In October, more than 140 people arrived in Portland, Ore., for NAPA's 2015 Asphalt Sustainability Conference. Buoyed by so many industry members interested in asphalt sustainability, the message was clear: Sustainability is here to stay.
Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson keynoted the conference, noting that the transportation industry doesn't exist to build roads or rails; it exists to move people and goods, linking that goal to a sustainability plan for transportation and infrastructure. Opening remarks by NAPA Chairman Michael Cote of The LANE Construction Corp. took a look at global environmental concerns and the importance of incorporating sustainability principles into everyday business operations.
Throughout the day-and-a-half-long conference, speakers built on the concepts of economic, social, and environmental sustainability, showing how they fit into daily business operations and how contractors, owners, and the community benefit. Sessions focused on strategic and competitive business thinking, communication and transparency, project management and documentation, green rating systems and project specs, plant operations and innovations, pavement design and mixes, and upcoming sustainability metrics, including NAPA's Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Program and what it means for the industry in the near future.
Prior to the start of the conference, attendees toured Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB), which has been a leader in sustainability and brewing. Participants noted operational similarities between producing asphalt mixtures and craft beer. The tour included discussions on how HUB participated in its industry's EPD program, how the EPD program has affected brewery operations, and how sustainability has had a positive impact on profitability and plans for future growth.
NAPA would like to thank the Federal Highway Administration for its partnership on the conference, as well as the conference sponsors: Gallagher Asphalt Corp., The Lane Construction Corp., LEAP, and the Washington Asphalt Pavement Association.