SUSTAINABLE ISSUE 03/17
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
STRIPING GROUP OF COMPANIES JADA GROUP
EDGECHEM NOBLE MOUNTAIN TREE FARM
S U S TA I N I N G T O M O R R O W. T O D AY
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
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CONTENTS ISSUE 03/17
Welcome to the latest North American edition of Sustainable Business Magazine. Sustainable Business Magazine aims to spread awareness of the values of sustainability, as well as the brilliant ways in which organizations continue to meet challenges and champion corporate social responsibility. For our latest edition we spoke to JADA Group’s Director, Paul Lewis, and Regional Business Development Manager, Mark Hodkinson, as well as Jeremy Jones, Director of Corporate Services at Sandals Resorts International, about building the new Sandals Royal Barbados resort, protecting the environment, and contributing to the local economy. We are once again delighted to be working with Bahamas Striping Group of Companies. For the first of two articles we spoke to President Atario Mitchell, Managing Director Allen Albury, and Chairman Dominic Sturrup, about their seventh anniversary, public-private partnerships, and giving back to the community. We also spoke to them about a major collaboration in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
JADA Group / Sandals
Bahamas Striping Group of Companies
A Closer Look: Bahamas Striping in Turks and Caicos
Noble Mountain Tree Farm
Vicente Saisó, Corporate Director of Sustainability at CEMEX S.A.B. de CV, spoke to us about emissions reduction, social and inclusive businesses, and the importance of transparency, while Mellissa McHargh, General Manager of Edgechem Jamaica, spoke to us about how a small furniture finish company started out in inner city Kingston, and grew into a successful brand. Finally, in the United States we spoke to Bob Schaefer, General Manager of Noble Mountain Tree Farm, about helicopter harvesting, water retention, and employee benefits. Details of upcoming sustainability events which are taking place across North America in September and October can be found on our events calendar. For more information on Sustainable Business Magazine, or to view our previous editions, please visit www.sustainablebusinessmagazine.net We hope that you find this issue both interesting and inspiring. Thank you for reading. The Sustainable Business Magazine Team
COVER IMAGE: BSGC’S PRESIDENT ATARIO MITCHELL TRAINING PERSONNEL. IMAGE PROVIDED BY BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP OF COMPANIES.
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JADA GROUP / SANDALS
“WE HAVE A LONGSTANDING COMMITMENT TO ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN OUR RESORT AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT OPERATIONS.”
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MATCH MADE IN
PARADISE Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to JADA Group’s Director, Paul Lewis, and Regional Business Development Manager, Mark Hodkinson, and Sandals Resorts International’s Jeremy Jones, Director, Corporate Services, about building the new Sandals Royal Barbados resort, protecting the environment, and contributing to the local economy.
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JADA GROUP / SANDALS
“EACH OF OUR RESORTS HAS AN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGER WHO ENSURES THE FOOTPRINT FALLS UNDER THE LEVELS DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY EARTHCHECK.”
JADA Group is a Barbadian group of companies whose operations span all areas of construction. Specializing in Hospitality, Commercial, and high-end residential within the holiday home market, JADA combines over forty years of experience in the industry with comprehensive expertise in luxury developments. (See JADA Group’s previous feature in Sustainable
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Business Magazine in issue 05/16.) When Sandals Resorts International acquired its resort in St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados in 2014, and subsequently decided to build a new 222-room hotel, JADA Group were a natural fit for the project. “When we started upgrading the resort, we quickly realized we needed to bring the physical plant up to standards,” says Jeremy
Jones, Director, Corporate Services at Sandals Resorts International. “We went out to tender, and JADA had a very competitive bid where everything was very open and transparent. When we worked with them, we found that they were able to come in a little ahead of schedule, and so when we started looking at a new development, we knew exactly what they were able to deliver on.”
have been appropriate nor fair of us not to include other smaller Barbadian construction enterprises as well,” says Mr. Lewis. “So we brought in other smaller construction companies, who are now very much involved in the project, in addition to subsidiaries of the Group. CEMIX and CEMIX Inc. are heavily involved in supply of materials, and stone and concrete. INFRA Equipment Rentals is supplying tower cranes, plant, supporting tools and equipment, as well as trucking. Millworks Inc. are involved in the joinery. Bjerkhamn Associates are doing all of the admin, the HR, the procurement, and logistics. This is very much a collective effort, and that’s what’s making this project a success.” “When you walk the site and you look at the work taking place, you realize the quality of construction and management that goes into JADA’s contract services,” says Mr. Jones. “It has been a very successful collaboration so far. With the new development, we are going to be under obligation to ensure that these rooms are handed over and ready to welcome our clients in December. JADA
respect that, and understands the timeframe, and has been extremely professional. It is important to us that we localize the feel and flavor of the island in which we operate. That’s why it’s better to use a local contractor like JADA. They know the land better than we would; they can interpret some of the island feel and flavor. Who better to guide you through the development than somebody who knows their way around the woods?” CARIBBEAN COLLABORATION The biggest challenge for JADA Group was to bring together the required manpower to meet the demanding timeline. “Good construction artisans are heavily in demand,” explains Mr. Lewis. “We had to reach out to other Caribbean territories, with the support and approval of the Barbados Immigration Department. We’re proud to say now it isn’t only Barbadian workers and management who are building Sandals Barbados, but it’s a truly Caribbean project. We have nationals from Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Grenada, India, and Colombia. We’ve
“We were in competition against large external International companies ,” says Paul Lewis, Director of JADA Group. “We’re the largest construction group with a development arm on the island, and we had to pull all of our companies together and get them to understand that, because of the margins we faced, we needed to make a collective effort to get the price right and make sure all the supporting services were in place.” “We went through a lengthy process of demonstrating that JADA was not just JADA Builders as a contractor,” explains Mark Hodkinson, Regional Business Development Manager at JADA Group. “We have a lot of facets to the business which add depth, and can add value in the construction process. We were able to show them we had the ability to deliver, and we were able to meet the competing companies on price.” SHARING THE WEALTH Once JADA had secured the contract, they decided to share some of the gains with other Barbadian companies. “It would not SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
JADA GROUP / SANDALS
recruited specialty labor, mostly carpenters, masons, and tilers, who are staying to do the project until November this year.” This influx of foreign workers led to some unusual logistical challenges. “As part of the immigration approval, we built a complete facility to provide housing for these persons,” says Mr. Lewis. “This was in the north of the island, as an extension of a preexisting dorm we have at our main office. But Sandals is in the south. So we established contracts with local public transportation vehicles to transport these guys north to south and then back again at the end of the day. We were also notified by the local
commercial banking sector that they were getting inundated with these workers, causing long lines. We arranged to bring banking staff onto our site, supported by the HR department, to help the workers open bank accounts so they could access their wages by automatic tellers. These are non-traditional issues, but with the size of the project and the restrictive timeline, we had to hit the ground running and work along with Sandals to find solutions as we went along.” FAST AND FURIOUS Six days after JADA were awarded the contract, they began work. “This is very unusu-
al,” says Mr. Hodkinson. “Normally there’s a mobilization period of four to six weeks on a project of this size. We tendered the work and priced up to a certain point, then we actually started before the final five packages had been finalized and added to the works. We’ve learned a lot as a company, and we were able to come up with ways to use the resources Barbados has to offer in a productive way.” “We’re very proud that with the time constraints on this project, we embraced a new technology,” says Mr. Lewis. “In terms of document control, we abandoned the old, time-proven method of accessing
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JADA GROUP / SANDALS
