Concrete inFocus - Spring 2013 - (Page 7)

enviroscene Green-Star Certification: One Producer’s Story Douglas Ruhlin T he Superior Concrete Materials concrete plant was not a pretty sight. Located in busy Washington, D.C., it gave the impression that its managers had paid more attention over the years to production than site, operational or environmental conditions. Making matters worse, it’s highly visible across the street from the Washington Nationals ballpark, and very near the Anacostia River, an impaired waterbody, meaning constant regulatory pressure from the City of Washington and USEPA. Clearly, this was a plant that could use a change. Superior decided to make that change by implementing the NRMCA Green-Star Environmental Management System (EMS) certification program. By the end of 2012, the firm had completed its initial six-month EMS cycle and in January 2013 became the first Green-Star certified concrete plant in D.C. How has Superior benefited from the EMS process? I asked Louis Petrillo, Superior’s director of operations and business development. His responses follow. What was your biggest challenge in starting the EMS process? As with all goals, the fi rst step is always the most difficult. I had the pre-conceived notion that meshing an EMS program with our general goals of improving operations might be in confl ict or painful. We thought that the EMS would be an isolated or separate management tool from other programs we were running. It turned out to be easily meshed into our operational goals and objectives. It also provided us with a platform for operational improvement, which we could apply to safety, housekeeping and environmental compliance. Was the EMS process difficult, expensive or time-consuming? The process wasn’t difficult or expensive, but like anything else worthwhile it did take some time and organization. In the long run, overall time management was enhanced because the program offered a template for setting and developing goals over a fi xed period of time. The EMS program made us more efficient. Have your workers embraced the EMS process? The process has been embraced 100 percent by plant personnel and has provided a sound foundation for everyone to work together toward a common goal. What was addressed during the first EMS cycle, and have you seen tangible benefits from Green-Star? The Green-Star process has been entirely beneficial. We have used it as a cornerstone to improve our operation. Our efforts during our first EMS cycle were directed at housekeeping issues and environmental compliance. Without good housekeeping, you can’t have a safe or environmentally compliant work environment. The training, inspection and documentation demanded by Green-Star will be used in other areas to improve our operations across the board. The program has provided a clear relationship between environmental compliance, safety and operational efficiency. It has provided us with a foundation to enhance our reputation in the marketplace. There you have it. Green-Star doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated or time-consuming, and it can be used as an important tool for continual improvement, environmental compliance and operational excellence. Superior Concrete is using it to meet these goals. What are you waiting for? ■ Douglas Ruhlin is principal environmental consultant at Resource Management Associates and can be reached at 609-693-8301 or Drastic change in plant fence line presenting poor visual appearance to public before housekeeping goals were set via Green-Star EMS. Photos courtesy of Superior Concrete Materials, Inc. concrete INFOCUS ı 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Concrete inFocus - Spring 2013

Corporate Suite
Enviro Scene
A Legacy in Construction
CalPortland Slip Form Success
Fly Ash FAQ
Acceptance Test Reports for Ready Mixed Concrete
First Batch Plant Certifications in Mongolia
Index of Advertisers
Taking It to the Streets
Impact of Specifications on Concrete Quality

Concrete inFocus - Spring 2013