Industry leaders ace climate audit

By Don Marsh Three of the top five global cement, aggregate and concrete producers made the 2021 Climate Disclosure Project A List, reflecting transparency in environmental impact, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management and water resource metrics. Cemex S.A.B. de C.V., HeidelbergCement AG and Holcim AG are among 200 A List/Climate category performers from a pool of 10,000-plus companies. London-based Climate…

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Asset gains and carbon cuts equal an extraordinary year

By Don Marsh The close of any other calendar might confine this column to revisiting a merger and acquisition wave across ready mixed and manufactured concrete, but 2021 could be remembered as much for carbon dioxide emissions action as cement, aggregate and concrete production investment. On the latter front, stock prices for public companies and high valuations for private peers…

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General Shale-Meridian order serves as latest case of antitrust law limits

By Don Marsh The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division ordered General Shale and Meridian Brick LLC to divest three plants, 14 showrooms and distribution yards, plus six mines in a proposed settlement of an antitrust lawsuit challenging the producers’ merger, consummated early last month. The agency filed the settlement and suit-triggering complaint in the U.S. District Court for the…

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Bid-rigging contractor discovers law federal agencies choose to enforce

By Don Marsh In an age of opponent cancellation and selective federal, state or local law enforcement, a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) plea agreement with an employee of a contractor performing concrete work for Minnesota municipalities offers two takeaways. First, despite Herculean efforts, the current White House has some unfinished business in its quest to erase all things Donald…

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Sound carbon guidance

By Don Marsh An energy market-driven nonprofit, RMI, offers credible perspective in its just-released Concrete Solutions Guide, geared to construction interests taking stock of the carbon dioxide emissions factor behind their project materials, products and methods. Posted at www.rmi.org, the document presents specific opportunities for “a nearly ubiquitous material with a sizable climate impact” and expands on the need to…

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It is Not a Driver Shortage

By Nate Tarbox For many years those of us in the ready-mix concrete industry have complained and struggled to fill open delivery driver positions. As recently as 2017, almost one-half of ready-mix producers reported lost business due to the shortage of drivers. Over three quarters of our industry’s producers have been actively hiring drivers in recent years. We have the…

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Industry prepped for Buy Clean era

BY DON MARSH A Carbon Leadership Forum team updates us this month on the trajectory of procurement policy compelling suppliers or contractors to include environmental product declarations (EPDs) in public building and infrastructure project bids. Laws or pending legislation reference declarations abiding International Organization for Standardization terms, which strive for data uniformity and apples to apples comparison of material or…

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CMU Checkoff concerns: Escrow terms, districting, and fund allocations

By Edward Antonini While we have always supported the research, education, and promotion of concrete masonry units, Angelus Block Co., Inc. vehemently opposes the CMU Checkoff about to be voted on by the industry. Among the multitude of problems in the Department of Commerce’s proposed CMU Checkoff order and its associated one-cent per block collection, we find: It mandates an…

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CMU Checkoff will propel industry to new heights

People make the concrete masonry industry. And it doesn’t hurt that the men and women who call the business home also contribute to one of the most economically sound, environmentally friendly and functional building materials on the planet. A new checkoff program will help propel the industry to new heights, help block producers put more money in their pockets and…

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Vulcan-U.S. Concrete, concurrent deals speak to underlying industry strengths

U.S. Concrete will move Vulcan into the U.S. ready mixed production elite, joining Cemex USA, CRH Americas Materials and Martin Marietta. U.S. Concrete reported 2020 deliveries of 8.2 million yd. from 150 operations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., Texas, northern California and the Virgin Islands. Vulcan dispatched 2.9 million yd. of ready mixed in 2020 from…

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