CEMEX Davenport: Working in Harmony with Nature
Nestled along scenic Highway 1 and adjacent to the Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the CEMEX cement plant in the coastal community of Davenport, Calif., consistently strives to “work in harmony with nature.” CEMEX Davenport claimed the overall environmental award prize at the Seventh Annual Cement Industry Environment and Energy Awards ceremony in 2008 thanks to its repeat win in the Land Stewardship category and boosted by its finalist status in the Environmental Performance and Energy Efficiency categories.
The Environment & Energy Awards, presented annually by PCA and Cement Americas magazine, honor plants that go above and beyond local laws and government regulations for the industry in a number of ways. CEMEX Davenport demonstrated merit in multiple categories.
The Land Stewardship Award recognizes a plant’s effort to protect and enhance the surrounding land. To that end, CEMEX Davenport has engaged in numerous remediation, rehabilitation, beautification and conservation efforts.
CEMEX operates both a limestone and shale quarry at its Davenport location and by reclaiming 20 acres with native plant species, the company expanded the forested environment, native grassland habitats and Northern Marine Chaparrel habitats.
The CEMEX property has designated habitat conservation areas that protect marine species such as the threatened Coho salmon and steelhead trout, wildlife such as the California Red-Legged Frog and the San Francisco Dusky-Footed Woodrat, and the pristine creeks that traverse through the property.
The Davenport facility also has implemented a sustainable forestry program to enhance existing green space by planting 20,000 redwood seedlings each year and harvesting less than that number. This practice maintains a buffer area of forested land around the facility and serves a natural screen for neighboring communities. Furthermore, a portion of the harvested timber is allocated to local community and conservation projects. In 2007, CEMEX was granted the Rainforest’s SmartWood certification and Forest Stewardship Council certification for meeting strict environmental forestry standards.
In preparation for a new watershed and road management program, CEMEX solicited the suggestions and concerns of regulatory and community stakeholders. CEMEX Davenport and the nearby University of California Santa Cruz initiated a program to coordinate a thorough mapping and inventory of the rich and diverse plant communities and species on CEMEX lands. In 2007, CEMEX also participated in the Redwood Transect initiative sponsored by National Geographic.
Environmental Performance and Energy Efficiency
CEMEX Davenport received the U.S. EPA’s 2007 Energy Star® award for superior energy efficiency performance. The plant has invested significantly in environmental management systems to ensure efficiency operations and beyond. Moreover, in 2007, the plant upgraded motors, dust collectors, trucks and loaders to improve energy efficiency. The plant also incorporates best practices to mitigate climate change such as using steel slag to reduce NO2 and CO2 emissions.
The plant is active in minimizing wastes evidenced by selling 100 percent of generated cement kiln dust (CKD) and recycling over 26,000 tons of historic landfill CKD.
CEMEX Davenport collects and recycles the wastewater generated from the County’s sanitary treatment system and uses it in the plant’s cooling water system. This effort has reduced the plant’s use of fresh water by more than 200,000 gallons per month.
The CEMEX Davenport cement plant has demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment and its community with its proactive approach. As the overall Environmental and Energy Awards winner, the Davenport plant sets the standard for sustainable development in the cement manufacturing industry.