Mississauga Cement Plant
Environment & Sustainability
Supporting the Transformation Towards a Sustainable Built Environment
As a global leader in building materials, we have an important role to play in advancing progress towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy. We continuously seek opportunities to improve our environmental performance, work with government and stakeholders to advance our industry’s sustainability initiatives and contribute innovative, sustainable solutions to our built environment.
Our Sustainability Story
With a commitment to innovation, product development, and operational upgrades, Ash Grove North’s Mississauga Cement Plant has been at the forefront of change towards sustainable production and solutions for the built environment. We have made investments over the past 60 years to ensure we are environmentally conscious, economically viable, and socially valuable as an organization. We are mindful that our sustainability journey must continuously reduce our overall footprint while ensuring our competitiveness to deliver solutions for the advancement of our economy and the social value of our operations.
The following timeline shows some of the major steps in our sustainability journey and our leadership. Ash Grove North’s Mississauga Cement Plant was one of the first cement plants in North America to implement the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS). This entails implementing monitoring and control systems to reduce environmental impact, and the Vertical Roller Mill (VRM) for slag processing is a one-of-a-kind innovation in climate change mitigation, pollution prevention, and natural resource conservation. These are just a few examples along Ash Grove North’s sustainability journey – a journey that continues today with even more resolve to address the sustainability challenges that lie ahead.
Continuous Environmental Improvement
Our environmental performance and focus on continuous environmental improvement is integrated in every aspect of our operations. One example is our comprehensive air emission monitoring program that has been shaped over decades of innovation and investment. We have invested significantly in successful reduction efforts for air emissions, in particular for Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. We also continue to improve the effectiveness of our baghouses for particulate emission control.
Vertical Roller Mill & Ash Grove North Slag Cement
In 2007, the plant invested in the Vertical Roller Mill (VRM), the first of its kind in North America, enabling additional production of Ash Grove North Slag Cement to meet regional economic growth without consuming additional natural resources while producing less GHG emissions versus regular cement production. This system allows us to recover heat from our clinker manufacturing process reducing natural gas usage resulting in further reduction of GHG emissions. The slag grinding process absorbs SO2 emissions from the clinker manufacturing process as well preventing them from being released into the atmosphere.
ISO14001 & Continuous Improvement
Becoming one of the first cement facilities in North America to be ISO14001 registered was not the beginning of our environmental efforts, but rather the formalization of our environmental management systems; our approach to continuous improvement and our commitment that continues today – from frontline staff to the CEO – to be an environmental leader.
Compliance & Communication
Environmental compliance is the cornerstone of Ash Grove North’s environmental policy. Our focus is to ensure compliance and, of critical importance, to communicate our efforts and challenges with our stakeholders.
We are proud of the engagement we have with our stakeholders through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives such as the Community Advisory Panel (CAP), External Advisory Panel (EAP) as well as other community engagement initiatives. You can find out more about our initiatives here.
Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS)
Over the past two decades, a number of upgrades and modifications have been made to the Mississauga cement facility and kiln process. The plant has invested significantly in a comprehensive process control and emission monitoring program to enhance kiln performance and control and reduce emissions. We remain committed to upholding our performance and ensuring that we do not risk the standard we have set.
The Mississauga Plant has a mature and comprehensive continuous emission monitoring program. Emission rates from a number of stacks serving the cement manufacturing process have been monitored since 1999 by the extraction of exhaust gases which are analyzed for the concentrations of a number of parameters including Opacity, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
In 2006, the Ontario government introduced regulatory requirements for the cement industry to reduce emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and SO2, both precursors for smog formation. The Mississauga plant was the benchmark cement plant in Ontario with the lowest emission intensity, requiring the other plants to reduce SO2 and NOx emissions between 2006 and 2015 to match Mississauga’s emission intensity.
With 5% of the world’s Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from cement manufacturing, the cement industry is actively involved in finding solutions to this challenge, not only as an emitter of greenhouse gasses (GHG), but also as a key provider of infrastructure solutions to manage adaptations related to climate change impacts.
Our Climate Change Mitigation Strategy focuses on five key areas to reduce GHG emissions from our operations, namely:
Low Carbon Fuels
Natural Resource Conservation
Carbon Capture and Utilization
These initiatives are not without their challenges in the form of policy modernization, customer adoption, technological innovation, community engagement and financial investment. However, Ash Grove North is committed to be a leader in the low-carbon economy and engages with its customers, community, regulators, researchers, and business partners to drive change.
In fact, at the Mississauga Cement Plant, we have made strides to reduce our GHG emissions for years by successfully improving energy efficiency, increasing clinker substitution, reducing our use of coal and consumption of natural resources. Carbon Capture & Utilization technology is also currently under development.