drawings and the ton of paperwork that normally follows that. Instead we introduced for Sandals a full paperless document management control system called Procore. This was born out of necessity, to come up with an inventive approach to save time and resources. Procore means the guys in the field automatically have updated drawings available to them as they are issued, as opposed to having all of these extra drawings, and having to run back to the office to collect them.” “As long as you have WiFi access on the site, everything’s in real time on one portal,” says Mr. Hodkinson. “It means you can review a detail in real time, identify a problem, mark up the drawing, and issue it to the team, all seamlessly. It’s been a tremendous benefit in terms of efficiency.” ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Sandals Resorts International was one of the first all-inclusive resorts in the world to receive Green Globe 21 environmental
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certification, through their Sandals Negril resort in 1998. “We have a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability in our resort and tourism development operations,” says Mr. Jones. “We remain acutely aware that we have an environmental responsibility, and this is implemented through our Sandals Earthguard program. Each of our resorts has an environmental, health and safety manager who ensures the footprint falls under the levels deemed appropriate by EarthCheck.” Water scarcity is a particular issue in the Caribbean, and Sandals focuses on eliminating water waste. “We reuse gray water for irrigation, and install low flush and altered flush toilets,” says Mr. Jones. “We have low-flow showerheads, aerators, and flow restrictors in taps, as well as a towel reuse policy, which saves a huge amount of water. In terms of construction, when you clear a site, there’s always going to be a loss of some of the plant life. But we have a massive replant program, and we don’t
slash and burn; instead, we reuse. When you walk into the restaurant in the main building, we used the mahogany from the existing resort which we modified.” “The air conditioning for this project is all serviced by a central chilled water system,” says Mr. Hodkinson. “These kinds of systems tend to be far more efficient than running separate stand-alone air conditioning units for each room, and that will reduce the energy demand. We have a huge water cistern for harvesting water for irrigation, which is under the entire tennis court, and cisterns underneath C-block and D-block. There’s LED lighting to reduce power load. Sandals recognize that the benefits are twofold, both in terms of reducing costs, and also placing less strain on the natural resources.” LOCAL FLAVOR Sandals also tries to contribute to the preservation and protection of local wildlife. “On a couple of the beaches where we
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JADA GROUP / SANDALS
have resorts, including Barbados, there are turtle nesting sites,” says Mr. Jones. “We fence those areas off, because already only one in about 300 hatched turtles stand a chance of making it back into the water. So we try to decrease the odds, and protect these turtles once they’re out of the nest going back into the water. Whenever there’s a hatching taking place, we invite the guests to photograph it and share it on social media. There is also the invasive lionfish, which is starting to populate waters in the Caribbean. They can cripple
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or kill just about anything else in the water, and they’re harming a lot of the indigenous species. But if you catch them, the meat is very fleshy, and it comes out really well on a grill. Sandals has put a lionfish cookbook in place, and our chefs will buy lionfish if fishermen catch them and bring them in, to incentivize this.” Sandals emphasizes local produce and supports local farmers. “Barbados has a strong agricultural program, and we’re able to source a lot of the fruits and vegetables from the farm to the table,”
says Mr. Jones. “That puts cash flow and investment into the local economy. The local farmers, the local tour operators, and the local taxi drivers all benefit from this type of development. Then there’s our Sandals Foundation, which has three specific pillars: Community outreach, education, and environment. We sponsor events for schools and sporting events, and we have a youth camp. We’re providing free dental and eyecare clinics for thousands of Caribbean nationals, not only in Barbados but throughout the entire region. We also
THE PROJECT HAS ALLOWED JADA TO DEEPEN THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER BARBADIAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES.
host a weekly Barbados day on the property, and during that day local vendors get a chance to come onsite with craft items for sale. For those customers who don’t want to go on tours and excursions to go shopping, we’re actually going to bring the vendors on resort to be able to sell localized crafts to them. The visitors love it, and it allows us to spread some earnings into the local economy.” COOPERATION AND COMPROMISE “One of the challenges of the project and our contract obligations was the working
time restrictions,” says Mr. Hodkinson. “Sandals has a fully operational hotel next door, and we’re trying to minimize the impact to their guests from dust and noise. That’s not always easy to do when you’re working to a tight timeline. So we tried to ensure that noisier activities like drilling and jackhammering are pushed later on in the day. We also installed a high dust catcher fence, which is at least four stories. Sandals have been great, and they’ve worked with us in certain areas in the interest of our common goal, which is getting the project finished for the end of November.”
“A lot of the foreign workers have come to Barbados, and they expect to work as soon as the sun rises and to work well past sunset, in order to make more money for themselves and to provide remittances to their loved ones,” says Mr. Lewis. “The time restrictions were a challenge in terms of motivating this regional workforce, where they wanted to start work at 7:00 and there were sections where we couldn’t start until 8:30, and then they had to finish early in the evening. A lot of the foreign workers were ready to pack their bags and go back home. But Sandals worked with us, and allowed
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JADA GROUP / SANDALS
us to pull back the start time to 7:30, which helped a lot. We were very impressed by that level of cooperation.” ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY With over 700 workers on one construction site, all of various nationalities, health and safety was a challenge for JADA. “I’m proud to say that enforcement of our policies has been successful,” says Mr. Lewis. “We’ve had very few incidents or accidents, and those we’ve had have been small in nature. In this project, we have enforced a zero-tolerance policy for health and safety. If we find anyone working without personal safety equipment,
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they are escorted off the site, and they’re not permitted to come back without appropriate equipment.” “This approach has been very successful,” says Mr. Hodkinson. “It’s also something we want to build on. As we move forward as a company and work with international entities like Sandals, we want to make sure that we’re in a position to satisfy clients that our standards meet their requirements.” “Clients look for companies who can self-regulate,” says Mr. Lewis. “You can’t just depend on an ISO rating. You must be able to demonstrate that you have homegrown policies and that you support those policies in the field.”
SOLID PARTNERSHIPS The project has allowed JADA to deepen their relationships with other Barbadian construction companies. “These relationships have grown and been strengthened, and this will lead to future cooperation both locally and regionally,” says Mr. Lewis. “The exercise with Sandals has been a very strong learning experience for us. We’ve come to understand what their expectations of value in a project are, and we’re trying to build that relationship with them, perhaps in the future to partner on other projects.” “It’s been a rapid learning curve for a lot of the people working on the project,”
explains Mr. Hodkinson. “It’s taking people from a 50 mile an hour pace to 150 miles an hour, because this is the sharp end of the commercial side of regional construction. So we’ve all worked closely together, and we’ve made sure we can give other entities support wherever we can and assistance wherever needed. It has been a very productive collaboration between ourselves and the local subcontractors and specialists.” “At the end of it all, we will all have raised our standards in terms of being able to produce a quality product under immense deadline-imposed pressure,” says Mr. Lewis.
“And similarly that knock-on effect will benefit these other companies who have been included in the construction work.” DEVELOPING FURTHER Currently, Sandals is looking into another development in Barbados, the introduction of a Beaches Resort. “We’ve got to make sure we get this one open first, and start paying the bills,” says Mr. Jones. “But when it comes to that Beaches development, with the track record that JADA has, I have no doubt that they’d be one of the contractors that are going to be leading in the bidding process.”
“The proudest thing for us has been the opportunity to extend this project to other entities in the island in a soft economy,” says Mr. Lewis. “We’ve been able to share our good fortune, and we’ve been able to show everyone what great Barbadian enterprise is capable of achieving.” “To put it into perspective, the project directly employed over 700 staff and artisans,” says Mr. Hodkinson. “That’s not including the indirect work going on offsite. So it’s been a massive boost to the economy at a time when the market’s been soft, and as a consequence this has proved extremely valuable to all the entities involved.” c
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BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP OF COMPANIES
BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP OF COMPANIES HAVE OPERATIONS SPANNING ROAD STRIPING AND MAINTENANCE, AIRPORT MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT, AND PAVEMENT MAINTENANCE.
