By Claude Goguen, P.E., LEED AP
In keeping up with the demands of the construction industry, many NPCA members have adopted sustainable practices in their purchasing, manufacturing and shipping operations. Our industry has benefited from their actions, and it is in this spirit that the Sustainability Committee has created the NPCA Sustainability Awards. The inaugural NPCA Sustainability Awards are to be announced at The Precast Show 2013 in Indianapolis.
The goal of this awards program is to reward excellence in sustainable products, practices and operations within NPCA membership, and to publicize the overall progress of the precast concrete industry toward sustainability.
The awards will be divided into the following four categories:
Best Project Entry – Precast product being used in its final design purpose that contributes to the sustainable attributes of the project.
Best Company/Plant Entry – A practice that is performed by the company in doing business specifically at the precast manufacturing plant, showing improvement in sustainable practices.
Best Product Entry – Product being used in its final design purpose in the manufacturing or performance of a precast concrete product, and that is beneficial to the overall level of sustainability of that intended precast concrete product.
Best Company/Plant Entry – A practice that is performed by the company in doing business specifically at its plant or facility location that shows an improvement in overall sustainable practices.
Each category will have one winner while the other approved entries will receive honorable mentions. All approved entries will be profiled on a display at The Precast Show 2013, on NPCA’s website at precast.org, and in upcoming Precast Solutions and Precast Inc. publications.
The Sustainability Award Judging Panel will be comprised of three Sustainability Committee members, and two outside experts from academia and industry who are nominated by the Sustainability Committee and who will be selected based on their knowledge and credentials in sustainability.
The theme for each award entry submittal will be “sustainability.” The broad scope of sustainability covers environmental, social and economic issues. Examples of topics worthy of award entry consideration include, but are not limited to:
• Energy management
• Water-use reduction
• Production-waste reduction
• Substitution of non-renewable materials
• Minimization of packaging
• Vehicle efficiency
• Biodiversity and conservation
• Environmental product declarations
• Employee training programs
• Employee social support programs
• Community liaison
• Support of local organizations
• Supply chain initiatives
Many of these topics are focused on environmental impact. As much as possible, entries should cover the social, economic and environmental benefits of the entry project – although, in many cases, the focus will concentrate on only one aspect of sustainability.
Points will be awarded based on the following criteria:
1. Benefits – What are the benefits of the project to the company, the community and/or the environment?
2. Innovation – The originality of the project/product in terms of subject and/or approach.
3. Wider Applicability – Points will be earned if the idea can be applied to other member companies.
4. Employee Participation – Employee participation in the project will gain further credit.
Any number of entries may be submitted from a company, provided they cover a different or unique aspect of the company or job site. Each entry project or practice must have been initiated (in the case of an operational practice) or completed (in the case of a project) within five years of the submittal deadline. Any one entry may be submitted a maximum of two times; however, if a submittal wins the Sustainability Award upon its first entry, it is no longer eligible.
Entries are limited only to members of the National Precast Concrete Association. Those submitting award entry applications must be members of NPCA in good standing as of the time of award entry submittal, and at the time of the awarding of the Sustainability Awards.
Each entry will be considered for the award only if it includes the following:
• An executive summary that provides an accurate representation of the project that can be used after the awards as a basis for promotional purposes. This summary must not exceed 200 words.
• The body of the submission must not exceed 1,000 words and must refer to the four criteria outlined above.
• All entries should be supported by appropriate, high-resolution photographs or illustrations. Graphics may be saved separately as JPEG files (limit of 10 photos).
• The entry form must be signed by a director of the company.
The entry form can be downloaded from NPCA’s website at precast.org/sustainability.
Deadline and submission contact details
The deadline for submittal of an
award entry application is Nov. 1, 2012. All entries must be submitted to:
Sustainability Award Submittals
National Precast Concrete Association
1320 City Center Drive, Suite 200
Carmel, IN 46032
The Sustainability Committee is proud to have this opportunity to recognize those pioneers in our industry that have adopted sustainable practices. By shining the spotlight on these producer and associate members, it is the committee’s hope that their initiative and leadership will inspire others to follow and, therefore, contribute to the sustainability of precast concrete products.
Claude Goguen, P.E., LEED AP, is NPCA’s director of Technical Services.