Find a Certified Concrete Plant
Many of the professional and industry associations supporting the Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative offer training and resources to their members to support environmental performance in their industry. There are also plant certification programs that emphasize quality and consistency, which contributes to their concrete products delivering sustainability benefits. Please visit the association web site for the specific product or application for more information on these initiatives.
The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NCRMA) has gone a step further in developing and launching plant certification programs with a specific focus on environmental and sustainable practices.
Certified Ready-Mix Plants
The NCRMA has two environmental certification programs available to plants, as well as affiliated certifications for professionals and auditors. All of these programs provide both guidance and recognition of performance.
Green-Star program for plants certifies that the plant has an Environmental Management System (EMS) in place that meets the program requirements. This allows flexibility for plants to use their existing EMS, but sets a standard for the components and processes that is should meet. The Green-Star certification is valid for a period of 2 years and is renewable bi-annually. An accredited auditor must approve the application and the EMS. The auditor reviews documentation of the EMS, confirming compliance with minimum requirements, including elements such as: a policy; a clear procedure for implementing the continuous improvement cycle; assessment of multiple aspects including: Management of Water Quality, Air Quality, Hazardous Materials, Solid Materials, Community Issues, and Sustainability; public outreach; measurement and documentation; and training. Plants do not have to be NRMCA members to participate.
Auditors provide an external check on the process and play an important role in sharing knowledge and practices within the industry, since they are uniquely familiar with practices across many facilities. Certified auditors must attend special training courses and meet experience and educational requirements.
This new program, rolled out in early 2011, builds on the Green-Star certification and other NCRMA quality programs but has several unique features. The Sustainable Plant Certification is a rating system, and similar to LEED, offers a menu of prerequisites and options with point values attached. Tiers of points achieved garner a rating of bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The menu-based approach provides more flexibility for plants to focus on issues of regional importance, and a tiered scoring allows them to get greater recognition for the degree to which they have implemented best practices. The rating system comes with a guide book that provides performance-based metrics for achievement in environmental operations. Third-party auditors are also used in the verification process for this program.