Rock Products

JUN 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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Sustainability Is Driving Major Change Within The Supply Chain By Brian Barlow It is quite clear today that the drive to‐ ward greater sustainability, including resource conservation and energy effi‐ ciency in North America and other parts of the world, is occurring at a much faster pace than many experts predicted. Sustainability now affects a rapidly growing percentage of infra‐ structure and commercial and residen‐ tial projects that are defined and funded by local, state/provincial and federal governments, as well as public institutions and private enterprises. The definition alone helps explain why: Sustainable construction projects im‐ prove the environmental, social and economic impact while reducing proj‐ ect construction and lifecycle costs. As a result, sustainability is now seri‐ ously impacting every level within the construction supply chain, including: n Architects, government, public and private engineers, and design‐build firms. n General contractors, subcontract‐ ors and specialty contractors. n Finished and virgin material processors and producers. n Equipment manufacturers and technology providers that serve targeted or multiple levels within the supply chain. In fact, the quest for sustainability is starting to turn the traditional supply chain process upside down by requir‐ ing suppliers at all levels to expand their view of who their customers are while accepting new levels of trans‐ parency, specifications, products, tech‐ nologies and construction practices. To explain this relatively new para‐ digm, we need to see how sustainabil‐ ity‐driven projects require a serious 52 ROCKproducts • JUNE 2013 shift in the supply chain mentality. No matter where the supplier exists within the chain and who he perceives are his immediate customers, sustain‐ able projects demand that his cus‐ tomer base now sees his value to the entire project. This includes: The government, public or private owners who define and fund each project, as well as the architects, engineers and design‐build firms and all the other suppliers that must be em‐ ployed and benefit from his sustain‐ able value. If he does not, his customers may have to consider other suppliers that do provide a sustainable value or they might also prove to be unsuccessful. Contractor Level When it reaches the contractor level, sustainability begins to seriously affect which contractor will win the bid. With sustainable projects, it is more likely that the lowest bidder will not provide enough sustainable value to win the bid unless all his suppliers and their suppliers contribute significantly along the way. For example, if a road contractor is bid‐ ding on an Illinois‐Livable and Sustain‐ able Transportation project, then his bid could be chosen over lower bids if his approach fits the projects sustain‐ ability goals better. To achieve this, here is an oversimpli‐ fied, but realistic approach a contractor could take where his suppliers and their suppliers all contribute: n n n n n n n Hire a mobile recycle asphalt or concrete crushing contractor to re‐ move and re‐size the existing road surface and base for use again as base and/or as a percentage of his new asphalt production. Produce asphalt mix using a portable green foam asphalt plant to meet very stringent emissions standards, reduce heated‐oil‐based emulsion use and deliver perform‐ ance specs. Use a portable plant to lessen the number of haul trucks and the dis‐ tance they travel to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. Employ more sustainable paving equipment and methods of paving. Use hydrogen‐fueled light towers and solar‐powered message boards. Stripe the new road with non‐toxic, biodegradable paint. Use recycled steel for the road barriers. www.rockproducts.com

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