practices.

The plant was a runner-up in the Award’s Land Stewardship category that recognizes a plant’s efforts to protect and enhance the surrounding land.

In 2008, the CEMEX Dempolis plant was certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). NWF provides this honor to an area that is said to offer wildlife a “quality habitat – food, water, cover, and places to raise their young.” The plant property is a refuge for waterfowl, beavers, and fish. For example, in 2008, the plant worked with Demopolis High School woodwork students to create duck houses. The houses, placed along the bank of a pond near the plant’s old quarry, provide wood ducks with nesting areas as well as protection from predators as they prepare the give birth and raise their young.

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In addition, CEMEX agreed to lease the state, free-of-charge, 400 acres of land located adjacent the St. Stephens Historical Park. The new land more than doubles the size of the park and will be used to increase the horseback riding trails and other recreational activities at the park.

“Minimizing the environment impact of its plants and making their local communities better places are top priorities for cement manufacturers,” said Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO.

The Cement Industry 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 contributed to making their communities better places to live and work. Five categories are recognized: Outreach, Environmental Performance, Land Stewardship, Innovation, and Energy Efficiency. Additionally a special honor is presented to plants demonstrating excellence in multiple categories

The awards program was created in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association as part of its renewed environment and energy strategic plan for the U.S. cement industry. PCA and Cement Americas magazine presented the first Cement Industry Environmental Awards in 2002 to the winners for 2001. 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 2009 awards represent independent groups such as Cement Americas magazine, the Cement Association of Canada, the U.S. Geological Survey, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Cement Sector Program, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program