Toronto Builder - Fall 2009 - (Page 43)

Hanson Brick’s commitment to the environment mirrors BILD’s green policy Producing 415 million bricks a year for 40,000 homes and cleaning up By Carlie Oreskovich HANSON BRICK, CANADA’S largest brick manufacturer with an annual production output of 415 million bricks in Ontario and Quebec is committed to sustainability and preservation of the environment and continually supports the Building Industry and Land Development’s (BILD) Green Policy. Eighty percent of the company’s brick is used for housing. Established in 2003 after Hanson PLC purchased seven prominent brick companies in North America, Hanson Brick’s intent and dedication to maintain the environment and build a trustworthy and responsible brand has never waned. Hanson supports regional local flavour by efficiently providing its customers with a much greater selection of products, up to 100 brick styles from its 22 factories. Reinforcing its commitment to the environment, Hanson formalised its approach in a Social Responsibility Report in 2003 that stated its focus on operating its business in a responsible manner. Recognizing that the company’s building products are a key resource for developing a sustainable society, Hanson has consistently communicated its many responsibilities internally and externally “to the environment, to the communities in which it operates and, most importantly, to the safety of its workforce.” Hanson is devoted to performing efficiently and minimizing the impact of its operations on the communities it serves. An illustration of Hanson’s attention to social responsibility is its method of decommissioning quarries. Typically brick operators buy up shale quarry deposits and build a processing plant next to it, “because you don’t want to ship raw material,” it is too costly to do so, says Elliot Bender, marketing director, Hanson Building Products. Bender points out that brick factories are “expensive to build and that quarries are a costly proposition.” Understandably, brick plants have a designated lifespan, depending on resources contained in the quarry, and ultimately will run out of shale, and are put out of service once they reach their life expectancy. Bender also notes that Hanson is “obligated and proactive in taking certain actions such as investing heavily in the rehabilitation environment.” The company takes the responsibility seriously by banking money to deal with the situation. “Once our portion is completed, the quarry is turned into conservation land or can be sold for development.” Recently five sites that were shut down in Mississauga were reconditioned and developed as residential land. These included a large site in Streetsville that became the home of a large warehouse factory operation, a considerable portion of land in Mississauga that is now home to a beautiful residential neighbourhood and a quarry in Burlington (one of three in that locale), approaching closure after 60 years of supplying brick, that is in the initial states of remediation that involves adding landfill and installing greenery. After completion, the quarry will be turned over to the government for use as conservation land. Bender acknowledges the cost of clean up, but insists the environmental need and responsibility to the community surpasses the expense and that it is definitely the company’s commitment to contribute to sustainability and our future. Hanson Brick is Canada’s largest clay brick manufacturer. Hanson Brick provides bricks from Toronto to Ottawa, and throughout the U.S. With an estimated annual production of 415 million bricks, the Ontario region alone manufactures enough brick to build more than 40,000 single-family homes per year. Hanson Building Products North America is comprised of Hanson Pipe & Precast, Hanson Pressure Pipe, Hanson Structural Precast, Hanson Brick, Hanson Hardscapes and Hanson Roof Tile. Based in Irving, Texas, Hanson Building Products North America employs approximately 5,000 people and operates 150 facilities with products available throughout the U.S. and Canada. To learn more about Hanson’s quality products, services and building technology, please visit www. A Toronto Builder • Fall 2009 • 43 Elliot Bender, Marketing Director Canada, Hanson Building Products 5155 Dundas Street W., Burlington, ON L7R 3Y2 519-740-6000 Addressing the Labour Shortage One of the biggest challenges faced by the brick and construction industries today is the “massive labour issue.” It is becoming increasingly hard to train and obtain skilled labour. “There is a long tradition of decline in true skilled labour,” says Elliot Bender, marketing director, Hanson Building Products. He notes that there are excellent masonry schools in Canada, but fewer people are choosing this avenue. “This has resulted in a considerable decline in this field of study – whether it be masonry, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc. This growing shortage limits not only the amount of people to get the work done, but the amount of talent presented in the field.” As a result, Hanson Brick and the industry are taking a proactive stand, investing heavily in college and university training programs. In addition, building associations, worker associations and unions are working to attract students. Bender says the results have been promising and there have been definite improvements such as the development of a new training facility in Conestoga College. He feels builders are assessing the situation in a positive way by “working together like never before - even sharing labourers.” Elliot emphasizes the need to communicate the message that masonry work is a viable, respected and worthwhile profession, with various opportunities.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Toronto Builder - Fall 2009

Toronto Builder - Fall 2009
Chair’s Message
President’s Message
Double Victory for Fact-based Lobbying BILD Efforts Results in Better Tax Deal for Homebuyers and Builders
BILD Housing Study Tour
Moving the Future
LEED for Neighbourhood Development
Habitat BBQ
Habitat BILD Day
National Home Show
RealNet GTA Market Update
Sponsor Profile
Calendar of Events
Marketing Partners and Corporate Sponsors
Welcome New Members
Index to Advertisers

Toronto Builder - Fall 2009