Sustainability is a business practice and operating philosophy at the forefront of everything we do at Genesis Alkali. We recognize the critical importance of acting sustainable for the benefit of our people, our communities and our planet. Our growth strategy includes developing innovative products that create a sustainability advantage while minimizing the overall impact of our operations and supply chain. We do this by using resources effectively and responsibly.
We incorporate sustainable thinking into our day-to-day decision making, from planning capital projects to operating our mines to procuring the most efficient products from vendors who are also committed to sustainability practices.
At Green River, we continuously assess technologies to increase the efficiency of our operations. As we increase soda ash production, we expect both our energy use and emissions to drop on a per-ton of product basis through the use of new technologies, such as recovery of mine water for refinement into soda ash.
Natural soda ash is considerably less energy-intensive (by roughly 40 percent), emits similarly less greenhouse gases and has a lower production cost than its primary competition – synthetic soda ash produced in China. As a result, over 50 percent of U.S. natural soda ash production is exported, providing a significant positive trade balance for the U.S.
Because the vast majority of our products ship by rail, in recent years our efficiency improvements and strategic approaches to rail shipping have allowed us to transport more product tonnage with fewer trips. This lowers our fuel consumption, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Taking care to maintain the health and natural habitat of many animal and bird species is important to us. Southwest Wyoming is home to the sage grouse, a bird currently considered “warranted but precluded” with the potential of being added to the endangered species list. According to Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Green River’s Granger facility is located in a habitat area for the sage grouse, so we are carefully managing new projects to minimize impacts on the bird’s habitat. We are closely monitoring sage grouse numbers, working with state agencies and nearby landowners. Our environmental team is also assessing potentially helpful ground conservation measures to try to enhance the sage grouse habitat.