Lafarge Cement UK have been presented with two prestigious national awards from the Environment Agency for their commitment to saving and recycling water at Cauldon Works in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
As part of the Environment Agency Water Efficiency Awards, Cauldon Works won the top prize, the chief executive’s Award, and also the Gold Award in the Water Save category, which is sponsored by the Food and Drink Federation.
The awards are in recognition of the work Cauldon Works has done to conserve water resources, reducing its water usage by 95% and achieving business savings of £14,000 per annum as a result.
Historically, the plant’s water system was supplied with water abstracted from the nearby river Hamps, but by installing a new water-recycling system and utilising a lake in a former shale quarry at the site, Lafarge have been able to reduce river water abstraction to between 5-10% of their previous requirements.
In 2006, nearly 64 million gallons of water (290,000m3) were taken from the river; in 2008 this figure had dropped to just over 3 million gallons (15,000m3 ).
Cauldon Works’ environmental co-ordinator, Alison Shenton, who received the awards on behalf of the company, said: ‘The project for which we have won these awards is the culmination of the vision and passion of many individuals over a number of years.
‘Water is a precious resource and water and energy efficiencies go hand in hand to support sustainable business. We are very pleased that we have been able to achieve such a major reduction in our water footprint.’
By changing to the new system, Lafarge are also achieving savings of around UK£14,000 per year in electrical costs and have significantly reduced ongoing maintenance requirements by reducing the number of pumps required by five.
As an added advantage, with support from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the company has also successfully established an area rich in biodiversity around the lake.