The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), Lanham, Md., has announced that asphalt plants earning its Diamond Achievement Commendation now have an option to pursue a Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation.
The expanded commendation requires plant operators to understand the use of recycled materials, to quantify and control energy use and emissions, and to articulate a corporate sustainability plan. NAPA says these steps are part of the process of assessing “the social, economic and environmental efforts of an asphalt production facility to gauge how well it puts the principles of sustainability and community engagement into action.”
NAPA’s Diamond Achievement program was created in 1999 to recognize asphalt plants that met or exceeded national best practices for operations, environmental practices, safety, permitting and regulatory compliance and community relations.
“The Diamond Commendation program encourages continuous improvement,” says Bill Ensor, NAPA chairman. “It is a way for asphalt plants to benchmark their operations, and it provides a blueprint for how to improve them. With the Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation, plants that are already good, conscientious operations will have new guidelines to make their facility an even better neighbor.”
In addition to recycling, emissions and energy, the new commendation also covers issues ranging from noise and light pollution to volunteer programs. Plants must first qualify for a Diamond Achievement Commendation before seeking the new commendation.
The 2014 Diamond Commendation will begin accepting applications, including its new Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation, on April 1, 2014.