EXPERTS Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Atario Mitchell, President of Bahamas Striping Group of Companies, Allen Albury, Managing Director, and Dominic Sturrup, Chairman, about their seventh anniversary, public-private partnerships, and giving back to the community.
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DOMINIC STURRUP AND ATARIO MITCHELL, PRINCIPALS OF BSGC DISCUSSING THE EXPANSION OF THEIR CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS AND THEIR VISION OF PLACING $1,000,000 OF SEED CAPITAL INTO THE INVESTMENT GROUP COMPANY LIMITED, A NEW INITIATIVE, ESTABLISHED TO PROVIDE VENTURE CAPITAL IN THE BAHAMAS.
Saturday, June 10, 2017, marked a pivotal anniversary for Bahamas Striping, a young company that could already boast it’s the leader in road markings and rejuvenation in The Bahamas. Not many seven-year-old companies across the globe could claim to have the full backing of its commander-in-chief. Such is the case for this multimillion dollar, multilayered company which, after weathering ups and downs, is now more successful than ever. “Be assured that you will have 150 percent support of our government,” said Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, in bringing keynote remarks during the company’s seventh anniversary celebrations. “You are not only a center of excellence, you are also a center of hope.” As Dr. Minnis tells it, BSGC, its principals, and staff, make for “an outstanding Bahamian enterprise.” Seven years after their founding, Bahamas Striping has morphed into the Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC) with operations spanning road striping and main-
tenance, airport maintenance and safety management, and pavement maintenance. Bahamas Striping was founded in 2010 by young Bahamian entrepreneur Atario Mitchell. He obtained capital funding from the Self-Starter programme (a government grant) and the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund. Since then, the company has rapidly expanded into a thriving enterprise. Subsidiaries of Bahamas Striping Group include Airport Maintenance Services Limited, Caribbean Pavement Solutions Limited, and Abaco Caribbean Holdings Limited. In 2015, Bahamas Striping Group received a memorandum of understanding (MoU) from the Bahamian government to participate in two large-scale public-private partnership (PPP) projects, upgrading road and airport infrastructure across ten islands. Since Sustainable Business Magazine last spoke to Bahamas Striping Group in 2016 (see issue 4/16 for the full feature), the Group has accelerated its involvement
RECENT ROAD WORKS SHOWING A ROUNDABOUT IN FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND, BAHAMAS.
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BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP OF COMPANIES
THIS PHOTO SHOWS THE CENTERPIECE OF THE NEWLY REFURBISHED FOX HILL PARADE. THE CIRCULAR WAVE-LIKE MURAL IS AN ILLUSIONARY BLUE HOLE, SYMBOLIC OF THE DEEP OCEAN BLUE HOLES FOUND ACROSS THE BAHAMAS AND OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE “CENTER OF LIFE. WORLD FAMOUS BAHAMIAN ARTIST, JAMAAL ROLLE, PAINTED THIS UNIQUE MURAL AS THE FOCAL POINT DURING THE RECENT RENOVATIONS OF THIS GREEN SPACE. THE FOX HILL PARADE SITE WAS ONCE A SLAVE CEMETERY BACK IN THE 1800’S AND SERVES TODAY AS A MEMORIAL CENTRE COMMEMORATING THE PLACE WHERE SLAVES CAME TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE THEIR FREEDOM AFTER LEARNING THE NEWS OF THEIR EMANCIPATION. TODAY, THIS RECREATIONAL PARK REMAINS A CENTER OF LIFE FOR THE FOX HILL COMMUNITY WHERE CELEBRATIONS ARE HELD EACH YEAR BY DESCENDANTS OF THE CONGO, NANGO AND URABA TRIBES ALONG WITH PERSONS JOINING IN THE CELEBRATIONS FROM ALL OVER NEW PROVIDENCE. THIS PARK IS JUST ONE OF SEVERAL PARKS AND SPORTS COURTS THAT WERE A PART OF THE FOX HILL COMMUNITY CENTER PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP). THIS PARK BOAST OF NEWLY INSTALLED PUBLIC WI-FI AND STATE-OFTHE-ART CCTV SYSTEMS WITH MONITORING CAPABILITIES CONNECTED DIRECTLY TO THE LOCAL POLICE STATION.
in PPP projects, has continued investing in local communities, and recently developed a new US$1,000,000 investment group to fund and advise new, small and medium Bahamian enterprises. They also completed their first international project, in the Turks and Caicos Islands (see ‘A Closer Look: Bahamas Striping in Turks and Caicos’ later in this issue for more detail on the Turks and Caicos project). STRONG PARTNERSHIP The linkages between Bahamas Striping Group and The Bahamas government are stronger than ever. Three years ago, the Group began looking into the PPP model of financing projects, and a year ago successfully signed their first PPP with the government. Essentially, the company’s public-private partnership allows the Bahamian government to save money upfront with Bahamas Striping covering its own costs. 16 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Once revenue generating projects are successfully completed, the firm receives returns on its investments. Thus, government gains capital improvement projects without significant financial outlays. The company’s work, in modernizing aging
infrastructure, saves the population time (shortening commutes) and money (less wear and tear on vehicles). “A PPP allows the government to accomplish these capital works without struggling to find the public finance up
PHOTO SHOWS OUR DESCO 200 PAVEMENT REJUVENATION APPLICATOR APPLYING OUR REJUVENATION PRODUCT ON AS A DEMO ON A SAND-SEALED ROAD IN ROCK SOUND, ELEUTHERA. TO MEET THE STRINGENT PRODUCT APPROVAL REQUIREMENT FOR USE ON SAND-SEAL PAVEMENTS IN THE BAHAMAS, WE WERE MANDATED BY THE MINISTRY OF WORKS & URBAN DEVELOPMENT TO CARRY OUT A SERIES OF CORE SAMPLING, PERMEABILITY AND FRICTION TESTING TO DETERMINE THE TECHNICAL VALUE OF THE PRODUCT. INDEPENDENT TESTING LABS IN THE UNITED STATES ANALYZED THE DATA AND CONCLUSIVELY CONFIRMED THAT THE PRODUCT’S PERFORMANCE CLAIMS EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS.
front to fund them,” says Allen Albury, Managing Director of Bahamas Striping Group of Companies. “It means they can engage the private sector who has the expertise and the funding, and so it’s a win-win for everybody.” “The way it started, we won a public tender from the Ministry of Works in The Bahamas for half a million dollars for roads around Nassau,” says Dominic Sturrup, Chairman of Bahamas Striping Group of Companies. “We hired ten local staff, trained them up, and bought new equipment, all so we could start the work immediately. However, after three months, we were informed there were no funds available to complete the work. We thought: ‘We can’t just close down the business.’ So we went to speak to the former chief engineer of the Ministry of Works, David Bullock, and he advised us that we could do a PPP. So now we have a partnership with the government for the roads, where the private share involves fixing the potholes, striping the roads, and also adding sidewalks and solar street lighting. There’s a major safety benefit to both Bahamians and tourists from having properly-maintained, well-lit roads, and because the solar lights have
PHOTO SHOWS ATARIO MITCHELL, PRESIDENT OF BSGC TAKING HIS USUAL HANDS ON APPROACH IN TRAINING A CADRE OF NEW STAFF. BSGC IS KNOWN FOR ITS COMMITMENT OF PROVIDING YOUNG MEN WITH A SECOND CHANCE THROUGH EMPLOYMENT AND EMPOWERMENT.
a twenty-year warranty, the government saves in the long run because they don’t have to pay a substantial electricity bill.” “Especially in our country, PPP offers a great opportunity for Bahamians to partner in making the country better,” says Atario Mitchell, President of Bahamas Striping Group of Companies. “It’s a good way to
improve our structures, and it ensures that money stays in the country, and people are provided employment.” COMMUNITY CENTER Today, Abaco Caribbean Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Bahamas Striping Group, has a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with
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BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP OF COMPANIES BSGC INTRODUCED THE FIRST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY COLD PATCH ASPHALT REPAIR MIX TO THE BAHAMAS 4 YEARS AGO AND HOLD DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS FOR THE BAHAMAS AND THE CARIBBEAN REGION.
