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Alternative resources key to our long term survival

What does the use of alternative resources (AR) have to do with GCCA’s long-term survival?

Plenty. GCCA enters a new business chapter in its history this year with the implementation of a new energy expansion strategy focusing on AR.

The vision? By purposefully pursuing AR as a strategy, GCCA can remain economically vibrant, environmentally responsible and socially engaged as a community partner.

Throughout the industry

GCCA is not alone in its pursuit. The cement and concrete industries face growing challenges in conserving material and energy resources. Most importantly, utilizing alternative resources reflects the global imperative to reduce CO2 emissions.

For the business, this means aligning strategy so that GCCA can use waste as raw material and as a source of fuel to reduce reliance on natural mineral resources and traditional fuels in our processes.

Importantly for all producers, cement and concrete are expected to remain the key material demanded for global housing and other infrastructure. Demand is expected to double by 2050, driven by growing and emerging economies, such as India, China, and Brazil.

Leading the way

A dedicated and empowered AR Team is leading GCCA’s  co-processing of AR, a long-term strategy that aligns with GCCA’s commitment to sustainability. It is not a short-term activity, but rather one that will provide long-term stability to fuel cost and benefit to our communities and the environment.

The team, which has strong support from the Senior Leadership Team, is made up GCCA’s environmental engineers from across the business. Led by Trent Peterson, it includes Jim Anderson, Edwin Olivares, Sarah Vance and Carolyn Cook.

What’s happening now?

To implement the AR plan, some research and analysis activities have already taken place and are underway. These include:

  1. Broad assessment to map out the fundamentals of this long-term business strategy.
  2. Complete a fuel-market survey and analysis of the local, regional and national markets.
  3. Completion of a market value chain analysis with preliminary financial.
  4. Developing a strategy report, expected in late May.
  5. Summary of operational considerations which is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Going greener

Co-processing is a word you may have heard before. It is a recovery activity, which is considered after waste prevention and recycling are ruled out. Co-processing refers to integrating alternative materials into the mix of raw materials and fuels.

Because the use of alternative resources may include  non-traditional energy resources such as waste plastics, tire shreds, wood and even railroad ties, some may question the environmental benefit. Others might not have heard of the process and may think it is a stand-alone/one-time only exercise. For GCCA, it is a new and greener way to make cement. GCCA can maintain and increase its sustainability by providing a low-cost fuel source and benefit our communities and the environment.

For GCCA, the benefits of co-processing include the:

  • Reduction of pollution through use of materials that would otherwise be discarded in landfills.
  • Reduction of fuel and raw materials cost.
  • Economic and social benefit to communities when we are able to solve a community waste control concern.
  • Reduction of our carbon footprint.

What’s next

The AR team will be deploying a series of educational and informative materials to help build understanding and awareness of progress (e.g., presentations, lunch and learns, etc.). Watch for more information soon!