From left to right: Tom Fisher, Nash Brick, Environmental Stewardship; Dennis Knautz, Acme Brick, Health and Safety Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship; Ed Henne and Joe Welte, Summit Brick, Health and Safety Stewardship; Sam Strang, Alley-Cassetty Brick, Environmental Stewardship; Joe Rice, Belden Brick Sales & Service, Health and Safety Stewardship; Ben Powell, Lawrenceville Brick, Environmental Stewardship; Jeff Wyers, Nash Brick, Environmental Stewardship; and George Robinson, Glen-Gery Corporation, Environmental Stewardship. Not pictured: Boral Bricks, Environmental Stewardship.
The Brick Industry Association (BIA) honored outstanding programs in environmental stewardship, and employee health and safety at its annual banquet in Orlando on March 31.
BIA President and CEO Richard Jennison said: "Brick manufacturers and distributors are demonstrating that just as all-natural brick, itself they're operating in a sustainable manner: safeguarding the health and well-being of the environment, their employees and society at large."
Ft. Worth, Texas-based Acme Brick won for its "Perla Plant Recycling Initiative," in which un-fired brick waste is recycled and forms a new product. This translated into a 93-percent waste reduction, as well as a cut in mining and landfill costs. Also, the new product now accounts for 10 percent of total sales for its plant.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Alley-Cassetty won for the "Reduced Truck Emissions" program that significantly cut vehicular emissions. This was done through regulating truck speeds; monitoring exhaust emissions; and recycling waste oil, anti-freeze, and hydraulic oil, leading to a 6-percent increase in fuel efficiency.
Roswell, Ga.-based Boral Bricks won for its "Journey Toward Sustainability" program that implemented a new diagnostic tool to assess resource conservation successes. Conservation goals were set, the attainment of which impacts employees' performance bonus plans. Boral believes it has developed a transparent system for measuring greenhouse gas emissions, enabling Boral to participate in a future emissions trading system.
Wyomissing, Pa.-based Glen-Gery Corporation won for its "Energy Reduction Program," in which heat from the mass of bricks exiting the kiln was re-circulated back to the Proctor driers. To achieve this, Glen-Gery redesigned the kiln's exit in order to supply all of the drier's energy needs, thus eliminating the need for supplemental burners. The result was annual cuts in both natural gas consumption by more than 7,780 million cubic feet, and CO2 emissions by more than 938,000 pounds.
Lawrenceville, Va.-based Lawrenceville Brick used its "Scrubber Waste Recycling Program" to identify beneficial uses for the waste that accumulates in dry limestone absorbers (or "scrubbers"). Rather than send the waste to a landfill, the company provides the waste, free of charge, to local farmers for peanut, soybean and pasture lands where the lime waste reacts favorably with the soil.
Rocky Mount, N.C.-based Nash Brick won for its "Secondary Containment" program, protecting the environment by reducing the likelihood that suspended solids or sediment would leave the sediment basin. This innovation resulted in more environmentally-friendly mine reclamation, cleaner water for streams, and a highly favorable inspection report from the North Carolina Division of Land Quality, stating the "site looks good. Owner shows interest in, and dedication to, exceeding expectations."
Employee Health and Safety
Acme Brick won for its "Be Alert Safety First Day," which consisted of an annual event, held at all Acme Brick locations, affording intensive safety training and leisurely games to reinforce the practical importance of safety programs. Acme reported that this program led to a significant reduction in injury rates.
New York-based Belden Brick Sales & Service won for its "Do the Right Thing for our Friends" program, delivering wellness, medical and pharmaceutical insurance to all employees, free of charge. In addition to the coverage, any staff member wishing to quit smoking is given up to $500 for treatment.
Pueblo, Colo.-based Summit-Lakewood Brick won for its safety program steered by a plant safety committee that meets monthly to proactively address employee safety issues; this effort is supported by other safety teams, including lockout/tagout, forklifts, fleet safety and respiratory protection. Monetary awards are given to each department that meets its goals.
More than 24 entries were submitted to the BIA contests. Entries were assessed by magazine editors, Roy Bigham of Pollution Engineering; Dave Johnson of Industrial Safety and Hygiene News; and Sandy Smith of Occupational Hazards. Judging criteria included the degree to which the entrant provided both quantitative and qualitative information on the company's effective management of EH&S issues, and examples of expanding employee knowledge of these issues.
The Brick Industry Association (BIA) is the national trade association representing distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products and services. The association is involved in a broad range of technical, research, marketing, government relations and communications activities. It is the recognized national authority on residential and commercial uses of brick. For more information, visit www.gobrick.com.
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