|Industry||Quarrying, construction, building materials|
|Headquarters||Bardon Hill, Coalville, Leicestershire, UK|
|Pat Ward (CEO)|
Road surfacing and contracting services
Garden and driveway landscaping
Ready mixed concrete and screed
Staircases and flooring
Surface water solutions
Sustainable drainage systems
Commercial hard landscaping
Aggregate Industries, part of the LafargeHolcim Group, is a company based in the United Kingdom with headquarters at Bardon Hill, Coalville, Leicestershire. Aggregate Industries manufactures and supplies a range of heavy building materials, primarily aggregates such as stone, asphalt and concrete, to the construction industry and other business sectors. Aggregate Industries also manufactures and imports cement, and provides a range of aggregate-associated goods and services, these include the manufacture of masonry and reconstructed stone items for construction industry and domestic applications, the manufacture of pre-cast concrete items, the supply of ready mixed concrete, design and project management consulting, and resurfacing contracting services.
Aggregate Industries operates more than 60 quarries in the UK and has several bases throughout mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Its clients operate in a range of services including construction, aviation, education, horticulture, road building, housing, power and energy and rail.
The story of Aggregate Industries began with the Ellis family of Beaumont Leys, which is now part of Leicester. Active Quakers, the family was influential in the Midlands' first public railway, the Leicester and Swannington Railway, which was used to transport granite from local quarries. In time, John Ellis became the local MP and his descendant, Joseph Ellis II, entered into partnership with a Breedon Everard of Groby, initially as coal merchants, later extending their business interests to granite.
In 1858, following the death of Joseph Ellis II, his sons James and Joseph joined with Breedon Everard to lease the Bardon quarries belonging to Robert Jacomb-Hood II of Bardon Hall. Those quarries, now known as Bardon Hills, are still active under the management of Aggregate Industries, and the nearby Bardon Hall is the company's headquarters.
Aggregate Industries has subsequently grown, mainly through a series of acquisitions and particularly since 1990. In 2005 the company was acquired by the Swiss-based Holcim Group, which in 2014 was one of the largest cement companies in the world. In July 2015, Aggregate Industries became part of the new LafargeHolcim Group following a global merger between Lafarge and Holcim, creating the biggest construction materials supplier in the world.
Aggregate Industries' board is chaired by a representative from the LafargeHolcim Group. Other members comprise the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer/Deputy Chief Executive and a Non Executive Director. The board oversees performance and ensures that Aggregate Industries complies with the principles of good corporate governance.
Strategy formulation, operational management, performance monitoring and the evaluation of major capital projects fall within the remit of the UK Executive Committee. This comprises the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer/Deputy Chief Executive, Organisation & Human Resources Director, and the Directors for the Cement & Concrete Products, Aggregates, Asphalt and Readymix, Contracting and Commercial Divisions.
The vision for Aggregate Industries aligns with that of the LafargeHolcim Group, and is to integrate the economic, environmental and social impacts of the organisation's work; this is referred to within Aggregate Industries as the 'triple bottom line'.
Goods and services provided by Aggregate Industries include:
- Road surfacing products and contracting service - Aggregate Industries lays, maintains and resurfaces roads, including just under half of the UK's strategic road network.
- Garden and driveway landscaping - the company's Bradstone range is one of the UK's leading names in garden and driveway landscaping and products.
- Masonry - in particular, cast stone walling blocks for interior and exterior use.
- Ready mix concrete and screed - Aggregate Industries is one of the UK's leading suppliers of ready mix concrete, and supplies a wide range of products, chiefly for the construction industry.
- Roofing tiles - including reconstructed stone roof tiles, which are largely used as an affordable and viable replacement for slate tiles, since these are becoming somewhat difficult to source.
- Staircases and flooring - these products, which include beam and block flooring, hollowcore flooring, staircases and landings, are primarily supplied through Aggregate Industries' sister company, Charcon Construction Solutions.
- Surface water solutions - products to facilitate drainage of surface water.
- Sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) - products to reduce flood risk, using a range of surfacing materials.
- Walling - products in both reconstructed and natural stone, also structural and architectural solutions.
- Aggregates - these include crushed rock, sand and gravel, stone and fill materials. These are mainly used in construction projects.
- Asphalt - Aggregate Industries supplies asphalt (and associated contracting services) for a range of applications including major road projects, airfields, pedestrian footpaths, driveways and sports surfaces. The company produces more than 6 million tonnes of asphalt each year.
- Cement/cementitious materials - Aggregate Industries imports and supplies both grey and white cement, which is used in various forms including ready-mixed and precast concrete, mortars, screed and render. The company also offers a range of sustainable cement replacements including ground granulated blast slag, and fly ash.
- Commercial hard landscaping - including paving, kerbs and drainage products and technical/design support.
- Concrete blocks - in a wide range of sizes and strengths, including both dense and lightweight, and for a range of applications.
