We have adopted a company-wide environmental management system. Our goal is to conserve natural resources and minimize waste through source reduction and recycling; handling and disposal of wastes through safe, legal, and environmentally responsible methods; encouraging energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources; and encouraging our business partners, competitors and suppliers to strive for the same high levels of environmental performance.
Argos is proud to lead the industry in the number of ready mix plants with NRMCA's Green-Star certification. Over 60 of our plants have gone through NRMCA's rigorous certification process that recognizes operations within the ready mixed concrete industry that have achieved or are actively working toward environmental excellence.
Key environmental practices include:
- Managing the unused concrete that comes back from job sites. This "comeback" concrete, once wasted, is now either formed into concrete blocks, or dried and sold for fill dirt uses.
- Recycling water used on site for concrete mixing and truck cleaning.
- Using ultra-low sulfur diesel. This is now required for on-road use and we try to use it for off-road vehicles as well. We are also exploring alternative fuels, although the high torque demand for mixer trucks makes this a challenge.
- Using synthetic oil and extending our truck oil change intervals with careful sampling and monitoring to minimize the volume of oil we use and dispose of.
- Providing computer terminals at all our plants where employees can take NRMCA and other industry online training courses.
Where our plants are near residential development, we take extra steps, such as using dust collectors and street sweepers, to maintain low levels of fugitive dust emissions. In some cases we have even landscaped the plant property to make it more appealing to the eyes of near neighbors.
We have helped lead and direct industry values by participating in the Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association's Environmental Committees and Forums.
The recently expanded Cementos Argos S.A. cement plant in Cartagena is one of the most modern in Latin America, incorporating technology from 21 countries on five continents. It includes vertical mills and dry technology, which provide large savings in power and water consumption, and special sleeve filters and covered storage to minimize emissions of loose particles. The expansion was designed according to European Union environmental standards, which are even stricter than those of the United States.