Ash Grove Cement Company manufacturing plants in Kansas and Washington earned the federal government's prestigious Energy Star Award for the company's superior performance in management of energy use.
As the largest U.S.-owned cement company, Ash Grove produces nearly nine million tons of cement annually from nine cement plants located across the country. Portland and masonry cements produced at these plants are used in the construction of highways, bridges, commercial and industrial complexes, single and multi-family homes, and a myriad of other structures.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gave the award to Ash Grove in special recognition of the company's energy-efficient operations in Chanute, KS and Seattle, WA. Each Ash Grove facility received the award for the third consecutive year and was singled out for successful efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering overall energy consumption.
"Ash Grove employees have worked very hard to be leaders within our industry in researching and testing new environmentally friendly ways to meet the growing demand for cement and maintaining the superior quality of our products," said Ash Grove Chairman Charlie Sunderland. "We are honored that our Chanute and Seattle plants have once again earned the Energy Star award for their sustainable manufacturing efforts."
As part of the company's commitment to environmental stewardship, Ash Grove has aggressively implemented a new energy reduction program at each of the company's nine cement production facilities. Ash Grove's energy policy includes a commitment to acquiring and using energy in the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner possible with the goal of minimizing the company's carbon footprint. Decreased fossil fuel use will ultimately result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
By 2012, Ash Grove's energy management process (AGem) is expected to reduce thermal energy use by 17 percent per ton of cement produced and electrical energy use by 10 percent per ton of cement produced. Ash Grove has also set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 percent from the 2004 baseline level.
The Energy Star program is a joint government initiative by the EPA and DOE that focuses on strategic energy management and emphasizes the importance of demonstrating environmental leadership.
Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy efficiency. In 2007 alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved more than $16 billion on their utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million vehicles.