PHOTO SHOWS A COLD PATCH REPAIR THAT WAS INSTALLED MORE THAN FOUR YEARS AGO.
TODAY THE REPAIRED REMAINS IN TACK.
the Bahamian government to build a community center and refurbish parks and sports courts in Fox Hill, Nassau. “It’s a phased project,” explains Mr. Sturrup. “The first phase is two million dollars, and that’s a community center with an Olympic-size swimming pool.
We funded the project, and what gives us a great sense of pride is that we only had 27 days to complete this project, with 47 subcontractors and 171 people working. Nobody thought it would be finished on time, and we’ve been able to do so. Fox
Hill is a place with some challenges, so the purpose of the community center is to get young people away from problems and give them tutoring and training with computers, as well as training in conflict resolution. Now people who wouldn’t typically go in Fox Hill will go there to use the pool.” “What this project shows is that once we’re given an opportunity, we can deliver a high-quality product on time,” says Dr. Albury. “The engagement with all the subcontractors and the co-ordination that was required pushed us into another level of project management expertise. When the building was unveiled, the Governor General was there, the Prime Minister was there, the Deputy Prime Minister, members of the cabinet, and various members of the Inter-American Development Bank, who co-funded portions of the work. We think it reflects very well on our company, and how we have grown over the past seven years.” INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE Bahamas Striping Group is fast becoming an industry leader when it comes to promoting renewable energy solutions for projects. For the company, it’s only logical to incorporate
WITH MORE THAN 700 ISLANDS MAKING UP THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS, THE GOVERNMENT IS CHALLENGED WITH HAVING TO DUPLICATE INFRASTRUCTURE THROUGHOUT ITS VARIOUS ISLANDS. THIS PHOTO SHOWS A ROAD IN ONE OF THE FAMILY ISLANDS WHERE STANDARD REFLECTIVE ROAD STUDS (CAT EYES) ARE A CRITICAL MEANS TO PROVIDING SAFER ROADS.IN ADDITION TO STANDARD CAT EYES, AS OF JULY 2017, BSGC WILL BEGIN INSTALLING SOLAR REFLECTIVE ROAD STUDS.
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BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP IS FAST BECOMING AN INDUSTRY LEADER WHEN IT COMES TO PROMOTING RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS FOR PROJECTS.
PHOTO SHOWS KELLY HOME CENTER (FREEPORT LTD). REHABILITATION WORKS TO RESTORE THEIR PARKING LOT. WORKS INCLUDED, CRACK REPAIR, POTHOLE PATCHING, PAVEMENT REJUVENATION AND STRIPING. OUR PAVEMENT REJUVENATION, UNLIKE OTHERS, SEALS, PENETRATES, PROTECTS, ADDS LASTING CURB APPEAL AND COMES WITH A 3 YEAR PERFORMANCE WARRANTY.
solar-powered, reflective road studs (cat eyes), and solar/LED streetlights into their product offerings. “We’ve been integrating more renewable energy options into our proposals and initiatives which we provide our clients,” says Dr. Albury. “At the Fox Hill Community Center, for example, they intended to have a diesel generator, but we engaged the clients in conversation and they’ve opted for a full solarization of the building, allowing the public electricity company to serve as a redundancy provider. Another example is our solar/LED streetlights push. These are the kinds of initiatives that we’re incorporating as we go forward.
Countries across the Caribbean face similar challenges. Governments are looking at ways to save, and certainly we have an abundance of sunshine in our region. It makes practical sense that we should become regional leaders in renewable energy.” Additionally, Bahamas Striping invested in new equipment. “We bought a new state-of-the-art striping machine called the Graco 200HS Prime,” says Mr. Mitchell. “It speeds up productivity, particularly for airport and highway work, by allowing you to put down two different colors at the same time, and it comes with a pressurized bead-dispenser system.”
For the future, the company’s is banking on its growing, superior track record to secure even more jobs. “Road rejuvenation and cold patch repairs were relatively new to our market when we began. Funds were scarce to repave roads, which would cost millions. Rejuvenation offered a viable repair option,” recalls Mr Sturrup. “We quieted the critics and are now able to point to our first jobs, as indisputable proof that our products works. The repairs are holding strong. Our rejuvenation product line not only saved the government money, but also continues to save lives, especially, on winding, rural roads.”
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BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP OF COMPANIES
In one particular 2014 project, Bahamas Striping flew into another Bahama Island, South Eleuthera, to execute a number of road safety elements in the wake of stirring road traffic fatalities. “We partnered
20 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
with the island administrator and local community stakeholders to rejuvenate, stripe, install standard reflective cat eyes and reflective street signage on a notoriously dangerous curve,” says Mr Sturrup.
“To date, local authorities have only reported one, none-fatal traffic accident at this location. We feel that speaks to the impact of our work.” HONORING A MENTOR However, the company’s investments go deeper than equipment and technology. When the company was first starting up, the Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture, Charles Maynard, who had oversight of Self-Starter, took a particular interest in Bahamas Striping, providing advice and wisdom, and celebrating with the founders when the company was launched and later when it began to achieve success. In 2012, however, Mr. Maynard died suddenly. In a show of gratitude, and to invest in the future of the nation’s youth, this year the Group announced the establishment of the Charles Maynard Educational Scholarship Fund, a $50,000 scholarship to be distrib-
have shown what creativity, commitment, and hard work can achieve in a very, very short space of time, with very little.” THE NEXT GENERATION In response to the challenges they faced over the course of their start-up, Bahamas Striping Group of Companies has also established a new Investment Group, intended to serve as a means for the next generation of Bahamian entrepreneurs to access capital and business expertise. Chaired by Felix Stubbs, and co-chaired by Mick Holding, the Investment Group will provide capital from $50,000 to $150,000, as well as a bank of experts in accounting, law, marketing, human resources, and operations, to provide support to new businesses. “We are not just going to give them the money,” Mr. Sturrup said in a press release announcing the launch of the initiative. “This isn’t a grant. This is a business
uted over five years to young Bahamians chosen by the Maynard family. A symbolic check was accepted by Andrew and Isadora Maynard, Charles’s parents, and the minister’s youngest daughter Chana, at Bahamas Striping Group’s seventh anniversary celebrations. “We never expected this to come about but now I intend to sit down with the Minister of Education and see how we can make that money do the most for the most people,” said Andrew Maynard at the time. “We have a lot of young people who have fallen through the cracks through the years.” It’s these types of philanthropic gestures for which the company is fast becoming known. “Business is not just about making a profit it is about being good corporate citizens and helping those who may not be able to do for themselves,” deputy Prime Minister, Peter Turnquest has said in his praise of the seven-year-old company. “These gentlemen
where we are looking towards making a healthy ROI.” Mr. Sturrup described the Investment Group as a cross between the government’s Self-Starter grant and the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund. Maria Florencia Attademo-Hirt, Bahamas’ representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), spoke at Bahamas Striping’s seventh anniversary celebrations. “No country big or small can make it without committed private sector participation and this is what this company is about,” she said. “We are here to say count on us as a partner. I’m sure we’ll find a project to work together.” c In Memoriam of Mr Charles Maynard. A true Nationalist, a man who loved his country and supported Bahamians from every walk of life.
