Effective January 2019, Oldcastle Inc. parent CRH Plc will consolidate its Americas Products franchises—Oldcastle Architectural, BuildingEnvelope, Precast—plus Europe Lightside and Distribution businesses in a new global Building Products division. Americas Products President Keith Haas will lead the business, operating alongside Americas and Europe Materials divisions. Europe Lightside and Distribution President David Dillon will shift to Global Strategy & Business Development, maintaining his title and reporting to CRH CEO Albert Manifold.
Haas joined Oldcastle in 1995 as assistant vice president of Business Development, proceeding to management positions in the Distribution business (divested January 2018) then Oldcastle Architectural, rising to chief executive officer in 2008. He served in that capacity with Oldcastle Building Products for five years prior to his appointment as president of CRH Americas Products, which has 17,000-plus employees and 350 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Haas holds bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and master of business administration degrees from Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, respectively.
The two additional reporting units with the Building Products formation will more than double his present scope of operations. In 2017, the Americas Products business logged sales of $5 billion, while Europe Distribution (building material sales and distribution, trades and consumers) and Lightside (concrete hardscapes, architectural products, construction accessories, shutters & awnings, network access, perimeter protection) businesses reported respective volumes of $1.68 billion and $4.83 billion. Concurrent with Building Products, CRH is conducting a strategic review of Europe Distribution, which in 2017 accounted for 16 percent of group sales and 10 percent of operating profit. Based on last year’s financials, CRH will encompass:
Building Products, $11.5 billion
Americas Materials, $9.3 billion
Europe Materials, $ 8 billion
The figures are pending any Europe Distribution move and CRH’s soon to close $3.5 billion deal for Ash Grove Cement, which stands to boost Americas Materials sales by 20-plus percent.
Practicing what sustainability proponents preach
|The report details the unique leverage Dublin-based CRH Plc holds in advancing principles friendly to the environment and future generations.|
“With global population expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, the way people interact with buildings, infrastructure and cities will change. CRH is leading the way through innovation to help shape the structures of the future, in collaboration with our valued customers and partners,” notes Albert Manifold, chief executive of the Oldcastle Inc. parent company in “Creating a Sustainable Built Environment – CRH Sustainability Report 2017.”
“Building a more sustainable future is not something we can do alone,” he adds, noting that CRH is a founding member of the Global Cement and Concrete Association, a newly chartered London group geared to developing “the role of cement and concrete in sustainable construction and promote innovation throughout the construction value chain.” As building materials leader, Manifold affirms, “We are very conscious of the important role we play in advancing the global sustainability agenda. Uniquely within our industry, our diversified portfolio and vertically integrated business model allows us to provide innovative building solutions that help deliver a more sustainable environment.”
The 88-page “Creating a Sustainable Built Environment” delves deep into the environmental and safety aspects of a North American and European building materials and architectural products enterprise spanning 3,600 sites and 83,000 employees. In 2017, those businesses garnered nearly 900 awards and acknowledgements recognizing sustainability achievements. On one of the most widely adopted benchmarks, CRH operations reduced carbon dioxide emissions from cement and downstream materials or products operations by 22 percent compared to 1990 levels, and have the company on track to attain a 25 percent reduction against that baseline by 2020. Activities supporting the goal include development of CO2 Stone, a portland cement concrete alternative produced from aggregates, carbon dioxide and binder.
The report characterizes concrete as “the future of sustainable building materials,” owing to its resiliency, durability, potential to last hundreds of years, and application in conditions requiring thermal mass. The latter include traditional, energy-wise building assemblies plus new structures engineered to store and supply wind- or solar-derived thermal energy for use in homes and buildings.