Construction Materials Operators Heed Sec's Climate Change Guidance
- Published: Tuesday, 09 March 2010 07:00
- Written by Concrete News
Sources: CP staff; Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C.
New York Stock Exchange-traded concrete, aggregate and cement companies follow recent SEC interpretive guidance on disclosure related to climate change-driven business or legal developments. Under risk factors in their annual reports, Eagle Materials, Texas Industries and Vulcan Materials concede that climate change legislation would potentially impact their cement operations. MDU Resources acknowledges that new laws might affect its electric utility operations, but does not indicate their potential impact on its Knife River Corp. construction materials subsidiary, whose assets include Hawaiian Cement.
Climate change legislation holds ramifications for Martin Marietta MaterialsÌ carbon-intensive Ohio lime and Michigan magnesia operations, but would have limited effect on core aggregates businesses, where rolling stock accounts for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. Oldcastle parent CRH Plc lists environmental regulations throughout the countries in which it operates among risk factors, but does not appear to spell out climate change legislation specifically. Cemex S.A.B. addresses climate change in a Sustainable Development Report, a companion to its annual report.
The SEC's late-January guidance listed among examples that would trigger disclosure requirements for public companies: Impact of Legislation and Regulation, covering existing laws or regulations regarding climate change, plus potential impact of pending legislation and regulation; and, Indirect Consequences of Regulation or Business Trends, where regulatory, scientific or other climate change developments might lower demand for greenhouse gas-intensive goods or boost demand for competing, alternative products. The agency directive coincides with the Environmental Protection Agency's pursuit of authority to regulate businessesÌ greenhouse gas emissions. Amid the contentious EPA rule making process, legislation at the heart of the SEC guidance has met stiff resistance in the Senate.