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W.R. Grace & Company has received the Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Award from the American Chemistry Council for its operations in Cambridge, Mass.; Lake Charles, La.; and Baltimore (Curtis Bay), Md. The award is presented annually to recognize companies that have successfully improved energy efficiency in manufacturing and non-manufacturing locations.
Grace won the award in the “Non-Manufacturing Improvement – Plant Site” category for its location in Cambridge that serves as the global headquarters for its Grace Construction Products operating segment.
From January to December 2008, that site was able to reduce overall electrical consumption by 16 percent, natural gas usage by 21 percent and water usage by 24 percent, which equates to energy savings of 17,685 million Btu or CO2 emission reduction of 1,126 tons. The reductions were accomplished through employee awareness and communications campaigns; installation, modification and reprogramming of equipment controls that reduced run times; and installation of 103 lighting occupancy sensors in labs, offices and common areas. The site made these changes and enhancements with input from local utilities companies.
In the “Energy Efficiency Program – Plant Site” category, Grace won the award for its operations in Baltimore and Lake Charles. These locations serve as manufacturing facilities and employ around 800 people.
Various teams at these two sites spent up to a year on four projects that involved the development, installation and optimization of proprietary technology that reduced water and natural gas usage, and better optimized equipment that ultimately reduced energy usage. The efforts of these four projects resulted in annualized energy savings of 176,400 million Btu, or CO2 emission reductions of 10,231 tons.
“I am extremely pleased that Grace was selected for these awards,” remarked Fred Festa, Grace’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “All of our locations continuously look for ways to reduce energy consumption and lessen our carbon footprint. The changes are a win-win solution for the environment and our bottom-line. We are exploring additional opportunities to use the new technology and processes at other Grace locations.”
In addition to Grace, 16 other companies were selected as recipients of the award. The Judging Committee was comprised of selected members of the American Chemistry Council’s Energy Team and Dr. James Eggebrecht, professor of engineering and the director of the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University.
Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and specialty materials for a wide range of industrial applications; specialty chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and residential construction; and sealants and coatings for food and beverage packaging. With annual sales of more than $3 billion, Grace has about 6,200 employees and operations in more than 40 countries.