Recognisable products and services
Not all of Aggregate Industries' products and services are marketed under the Aggregate Industries name. Other Aggregate Industries products include:
- Express Asphalt
- Garside Sands
- London Concrete
- Aggregate Industries Overseas
- Bennett's Barges
While recognising that it operates within an industry marked by high energy consumption and transport needs, Aggregate Industries has a strong commitment to sustainability and to managing the impacts of its work upon people and the environment. It was the first company in the world to be certified to BES 6001, a framework for responsible sourcing of construction materials, by the Building Research Establishment, and the first in the construction sector to develop a company-wide Biodiversity Action Plan, in 2002. The organisation also has stated commitments and goals relating to carbon and energy, transport, waste and water. For example, between 2009 and 2012, the amount of waste it sent to landfill dropped from 52,251 tonnes to 13,555 tonnes.
Aggregate Industries delivers a wide range of heavy building materials to clients in many different locations, thus its logistics needs challenge its commitment to sustainability. However, the organisation aims to make its transport services both efficient and environmentally friendly. As well as using lorries to transport goods, powered by biofuels where possible, Aggregate Industries owns a railway, several ships and barges. Many of its quarries have railheads on site, allowing materials to be loaded onto the transport vehicle immediately, minimising environmental impact. The company's largest ship, the Yeoman Bridge, can carry around 100,000 tonnes.
The barges, which are based on the River Thames at Gravesend, provide an effective and environmentally friendly way of transporting heavy goods into the heart of London, each carrying around 1,000 tonnes.
Aggregate Industries employs 4,000 employees. It has, for many years, administered apprenticeships, young enterprise programmes and work experience (now collectively referred to within the organisation as 'Futurepath'), and maintains a graduate training programme. In 2012 it became the first company in its sector to establish a training scheme approved by the Institution of Civil Engineers that allowed participants to work towards achieving professional status.
However, with a predominantly male workforce, many of whom are over 40, Aggregate Industries has also taken steps to safeguard the talent that it already has by encouraging staff to look after their health. During 2014, the company launched its 'Healthy You' programme, designed to raise awareness among staff of the need to address not work-based health and safety issues, but also underlying health concerns such as cardiovascular health, diabetes and mental health. The roll-out of Healthy You was accompanied by the introduction of compulsory occupational health medicals.
Also in 2014, the company announced that it would invest over £200,000 in placing defibrillators across 220 sites.
Recent and ongoing capital investment
In November 2014, Aggregate Industries announced the completion of a £30 million upgrade of its quarry at Glensanda, in the Scottish Highlands, which is Europe's largest granite quarry. The upgrade included the construction of a new primary crushing machine and new tunnel for transporting the aggregates from the site directly onto waiting ships, and secured 500 Scottish jobs for the next quarter century, that being the predicted lifespan of the crushing machine.
Aggregate Industries' CEO, Pat Ward, has described the £30 million investment as being part of an ongoing programme of upgrades which includes new asphalt plants in Sheffield and Heathrow, as well as new crusher machinery at Moorcroft quarry in Plymouth.
Research and innovation
Linked to the its commitment to sustainability, is Aggregate Industries' involvement in a range of innovative projects. These include Pipe Dream, an innovative high density, tunnel-style housing scheme, which has been developed by ZEDFactory Limited (developers of the first potentially zero carbon village in the UK) using precast concrete elements by Charcon Construction Solutions, which is an Aggregate Industries brand.
Aggregate Industries is also exploring the potential of off-site manufactured housing, made with precast concrete, and insulating concrete formwork 'building shell' systems.
In November 2010 the company announced that it would not be paying its subcontractors in December of that year and that it hoped payments would resume in January 2011. The UK Road Haulage Association raised concerns over the non-payment with the British Government and strongly criticised the company for its treatment of its suppliers.
In September 2012 the GMB Union announced that it would ballot its members for strike action following the companies decision to change pay dates for its work force, delaying payment of salaries until later each month. Allan Black GMB National Officer for building materials said :
"GMB is in dispute with the Company following a history of total disregard of our member’s right to be consulted about major changes. Aggregate Industries has a track record of imposing not consulting, telling not asking and, in general, treating its loyal and committed employees with no dignity or respect
The latest example arises from the decision of Aggregate Industries to change the pay date for its UK workforce. This has caused chaos and potential financial hardship for low paid workers and could mean serious problems on issues like missed mortgage payments etc. This latest issue is the last straw.
So the decision by Aggregate Industries to change the pay date for their entire UK workforce without any consultation or adequate recompense is the demonstration of the contempt this Employer has for the views or wellbeing of its employees. All of the GMB members in Aggregate Industries have reacted furiously to this high handed and arbitrary action. The clamour for an official industrial action ballot has been universal and when confirmed by this consultative ballot will be carried out as speedily as possible by the GMB” 
A company spokesperson responded to the ballot call saying: “Aggregate Industries operates in an industry which is facing severe trading conditions, with cuts in public expenditure affecting all areas of construction, particularly roads and major infrastructure projects.
“In order to try and improve and maintain its results and cash position and preserve as many jobs as possible for employees, the company has had to take several difficult steps, one of which is to delay the transfer date of salaries to its employees by a few days each month.”
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