Regulations & EHS&S

SOCMA announces 2018 Performance Improvement Award winners

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) is pleased to announce more than 40 SOCMA member facilities will receive 2018 Performance Improvement Awards for their commitment to continuously improving environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) practices at the association’s 97th Annual Dinner, December 10, in New York.
“I would like to personally congratulate our 2018 award winners for the extraordinary efforts they have made to ensure the health, safety and well-being of their employees, community and the environment,” said Jennifer Abril, SOCMA President & CEO. “Winning a Performance Improvement Award doesn’t just happen, it takes hard work and determination, and the effort must be fully embraced throughout the facility. Our 2018 Gold award winners – Nation Ford Chemical and Monument Chemical Kentucky – have been steadfast in their efforts to enhance not only their plant operations and processes but also improve the quality of life in the communities where they live. Both Nation Ford and Monument are first-time Gold award recipients, so we commend them for their dedication and for fully embracing EHS&S excellence.”
Monument Chemical Kentucky’s stakeholder engagement program, which nurtures and sustains a mutually valuable dialogue with the community, wowed the judges. The facility holds quarterly meetings with the Local Emergency Planning Committee, as well as quarterly drills with volunteer fire departments and training with the ambulance service. Monument is also utilizing alternative means to reduce hazardous waste in the environment through the installation of a new tank and piping to neutralize corrosive streams, which allows them to treat materials in-house rather than disposing it off as hazardous waste. “This application represents a mature and successful EHS&S program that is continually improving,” the judges said.
The health and safety of employees is a priority at Nation Ford Chemical, and the judges were particularly impressed with the facility’s Health and Safety Day. Taking a break from day-to-day production, Nation Ford creates a fun environment to motivate staff to make health and safety top priorities. The facility is also implementing current leading indicators and processes, which has helped reduce its OSHA recordable rates over the last three years from 5.5 to 0 in 2017. And, because of its recycling efforts, Nation Ford was acknowledged by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) Smart Business Recycling Program in 2018. “I like where these folks are going and how they’re getting there,” the judges said. “They’ve got a story to tell, and it should be shared.”
Silver Performance Improvement Awards will be presented to nine facilities showing excellence in one of the five ChemStewards Core Principles: Stakeholder Communications, Product Stewardship, EHS&S in Planning and Operations, Employee Training and Engagement, and Resource Management and Waste Minimization. Twenty-five SOCMA member facilities will also receive a Bronze Performance Improvement Award for maintaining strong EHS&S programs. See a complete listing of winners here.
Ashland’s Ohio facility is the recipient of this year’s ChemStewards Sustainability Award. The Ohio plant reduced its environmental impact and enhanced the quality of life within the community by continuously expanding offerings of renewable and sustainable solutions. The judges were especially impressed by Ashland’s efforts to significantly reduce solvent waste with minimal cost with the installation of a single-stage vacuum distillation unit to recover spent solvent for reuse. The project has saved the company $132,000 per year in waste disposal and raw material costs without increasing energy usage and greenhouse gas output.
Monument Chemical Kentucky is also the recipient of SOCMA’s 2018 Educational Outreach Award. Educating students about chemistry is a core value at Monument. The facility supports the Chemical Education Foundation’s You Be the Chemist program and the Junior Achievement’s Inspire Fair and Expo. These programs give students an opportunity to learn about chemistry and chemical industry careers and inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. While participating in these programs, Monument employees also serve as ambassadors for the industry, talking with students about their futures in chemistry. 
“For an industry to grow and evolve, it is important to acknowledge and learn from efforts that go above-and-beyond. I commend all of our awardees for these outstanding achievements,” Abril said. “We look forward to seeing you all in New York as we celebrate your accomplishments.”