The Concept of Sustainability

What do you think of when you think of sustainability? Many people initially think about the impact on the environment not realizing the term “sustainability” refers to more than just a concern for the effects on the environment. 

Sustainability and its impact on the asphalt industry was the basis of the 2022 Asphalt Institute Foundation (AIF) Star Symposium. The AIF conducts strategic research along with educational activities that advance and improve the asphalt industry.  

The 2022 Strategic Asphalt Research Symposium (STAR) continued with the AIF’s commitment to improving the asphalt industry and held its second symposium May 16-18, to identify solutions for the betterment of the asphalt industry’s future. 

During this STAR Symposium, several break-out sessions were held, and one session discussed specifically how five subtopics and sustainability can strategically affect the asphalt industry.  

The subtopics include net neutral carbon, the impact of additives, recycled materials, cool roofs/communities, and emissions. These subtopics play an essential role in how the sustainability of asphalt materials affects the asphalt industry in the future.  

As the industry continues to move toward a circular economy, the continued goals are to reduce energy consumption through production processes, reduce carbon, and increase the service life of the product.  

Some of the options for achieving these goals include creating a low-carbon technology that is economically viable and standardizing the industry’s criteria for each product category and carbon accounting. 

The Topic of Recycled Material

With asphalt being one of the most recycled products, new testing on asphalt additives that will be immune to manipulation will take asphalt even further.  

Deficient performance and high unpredictability caused by employing too much recycled material will hold back this practice. In addition:

  • legislative mandates before the technology are ready for deployment could be a significant challenge.
  • Improving the performance of recycled materials and ensuring the optimum percent of recycled materials for use in projects are two objectives to address these challenges. 

The recycled materials used in asphalt are not all the same, but they are very important to a sustainable economy.

A Circular Economy:  

A circular economy is a system that eliminates waste by using and re-using materials continuously. Asphalt starts as a bi-product and is used to create many of the roads we drive on, and when it is done correctly, it can last decades because of its durable nature. When the road needs to be reconstructed, the asphalt that is put down originally can be reused from recycled material. The benefits and advantages of reusing asphalt and how it contributes to the circular economy are significant. 

 “Asphalt pavement itself is the most recycled product in the world. That is because such a high percentage of materials that are removed from roads during reconstruction are reused back in future road construction projects” states Megan Yount, a Pavement Material Engineer at The Heritage Group.  

This is known as a circular economy, as asphalt pavement that is used and needs to eventually be removed, will be sent back to plants to be upcycled and reused for future projects. In addition, the recycling process of asphalt pavement saves both money and material.  

In the end, there are several factors that impact how well, how efficient a circular economy operates. From the STAR symposium report, our industry can identify enhancements in each area that will continue to improve and move the asphalt industry forward. Additionally, we can set goals on how to better not only the asphalt industry but also be a major contributor to our economy as we continue to build a more sustainable world. 

To learn more about Environmental Sustainability and other insightful information from The Asphalt Foundation, please visit:

Editors Notes: 

Net Neutral Carbon: When carbon dioxide emissions are balanced with emission removal, a state of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions is reached.  

Impact of Asphalt Additives: Chemicals called asphalt additives are added to asphalt to strengthen and more frequently form chemical bonds with aggregate, as well as to enhance the aggregate coating. 

Recycled Materials:  Recycled Asphalt Pavement is removing the top layer of asphalt from a roadway, parking lot, or driveway without affecting the sub-base and hot mix asphalt is frequently made with recycled asphalt shingles as one of its constituent parts.  

Cool Roofs/Communities: A roof that is designed to reflect more sunlight than a typical roof is called a cool roof. It absorbs less light and makes more use of solar power. This will support communities’ efforts to maintain more sustainable environments.  

Emissions/Odors: Airborne contaminants at concentrations below the defined toxicity thresholds are the source of odor emissions 

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National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

September 11th through the 17th is National Driver Appreciation week; a time dedicated to showing our respect and gratitude to all professional truck drivers for the hard work they do. 

We ask that everyone takes a moment to recognize the men and women on whom we depend on to deliver our food, medical supplies, goods and materials that keep America running.

When you see a truck driver, take the time to say thanks! 

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Facility Spotlight: Warsaw, IN

Location: Warsaw, Indiana

2820 E. Durbin St. Warsaw, IN 46580

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 6:30am – 3:30pm

Office: 574-267-5076


This plant was originally located in Columbia City and was owned by Bituminous Materials and moved to Warsaw in 1975. The Warsaw plant has been part of the AMI family since 2009.