PHOTO SHOWS MR. WALTERS (HUSBAND OF CUBAN AMBASSADOR) ATARIO MITCHELL, PRESIDENT OF BSGC, DR. THE HON. HUBERT A. MINNIS, PRIME MINISTER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS AND RESIDENT AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA TO THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS HER EXCELLENCY ISMARA MERCEDES VARGAS WALTER TAKING A MOMENT TO POSE AT DURING BSGC’S 7TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS.
PHOTO SHOWS MR. & MRS. ANDREW “DUDD” MAYNARD AND CHARNAE MAYNARD RECEIVING A $50,000 CHECK FROM THE PRINCIPALS OF BSGC IN HONOR OF THE LATE CHARLES MAYNARD, FORMER STATE MINISTER WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SUPPORTING THE VISION OF BAHAMAS STRIPING FROM ITS INCEPTION.
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BAHAMAS STRIPING IN TURKS AND CAICOS
BAHAMAS STRIPING GROUP MAKES SUBSTANTIAL INVESTMENTS IN TRAINING STAFF, AND THEY CARRIED THIS COMMITMENT WITH THEM TO TURKS AND CAICOS.
A CLOSER LOOK
BAHAMAS STRIPING IN
TURKS AND CAICOS Sustainable Business Magazine also spoke to Mr. Mitchell, Dr. Albury, and Mr. Sturrup, about a major international collaboration in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
When Bahamas Striping Group last spoke to Sustainable Business Magazine in 2016 (see issue 4/16 for the full feature), they 22 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
were looking for opportunities to expand their operations beyond the Bahamas to other Caribbean countries. Later that year,
they found that opportunity. In addition to the Group’s other accomplishments of the last year (see ‘The Striping Experts’ earlier
us to go down and do the work. It was originally two and a half miles for the original project, but the project got extended, so in total we did just under four miles of striping. That included center lines, cat’s eyes, pedestrian crossings, a roundabout, give way signs, and rumble strips.” The Bahamas doesn’t have a direct shipping line to the Turks and Caicos Islands, so Bahamas Striping shipped their equipment first to Miami and then onwards to Turks and Caicos. “That process was twelve to fifteen days either way,” says Mr. Mitchell. “That was the major logistical challenge. Of course, once we got on the ground, it’s pretty much the same thing we do here in the Bahamas.” “The important thing to us is ensuring the correct international standards were
being adhered to,” explains Dr. Albury. “We’ve always been governed by those, and being in another country makes no difference for us. That includes the training aspect as well.” CONSISTENT APPROACH At home, Bahamas Striping Group makes substantial investments in training staff, and they carried this commitment with them to Turks and Caicos. “We were very pleased to be able to hire locals on the project,” says Dr. Albury. “It was a great opportunity for them to be trained on the latest equipment and to international standards. The newly-elected Premier of the country actually came to the jobs site to highlight the training and the opportunities being provided to young people.”
ROAD WORKS COMPLETED IN GRAND TURKS, TURKS & CAICOS ISLAND.
in this issue for Bahamas Striping Group’s other recent activities), they undertook their first major international project, striping an upgraded road in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Along the way, they faced a new set of challenges, offered training to local people, and worked on development projects in the community. LIGHTHOUSE ROAD In 2016, Rhone Kelly Island Drilling was awarded a contract by the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Works to upgrade Lighthouse Road in Grand Turks. When searching for a striping company, Mr. Kelly came across Bahamas Striping Group. “He got in touch with us, and we took him to one of our job sites,” says Atario Mitchell, President of Bahamas Striping Group. “He was impressed enough that he contracted SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
BAHAMAS STRIPING IN TURKS AND CAICOS
WE BELIEVE WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO GIVE BACK, AND TO SHARE OUR BLESSINGS WITH THE COMMUNITY.
AFTER PHOTO TAKEN AT THE OVERBECK BASKETBALL COURT IN GRAND TURK, TURKS & CAICOS ISLAND. THIS WAS THE FIRST 649 BASKETBALL COURT IN THE TURKS & CAICOS. THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF BAHAMAS STRIPING WHO IN KEEPING WITH ITS CORPORATE PHILOSOPHY OF GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITY OPTED TO CONTINUING THIS COMMITMENT WHILE CARRYING OUT ITS FIRST INTERNATIONAL PROJECT IN THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS.
Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson was quoted in the Nassau Guardian saying of the striping work: “I’m very, very impressed with the work I see here.” “A big source of pride for us was we were able to take two young Bahamians over with us to train the local people,” says Dominic Sturrup, Chairman of Bahamas Striping Group. “These young men didn’t finish school, don’t have a high school diploma, but they were training people how to do road striping to international standards.” “One other thing we always do is, every time we do a job, we look to give back,” says Mr. Mitchell. “So we located a basket24 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ball court in the area, Overbeck Basketball Court, and we went back and upgraded it with markings, all for free, and did it in the colors of the Turks and Caicos flag. We call our courts in the Bahamas 242, because of the area code, so we labelled this court as 694, as a Turks and Caicos area code.” SHARING THE WEALTH “Here in the Bahamas, sometimes a foreign company will come in, do the work themselves, and leave with all the money and all the expertise,” says Mr. Sturrup. “We have a different approach, which is about being a part of the community. So when we go to Grand Turks, we want to hire local staff
and train them in how to do the work, lay the project, stripe the project, service and maintain the machines, so that in several years’ time, we can leave local people in charge of the business. That’s one of the reasons we do the basketball courts, too. We have a well-respected name for giving back to the community and doing good for a good cause. When school was out in Turks and Caicos, the kids would actually come to the court and watch what we were doing, and ask us questions about it.” “What gave us a great sense of pride working in Turks and Caicos was that people were aware of our company and our brand,” says Mr. Sturrup. “Whenever
NEWLY REFURBISHED OVERBECK BASKETBALL COURT.
“This has always been part of the vision,” says Mr. Mitchell. “We expect this project to be the first of many. We’re now looking at setting up an office in Turks and Caicos, because we see a lot of opportunities down there in our field, and we expect that to be a stepping stone to the rest of the Caribbean. In the future, we want to have equipment in Turks and Caicos, so we’re looking to upgrade our fleet here in the Bahamas and send the equipment we already have here over there.”
