Aiming For Zero at Graniterock

Posted by Aaron Johnston on Mar 18, 2015


Graniterock People take great pride in their work. The phrase “make it better” is a core value we live by, and a continuous improvement culture permeates everything we do.  We are determined to make and deliver great products and projects for our customers. We put safety before all else, ensure that our operations and products are environmentally sound, and work each day to meet or exceed customer quality requirements.  This is just what we do.  

One of the means we use to get the results we want is the number zero. Zero is a great tool- as a concept and number it makes math and science work, and it also provides an excellent target to shoot for. We work to ensure there are zero safety incidents, zero defects in products and projects, zero environmental non-compliance issues and even zero waste. 

How about zeroing in on carbon emissions?  Yep, you got it. We constantly aim for zero in a non-stop effort to become more efficient without waiting for our customers or for government entities to demand it. This is because aiming for zero makes us better.

 Zero is a great tool, but is not the only ammunition in our arsenal because on its own it is no guarantee of success. Getting to zero means you must have an open and transparent improvement process where people freely identify problem issues and are empowered to solve them. Working to understand the facts when a result does not meet expectations, solving problems and sharing what is learned are the cornerstones of our effort to “make it better.”

Although safety is a core value at Graniterock, reaching our goal of zero safety incidents may seem to be an impossible dream. Yet by focusing on zero, we have found that the vast majority of incidents are preventable and the process we use to review each incident and use our findings to make improvements prevents reoccurrence. This has led to excellent results and zero incidents for significant periods of time. Still it is important to remember that if we focus too heavily on achieving zero, problems might be underreported and cause us to miss our real goal of creating a safe workplace for all.

Our work to provide products with the lowest possible carbon emissions is another good example of how we use zero to get high quality results. At Graniterock we offer aggregate, concrete, and asphalt with lower carbon inputs then others in the market. Although many government programs look at specific industry or tailpipe emissions or vehicle miles traveled to calculate carbon emissions, this is not a sustainable way to zero out carbon. This approach ignores the material source, amount of energy used for production and whether the materials can be reused or recycled (let alone that global markets can and do sidestep local regulations).  We consider the entire lifecycle and most efficient product formulations to provide the greenest possible products for our customers.

We know the importance of continuous improvement to meet our customers’ evolving needs. The demand for superior quality, just in time availability and fair prices keeps us working to make things better. As Graniterock continues to move through its second century of doing business, we will build our future with people that do make it better, and use zero to keep us improving.

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