Brick Industry Honors Companies for Stewardship, Safety

Outstanding programs in environmental stewardship and employee health and safety were honored recently by the Brick Industry Association (BIA) at its annual banquet in Marco Island, Fla.

BIA President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Jennison said: "Our companies are demonstrating that – just like all-natural brick, itself—they’re operating in a sustainable manner: safeguarding the health and well-being of our environment, their employees, and society at large."

  • Fort Worth, Texas-based Acme Brick won for its "Constructed Wetlands," program. This program was developed and implemented to treat stormwater that accumulates in a clay mine area. By design, the system does not require any chemicals to treat the water. No electrical or generator powered equipment is required to operate the system; therefore, no emissions from electrical utilities or power generators are created from this sustainable operation.
  • Wyomissing, Pa.-based Glen-Gery Corp. won for its "Water Conservation Program." The water conservation program incorporates several process water recycling operations at several manufacturing facilities and has realized a savings of over 21 million gallons of water annually. The recycling efforts have allowed the company to reduce its consumption of water without compromising or limiting its production.
  • Alliance, Ohio-based Whitacre Greer Co. won for its "Waste and Energy Reduction," program. Whitacre-Greer has developed a new paver that meets the requirements of the EPA Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) by allowing stormwater runoff to go into the ground between the pavers rather than into a drain, ditch, or settling pond. One color is comprised totally of clay, shale, and grog that have been previously discarded. In addition to the new paver, the company Greer has begun replacing all facility lighting to lower power consumption bulbs and expanding its recycling initiative to include plastic and cardboard.
  • Wyomissing, PA-based Glen-Gery Corporation won for its "Understanding the Power of a Culture Change," program. This program commits all levels of management to recognizing safety as the No. 1 priority. Through several initiatives Glen-Gery has been able to reduce its recordable incident rate by 89 percent.
  • Johnson City, Tenn.-based General Shale Brick, Inc. won for its "The Rebuilding of a Safety Program." This program is based on providing practical safety knowledge to employees more often and an incentive program for both salaried and hourly works. Safety innovation is also rewarded with company wide recognition.
  • Charlotte, NC-based Hanson Brick won for its "Stanton Brick," program. The employee hazard recognition training has increased employee awareness of hazardous conditions, which has built a proactive health and safety culture.

The BIA contests were held entirely online at, Entries were assessed by magazine editors, Roy Bigham of Pollution Engineering; Dave Johnson of Industrial Safety and Hygiene News; Sandy Smith of Occupational Hazards: and Lisa Williams of Environmental Protection. Judging criteria included: the degree to which the entrant provided both quantitative and qualitative information on the company’s effective management of EH&S issues and examples of expanding employee knowledge of these issues.

The Brick Industry Association (BIA) is the national trade association representing distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products and services.

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