“We’re looking at a growing market share across the Caribbean in all the various disciplines of the Group,” says Dr. Albury. “We’re now well underway in terms of establishing a presence in Turks and Caicos, which would be at the forefront of our activities. Then beyond that, we’re also looking at other Caribbean islands. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short time already, and we’re looking forward to whatever new opportunities the future holds, across the entire region.” c
PHOTO SHOWS BAHAMIAN STAFF, TEIKO MOSS, ATARIO MITCHELL, PRESIDENT OF BSGC, MADAM SHARLENE CARTWRIGHT-ROBINSON, PREMIER OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLAND AND CAMERON GARDINER, NORTH CAICOS ISLANDED HIRED BY BAHAMAS TO CARRY OUT THE 649 BASKETBALL COURT MAKEOVER. PREMIER OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS IS SEEN ON THE OVERBECK BASKETBALL COURT THAT RECEIVE A FULL MAKEOVER.
we went to restaurants or bars, people had heard of us, and they knew what we were doing. We’re now considering setting up shop in Turks and Caicos. We would hire six local staff in Grand Turks and six in Provo, and train them to do the work. We want to make sure when we work in other countries, we become an active part of the country. We believe we have a responsibility to give back, and to share our blessings with the community.” PERMANENT OFFICE After the success of the Turks and Caicos project, Bahamas Striping Group expect to continue reaching out across the Caribbean. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CEMENTING THE FUTURE
Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Vicente Saisó, Corporate Director of Sustainability at CEMEX S.A.B. de CV, about emissions reduction, social and inclusive businesses, and the importance of transparency.
CEMEX, a Mexico-based multinational cement company, started out in 1906 as a small cement factory in Northern Mexico called Cementos Hidalgo. In 1920, Cementos Portland Monterrey opened, and when the two companies merged in 1931, they renamed themselves Cementos Mexicanos, or CEMEX. In the 1980s, by acquiring other local manufacturers, CEMEX became the largest cement company in Mexico, and in 1992, the company made its first major international acquisition, purchasing operations in Spain. Today, CEMEX is present in 50 countries, with 41,000 employees globally. They are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, and some of their regional/local subsidiaries on the stock exchanges in Colombia and the Philippines. 26 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CEMEX is involved in three main products: Cement, ready-mix concrete, and aggregates. The company’s core business is cement production, for which they have an annual capacity of close to 90 million tons. They also produce 52 million cubic meters of ready-mix concrete, and 151 million tons of aggregate. In all three categories, CEMEX is among the largest companies in the world. SUSTAINABILITY MODEL Recently, CEMEX developed a new global model for incorporating sustainability into their business at all levels. “The Sustainability Model is a framework to explain to both our internal and external audiences the way we perceive sustainability, and how we have
organized ourselves to embed sustainable development into the strategy and day to day operations of the company,” explains Vicente Saisó, Corporate Director of Sustainability at CEMEX. “The model has four pillars – economic, environmental, social, and governance – and each pillar has three or four priorities of action which we make sure are being pursued throughout CEMEX, in every country we’re present in.” The economic pillar of CEMEX’s Sustainability Model refers to providing sustainable solutions to the market. “This means either providing sustainable products and services themselves, or helping construction projects to be sustainable,” says Mr. Saisó. “Then our environmental pillar is about trying to enable a low-carbon, resource-efficient industrial
imately 5% of total global CO2 emissions. “The industry recognized this many years ago,” says Mr. Saisó. “For close to twenty years, we have been working with other companies in our industry as part of the Cement Sustainability Initiative, which was created within the framework of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We know we are in an energy-intensive industry that has an impact on climate change and the environment, and we do several things to reduce that footprint.” One major way CEMEX is striving to reduce CO2 emissions is by substituting fossil fuels. “To produce cement, we heat limestone in our kilns to 1,400 to 1,500 degrees centigrade,” says Mr. Saisó. “Traditionally, our industry used fossil fuels to do that. We’ve been able to substitute part of those fossil fuels with waste coming out of several processes, including industrial waste, municipal waste, and agricultural waste. In 2016, CEMEX had 23% substitution, and in 2017, we’re on track to reach a higher percentage. We can also use cementitious products to reduce the amount of clinker we produce with each ton of cement. That means using waste from other
industries, like fly ash from thermoelectric power generators and slag from the steel industry, to mix in and be part of our final cement product. This reduces our clinker, and therefore our CO2 emissions.” ENERGY EFFICIENT Over the last twenty-five years, technology used in the cement industry has evolved to prioritize energy and resource efficiency. “In our industry, we all compare to 1990, when the Kyoto Protocol established a baseline,” says Mr. Saisó. “That allows us to measure all the changes we have undergone to our practices, processes, and technology. Compared to 1990, CEMEX has been able to reduce our CO2 emissions per ton of product by 20%. We’re on track to reach 25% reduction by 2020.” As the world’s human population has grown over the last quarter-century, and as markets have expanded, CEMEX has seen a corresponding growth in demand. “The general effort worldwide is to decouple economic growth with the growth in CO2 emissions,” says Mr. Saisó. “All our markets grew from 1990 to the current year, so we have delivered 21% more cement product
process within our operations. The third pillar is about having a close relationship with the communities we interact with, which led us to develop a high-impact social strategy to empower the communities around our factories and help them develop. And the final pillar, which is not very traditional in terms of sustainability, is related to governance. That means how we’re organized internally, what policies and controls we have to make sure our core values are embedded in our actions, and ensuring a strong code of ethics which applies not only to us but also our business partners.” ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT Carbon footprint is a key issue for the cement industry, which produces approxSUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CARBON FOOTPRINT IS A KEY ISSUE FOR THE CEMENT INDUSTRY, WHICH PRODUCES APPROXIMATELY 5% OF TOTAL GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS.
to the market. But, as a result of our use of alternative fuels, reducing our clinker factor, and increasing energy efficiency in all our factories, our absolute CO2 emissions in 2016, compared to 1990, has reduced by 4%. We’re very proud of this significant achievement, which demonstrates how we’ve been able to decouple our growth from our carbon footprint.” CUSTOMER VALUES CEMEX’s Sustainability Model aims to find ways to help customers in the construction
industry operate sustainably. “If you add up all the buildings in the world, and you quantify the energy used to heat them, cool them, and illuminate them, that’s between 30 and 40% of the total energy consumed worldwide,” says Mr. Saisó. “We work proactively to make our customers aware of the different things they can do to develop more efficient construction projects. That can mean building more resilient, low-impact infrastructure that is durable and lasts longer. Or it can mean buildings that are more efficient in resource consumption in the construction
phase and at the use phase. We have a CO2 footprint tool for our products, and environmental product declarations for our products. We also provide green building services to customers, so if a customer wants to achieve LEED or BREEAM certification, we have the capabilities to help them do that.” CEMEX has a series of KPIs they use to measure project sustainability. “KPIs make these things easier and clearer to understand,” says Mr. Saisó. “We have categorized our products, identifying those which have specific characteristics which make them more sustainable than others. 33% of our ready-mix product portfolio is products with these characteristics. We currently have 9.7 million square meters of construction happening where our products are part of a solution which will be part of a third-party-certified sustainable building.” COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT The cornerstone of CEMEX’s social sustainability efforts is their high-impact social strategy. “One of our main initiatives within that pillar is what we call ‘social and inclusive businesses’,” says Mr. Saisó. “The traditional way companies contribute to communities is the philanthropic effort, where you provide assistance. We do that, but we’ve also created social and inclusive businesses, which is where, whatever the benefit we’re trying to provide to a community, we try to
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CEMEX them become self-employed and self-sustainable. This idea of self-sustainability is important to us. Our social strategy has evolved beyond the traditional philanthropic assistance format because philanthropy is not sustainable if one day the source of the money is not there. We’ve tried to move towards things which will stay there regardless of economic conditions and whether we continue to supply funds.”
