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TACA hosts environmental and sustainability seminar

By |  October 4, 2021

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The Texas Aggregates & Concrete Association (TACA) hosted more than 50 attendees at its Environmental & Sustainability Seminar.

Industry professionals from the aggregate, concrete, cement and related industries delivered presentations on environmental and sustainable regulations and issues facing TACA members, including the Biden administration’s environmental policies. Professionals also discussed topics such as how to be audit-ready in a post-COVID world, the business of conservation, the federal government’s environmental justice initiatives, noise-related issues in the aggregate industry, using pro-active community relations to limit potential liability, and how natural gas and hydrogen can support energy transition.

Joni Carswell, CEO and president of Texan by Nature, led a presentation exploring how Texas businesses can create opportunities to increase profitability while advancing the sustainable use of the state’s natural resources.

“Texas is unique in that we have wide-open spaces with 11 distinct regions – from grasslands to forests to rivers to coastline – that enable us to create long-term sustainable public/private partnership programs that are a model for the world,” Carswell says. “Sustainability is a broader vision that celebrates conservation, but that is good for enhancing industry reputation and community relations and, in many cases, your balance sheet.”

Carswell adds that Cemex’s El Carmen Land & Conservation Co. (ECLCC) – about 27,000 acres of desert land with diverse flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan Desert – is one of the best and brightest programs that celebrate biodiversity and environmentalism.

“While maintaining a wild landscape on this level might not seem like a normal corporate investment, to the owners of the ECLCC, it was the natural thing to do,” Carswell says. “[It is] not only good for the environment, but also for their bottom line.”

The ECLCC is a partnership between Cemex USA and Josiah Austin, with a mission to restore the lower desert landscape and protect ecological corridors in a transboundary area located as the connecting link between Texas and Mexico, TACA says.

Additionally, Carswell praised Vulcan Materials Co.’s extensive waste diversion, recycling and material use programs. Since 2016, the programs have recycled more than 1.85 million gallons of oil, 42 tons of batteries, 85,000 light bulbs and 830 tons of oil filters.

“Its commitment to quality control of waste disposal through carefully selected partners is really making a difference to the environment and saving them time and money,” Carswell says. “It is a win-win situation.”

Adds Josh Leftwich, TACA president and CEO: “These examples are just a few of the innovative programs and partnerships that have been implemented by TACA member companies, proving that strategic and science-based environmentalism and sustainability is good for business.”

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor for Pit & Quarry and Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or jkopanski@northcoastmedia.net.

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