We provide different emulsion products out of this facility including non-tracking and polymer modified.

Fun Facts:

Truck & Rail access

We’re Here for Your Roads: 

At AMI, our dedicated team of experts are ready and available to help meet all your construction and materials needs. We specialize in asphalt emulsions, polymer modified binders, cold mix, asphalt emulsion seal coat base, crack sealants and more. With our talented laboratory technicians and hard-working plant staff, creating the highest quality asphalt emulsion products is our number one priority. We provide the finest asphalt materials within our customer’s budgets, specifications and time frame without sacrificing quality. We keep you up to date on the latest practices and materials, so you don’t miss a beat when it comes to your roads.

Let’s Talk About Your Project:

Our products are customized to fit your needs. View our featured products by application below. Then get in touch with us. We are more than happy to answer any questions that arise for your next road project.

Our customers know they can rely on us for their superior road solutions. If you have general questions about products, customization, locations, etc. reach out to our Warsaw team today for your road repair and maintenance needs.

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Initiatives of National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW)

Toward Zero Deaths

Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) is a national initiative to eliminate highway fatalities founded in 2009. The ATSSA Foundation’s mission is to support injured or fallen roadway workers and their families, impacted by roadway work zone crashes. This national strategy on highway safety to advocate for eliminating serious injuries and death on our nation’s roadways was conceptualized by safety practitioners, researchers, advocates, and others from a variety of disciplines. This initiative calls for all stakeholders to champion the idea that one death on our nation’s roadways is too many, and we must all work together to bring the annual number of roadway deaths to zero. With this input of over 70 workshop participants and further discussions with the Steering Committee following the workshop, the name of this effort became “Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety.”

Frequent donator, Minnesota-based company 3M raised more than $15k this year partnering with The ATSS Foundation by operating the zero deaths pledge wall from the start of the year through ATSSA’s 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. The company offered to match donations up to $5,000 and most of the raised funds came in during the final days of the Expo. “As the new ATSS Foundation Chair, I can’t express enough how grateful I am for support from companies like 3M that share the vision with us to help families that have experienced such horrific work zone tragedies,” said Kevin Shelton. For more information on how to promote traffic safety culture in your community, visit the TZD webpage for a list of initiatives you can implement today.

National Work Zone Memorial

Honoring those who died in work zones with a traveling & virtual memorial, The ATSSA Foundation offers the National Work Zone Memorial, honoring lives lost in work zones to help make fatalities “real” to policy makers and drivers. Originally unveiled in April 2002, “The National Work Zone Memorial – Respect and Remembrance: Reflections of Life on the Road” program is a living tribute to the memory of lives lost in work zones2. The new design of the traveling National Work Zone Memorial was unveiled in February 2017.

The traditional Memorial travels to communities across the cross each year to raise awareness of the need to respect and stay safe in America’s roadway work zones. A virtual National Work Zone Memorial is also available for meetings and events and is open to anyone interested in increasing roadway safety awareness and is now available at no cost. The Foundation encourages ATSSA members, ATSSA chapters, state DOTs and industry leaders to host the Memorial at your next event. To apply to host the Memorial at your next event, or to submit a name for the memorial, visit ATSSA webpage for more information.

Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship Program

A work zone tragedy shouldn’t mean the end of the dreams and aspirations for the worker’s spouse, children, and family. This is exactly why The ATSS Foundation created The Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship Program. This program provides financial assistance for post-high school education to the children or spouse of a roadway worker killed or permanently disabled in a work zone incident. The scholarships, offered by The American Traffic Safety Services (ATSS) Foundation3, can help put the worker’s dependents on the road to a brilliant future. The scholarships are competitive and have a value up to $10,000. Applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to volunteerism may be eligible to receive an additional $1,000 in honor of Chuck Bailey, an esteemed member of the roadway safety industry from Ohio who died in 2002 as a result of a work zone incident.

The Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship Program celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and has awarded $358,000 since its inception. Thirteen students are currently attending college thanks to a Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship. Two of those also received a Chuck Bailey Memorial Scholarship for this school year. Hear from Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship recipients about how The ATSS Foundation scholarships helped them achieve their dreams.