make it financially sustainable over time. This means it can self-finance and become a business which the community takes over and continues.” CEMEX has several different kinds of social and inclusive businesses which they implement. “One which has been very successful is we set up a small concrete block manufacturing facility,” says Mr. Saisó. “We provide the materials, and there’s equipment so that concrete blocks can be produced by people in the local community for the improvement of their homes. The blocks can also be sold in the community or neighboring communities to make a profit, which makes the business self-sustainable. We now have more than 150 of these businesses in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. They’re quickly expanding, because we’ve found a way to make them replicable.” EMPOWERMENT FOR THE DISADVANTAGED Another program is called Patrimonio Hoy, which provides low-income people with financing, materials, and support to help them build or improve their homes. “This program has the biggest number of beneficiaries of all our social programs,” says Mr. Saisó. “We provide all the materials, some financing, and technical assistance. People 30 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
save part of the money, then they classify to get involved in the program, and we deliver the product locally from a CEMEX distributor. This has worked very well, and it has also become a self-funding initiative. We have a very high recovery rate from those loans.” A third program focuses on women and the young in developing countries. “We have training and development programs and community centers for these groups at many of our cement factories,” says Mr. Saisó. “We help empower these diverse populations, and give them opportunities to gain skills, with the final objective to help
SUSTAINABLE GOVERNANCE The fourth pillar of CEMEX’s sustainability strategy is governance. “We now have a Sustainability Committee at the level of the Board of Directors,” says Mr. Saisó. “Three board members are part of this committee, and we conduct quarterly review meetings. This means the responsibility for sustainability comes from the highest entity in our management, and they give us the mandate to ensure sustainability is embedded in our business. This has become very relevant in the last two years, when a lot of insightfull things have come out of those meetings.” CEMEX also has an internal system called ETHOS, which provides ethical guidance, ethics courses, access to global and local policies, advice and tools for employees confronted with ethical dilemmas, and which promotes awareness of the implications of misconduct. “We communicate our code of ethics to all our employees, as well as to our business partners,” says Mr. Saisó. “We also have many ways people can alerts us to possible violations of our code of ethics, and a process to review that information and act on violations. We keep track of all these cases, and we try to make that as transparent as possible in our external reporting. We have a line open where somebody can go directly to our
WE WANT TO ALWAYS IMPROVE OUR PUBLIC COMMUNICATION, SO PERCEPTION ON HOW CEMEX IS DOING IN SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS IS ALWAYS CLEAR TO EVERYBODY.
Board of Directors and complain, to bypass the channel of management. We also do extensive training in anti-corruption and anti-trust, particularly in countries where this is a consideration. All of this reinforces a culture where people are willing to share with us complaints and things which in their view are not right. We’re also currently in the process of doing a self-assessment on our human rights compliance throughout the world, which we will be able to report next year.” INTEGRATED REPORT In 2016, CEMEX produced their first integrated report, combining in a single document both their traditional annual report focusing on financial results and their sustainable development report, which used to be a separate document. “It’s one document targeted to both financial and general audiences,” says Mr. Saisó. “We tried not to fall into the trap of just cutting and pasting two documents together. Instead, we ran through an exercise of how better to explain our value creation model. There’s no actual difference now between what we do for financial purposes, to achieve profitability, and what we
do in sustainability matters. They’re all part of the same strategy. The integrated report is a framework of how everything works together, and how we create value not only for our shareholders, but also for employees, clients, suppliers, and our communities.” KEY PRIORITIES Several years ago, CEMEX created and published a series of sustainability targets, and the company uses these targets to monitor progress every year. “Our ready-mix product portfolio has 33% of products with sustainable attributes,” says Saisó. “We’re proud of that, because it wasn’t something the market was demanding, but we’ve been able to create part of the demand. Our alternative fuel rate is at 23%, and will become better this year. We’ve reduced our carbon emissions per ton of cement by 20% from 1990. We also closely monitor three other gases in our air emissions, and compared to 2005 our dust emissions have been reduced by 78%, our NOx emissions are down 26%, and we’ve reduced our SOx emissions 61%. Since 1998, when we started our high-impact social strategy programs, we estimate we have benefited 12.6 million people, with
a target of 15 million people by 2020. We’ve also been able to reduce our lost time injury rate per million hours’ work to 0.6, which is the lowest rate in our industry.” CEMEX is shortly to begin an internal exercise to develop long-term targets for 2025 and 2030. “We want to maintain ambitious targets and make sure what we achieve in 2020 doesn’t stay there,” says Mr. Saisó. “We believe we have to try to make our best practice standards as homogenous as possible in all of our operations across different markets. As a part of the Cement Sustainability Initiative, we created performance indicators and committed ourselves to be verified by third parties. So there’s a very intense competition in sustainability matters in our industry, and there’s a lot of transparency. An analyst can look at everyone’s reports and compare the indicators, and they can make an objective assessment of who is doing a better job. We are committed to maintaining that transparency and to increasing it. We want to always improve our public communication, so perception on how CEMEX is doing in sustainability matters is always clear to everybody. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
EDGECHEM IS THE ONLY EXCLUSIVELY JAMAICAN-OWNED PAINT MANUFACTURING COMPANY OFFERING A FULL LINE OF PRODUCTS.
A COLOURFUL MELLISSA MCHARGH, GENERAL MANAGER, EDGECHEM JAMAICA.
HISTORY Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Mellissa McHargh, General Manager of Edgechem Jamaica, about how a small furniture finish company started out in inner city Kingston, and grew into a successful brand.
Edgechem is a paint manufacturer and distributor based in Jamaica. Founded in 1990 in Kingston’s economically depressed Olympic Way community, the company started out manufacturing furniture finishes, later expanding to add automotive, industrial, and decorative lines. Over the course of these changes, Edgechem has grown from a two-employee operation into a large company with over 200 staff, three off-site warehouses, and 20 off-site retail stores. It is the only company in the Caribbean manufacturing a full automotive line of finishes. 32 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
In addition to manufacturing and distributing its own products, Edgechem is a distributor for the Dutch paint company AkzoNobel. The two firms’ products complement each other, and diversifying in this way gives Edgechem’s operations a degree of long-term security. WINDS OF CHANGE After starting out making furniture finishes, Edgechem grew steadily through the 1990’s and early 2000’s, developing industrial and automotive lines. Business was going
well until a major hurricane swept through Jamaica in 2005. In the aftermath of the storm, Edgechem’s sales plummeted. Even more perplexingly, competing paint companies continued to make good profits. It was a puzzle the company had to figure out quickly. Edgechem’s General Manager, Mellissa McHargh explains what the company’s market research revealed: “If you understand how the automotive paint industry works in the Caribbean, most of our garages are open air, or ‘under-the-tree’ as we call them. When you have had a hurricane and the air
is still moist, it is not conducive to repairing the paint job on a car. So that was why our sales fell. “The only difference between us and our competition was that they had decorative products. After the hurricane, all the people were repairing, so our competitors had a boost in their decorative sales to carry them through. That was when we took the decision to create our own decorative line of finishes, to provide some stability if anything like that ever happened again.” Edgechem did not count on its precautionary measure taking on a life of its own.
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“We decided that we would promote a white finish, and one other popular color. Boy, were we wrong,” says Ms. McHargh. “We ended up having to launch a full line of colors because the market just gravitated to the product.” The company believes the popularity of its decorative line was down to value-for-money. “A lot of the brands on the market were high-end premium brands, and we came in with an economy-line brand, but not one that was cheap,” explains Ms. McHargh. “Our target performance was 70% that of a premium paint. So when people discovered our product, they were impressed.” Edgechem’s sales skyrocketed, and the company experienced five years of rapid growth. “It kind of caught us with our pants down,” says Ms.