“It is a privilege to help the dependents of fallen or permanently injured roadway workers pursue their goals,” said Foundation Director Lori Diaz. “But we couldn’t offer these scholarships without the generosity of individual donors, ATSSA members and sponsors of the events we hold throughout the year.” The ATSS Foundation is the charitable arm of ATSSA and was formed in 1988 with the core purpose to promote roadway safety through charitable giving and public awareness programs. Donations can be made at

Public Awareness

In March of 2019, the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA)4 passed a resolution recognizing April 8 – 12 2019 as National Work Zone Awareness Week. The resolution was passed at the NLGA 2019 Federal-State Relations Meeting where the lieutenant governors discussed state, federal, and international affairs. ATSSA’s Government Relations staff members were in attendance and requested the resolution be considered by NLGA. The NLGA is a professional association for the elected officials first in line of succession to governors in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. Their goal? The NLGA strives for efficiency in state government by providing professional support, to foster interstate cooperation, and to generally improve the efficiency of state and territorial administration through education on issues and leadership training. “ATSSA is pleased that the Lt. Governors passed a resolution acknowledging the importance of work zone safety awareness as we begin the spring construction season. Public awareness is key in helping to remind motorists to be mindful when navigating work zones,” said ATSSA’s Director of State Government Relations Ashley Wieland.





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National Work Zone Awareness Week is Here

Spring is finally here, and that means construction season is underway! As we all know, construction zones can be extremely dangerous places for both drivers and workers. That’s exactly why the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) hosts its annual National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), this year from April 11-15. The weeklong campaign is designed to raise awareness of the dangers of work zones and encourage drivers to use extra caution when driving through any.

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NAPA Helps Explain New Sustainability Terminology Expected to Become Commonplace in 2022

At The Heritage Group, we have been developing environmentally sustainable solutions for more than 50 years. We started Heritage Environmental Services with a Subtitle C landfill in 1970, the same year the EPA was created. Today, Heritage Environmental Services is a leader in environmental sustainability and a one-stop waste management solution spread across North America.

Sustainability is important all across The Heritage Group. Our businesses are focused on leaving the world a better place for future generations.

At Asphalt Materials (AMI), we work closely with The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). NAPA works to support, advocate, and advance the asphalt pavement industry. One of NAPA’s focus areas for 2022 is climate stewardship and how asphalt is environmentally friendly as it is America’s most recycled material. Our industry continuously explores methods and practices to contribute to a sustainable infrastructure and a healthy environment for generations to come.

As part of NAPA’s Climate Stewardship Task Force, they will be helping explain terminology that is expected to become commonplace in 2022. Look for more updates in the coming weeks. Here are a few listed below.

Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprint is an estimate of how much carbon dioxide is produced to support your lifestyle. Essentially, it measures your impact on the climate based on how much carbon dioxide you produce. Factors that contribute to your carbon footprint include your travel methods and general home energy usage. Carbon footprints can also be applied, on a larger scale, to companies, businesses, even countries. (Source: NAPA Action News. Defining The Road Forward.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning carbon and organic compounds and by respiration, what people exhale when they breathe. It is naturally present in air (about 0.03%) and is absorbed by plants in photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is one carbon atom that is joined with two oxygen atoms.

Carbon Dioxide is Naturally Occurring

Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas. When you inhale (breathe in), air enters your lungs and oxygen from the air moves from your lungs to your blood. At the same time, carbon dioxide, a waste gas, moves from your blood to the lungs and is exhaled (breathe out).

Heritage Construction & Materials

Our Heritage Construction & Materials (HC+M) family of companies have built roads, bridges, and other commercial projects across the Midwest and as far away as China. Our asphalt and aggregate supply companies produce and distribute the highest quality road construction materials and specialty minerals throughout the country.

HC+M companies are industry-leading innovators, due in large part to the problem-solving nature of our employees, our close collaboration with the Heritage Research Group , and our mutual commitment to listen to the needs of our customers.

As part of The Heritage Group, Asphalt Materials was founded in 1956 and we continue to supply high quality products and services around the United States, allowing us to excel in pavement preservation techniques and construction services.

We work closely with the Heritage Research Group team to ensure the highest quality asphalt materials and processes are brought to market. We are committed to building long term relationships and mutual trust. We are excited to tackle our industries biggest challenges, looking for new and inventive ways to create solutions that will mean better, safer and longer lasting roads.

To learn more about HC+M, visit this website:

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