McHargh, “because this was something we were just adding to help us along, and all of a sudden we had to ask, ‘this is changing the focus of the business, is this where we want to go?’” Ultimately, Edgechem made major infrastructural changes to support the new decorative line. “We had to engage local retailers and encourage them to carry the new products. Later, we introduced the line to our own retail shops, which were predominantly automotive. That meant we had to go through a complete retraining of our staff, and we had to change the whole look and feel of our operations,” says Ms. McHargh. “What’s more, decorative paint requires much more storage space. Automotive paint lasts customers a long time, because people combine different paints
11125 NW 29 Street Miami, FL 33172 Tel: (305) 591-5601 www.andeschem.com
PROVIDER OF SPECIALTY CHEMICALS THROUGHOUT LATIN AMERICA. OVER 30 YEARS OF INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS AND LOGISTICS FOR SPECIALTY CHEMICALS.
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to make a final color, and they can use the same paint in several mixes. By contrast, decorative paint is a one-use thing. If a customer is going to paint a wall, they buy a gallon of the color they want. To accommodate the entire inventory, we needed for the new line, we ended up getting three off-site warehouses, and restructuring our different retail locations.” ‘THE FEMALE PAINT COMPANY’ Through all of these transitions, Edgechem has been steered by its Managing Director Doreen Frankson. One of four partners — the others being Errol Powell, William McLeod, and Geoffrey Messado—Ms. Frankson is the company’s lead visionary. “The company was her idea,” says Ms. McHargh. “The other partners invested in support of her,
WHOLESALE CHEMICALS N orchem I ndustrial C orporation 16333 M alibu D rive , W eston , FL 33326 P hone : (954) 252-9445 C ontact : M r J ohn A. C halmers , P resident E mail : norchemindustrial @ gmail . com
WE BEND BACKWARDS FOR YOU
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Address: 66a Brunswick Avenue, Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica W.I. Tel.876 984 1144; 876 622 6930; 876 622 6938 Fax 876 631 5359 • Email firstname.lastname@example.org 4 Olympic Way, Kingston, Jamaica W.I. Tel: (876) 901-8846, (876) 923-1171, 923-6599 • Fax: (876) 758-3023 email@example.com
www.lithomedia.com • PAINT & COATINGS • CONCRETE & CEMENT • ADHESIVES • INKS & PLASTICS • BASIC CHEMICALS • WATER & PAPER TREATMENT
We bring a high level of service and code of ethics which both our customers and suppliers can rely on. Our head office is well located in Miami, Florida and we have also been highly successful establishing a shipping hub out of Istanbul, Turkey, where the consolidation and loading of various raw materials takes place into seagoing containers for ultimate destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. In today’s global economy, these far flung locations, allow us to take advantage of prices and quality materials from both the East and the West, allowing us to deliver first quality materials at competitive prices with dedicated customer service. Highlander Trading Corp. 11305 N. W. 122nd Street, Suite 1, Medley, FL 33178, USA Telephone: (305) 463-7000 • Fax: (305) 463-7070 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.hightrade.com SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
and they trust her wholeheartedly in taking the company to where she sees it.” Formerly, the head of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association and described by Ms. McHargh as a “nice little hurricane,” Ms. Frankson exemplifies how women shine in leadership at Edgechem. Indeed, over 60% of the company’s top management are women. “Jamaica is one of the best places for females to work, and Edgechem is contributing to that,” says Ms. McHargh. COST-EFFECTIVE INNOVATION Ms. Frankson herself heads Edgechem’s R&D department, where a team of chemists tests the latest raw materials and technologies for paint and coating. “Our economy
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in this country is not rich, so we have to be practical and give our customers value for money,” says Ms. McHargh. “That means quality as well as affordability. I will share an example with you: For years, customers asked us to make a priming paint. We said ‘no,’ because in Jamaica, people expect a priming paint to be their cheapest coat — and we know that in fact your priming paint should be your best coat. Your primer provides the adhesion required for the perfect paint job.” “Finally a few years back, we decided to make the primer. But, we wanted to give it some protection and still be able to sell it affordably. That was a chore. Our R&D team combed through raw materials. It took
some time, but ultimately we were able to deliver a product that met our requirements for quality, met the market need, and was very cost-effective.” SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY Edgechem continuously tests and improves its safety and efficiency measures. “We hold regular training seminars and drills. We make sure that each line supervisor understands the risk of different operations, and that staff are following safe industry best practices, including wearing their personal protective equipment,” says Ms. McHargh. “We are continually improving our processes to make sure that nobody is put at risk, and that operations
are running efficiently. We do time and motion studies all the time to see how long it takes to complete tasks, whether we can save some time here or there.” The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), the country’s standards body for management systems, currently certifies three of Edgechem’s decorative paints. Edgechem is not yet ISO-certified, but given that BSJ draws its guidelines from ISO 9001:2008, the company envisions an easy transition to ISO certification in the future. ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY Edgechem believes environmental responsibility is worth investing in. “We were the first paint company in Jamaica to put in a sedimentation tank for our wash waste,” says Ms. McHargh. “The tank takes out a lot of sediments that would have gone into the natural environment. Additionally, we do not use lead or other hazardous products in our paint. If there is any research showing that a material is carcinogenic, we eliminate it.” Edgechem is regulated by Jamaica’s National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA).
SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES As its fortunes have risen, Edgechem has sought to give back to the communities that have helped it succeed. The company focuses its supports on youth living in the areas surrounding its 24 locations — including the inner city communities of Olympic Gardens and Waterhouse, near its original headquarters on Olympic Way. “We work with local associations, schools, and the constabulary,” says Ms. McHargh. “For example, in the area where our main factory is located, we partner with other businesses to do a back-to-school program. We buy books and uniforms for children who have been put forward for sponsorship, so they have the resources they need to focus and succeed in school. We also help with refurbishing youth homes and classrooms. You would be surprised how a clean coat of paint in a classroom can change a child’s focus.” PROUDLY JAMAICAN There is obvious pride in Ms. McHargh’s voice as she says that Edgechem is the only exclusively Jamaican-owned paint manufacturing company offering a full line
of products. “We are an extremely patriotic company,” she says. “We believe in trying to create opportunities here in Jamaica, and we encourage our customers to recognize that about us. None of our earnings are expatriated. We pay taxes and earn for Jamaica. We are proud to say that everything we have done, we have done as Jamaicans.” This proud Jamaican company currently exports its products to other Caribbean countries including Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Dominica, and Antigua. Looking into the future, Edgechem has its sights set on Latin American markets. But for now, it is focusing on expanding its automotive line of products — with a new premium automotive refinishing system coming this year. c
HIGHLANDER TRADING CORP. Recently, through our U.K. based subsidiary Hightrade International Limited, we have expanded our product and industry portfolios to service new market segments such as latex based adhesives, hot melt adhesives, construction chemicals, personal care and household care products throughout our traditional market region. This is the next step in our continued growth to be one of the premier suppliers to industry in our region.
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Distributors for Edgechem Ltd Porters , St.James, Barbados • 246 537-6657
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NOBLE MOUNTAIN TREE FARM
IN 2011, NOBLE MOUNTAIN WAS NAMED A SOCIALLY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE FARM (SERF), AND TO THIS DAY REMAINS THE ONLY MAJOR COMPANY IN ITS INDUSTRY TO HOLD SERF CERTIFICATION.
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PURSUIT Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Bob Schaefer, General Manager of Noble Mountain Tree Farm, about helicopter harvesting, water retention, and employee benefits.
Noble Mountain Tree Farm is one of the world’s largest wholesale suppliers of Christmas trees. Based in Western Oregon, the company was established in 1969 with 1100 acres of land as an experimental pilot project by a major timber company to see if it was possible to create a commercial farm for Christmas trees. As Noble Mountain began building a reputation, the owners hired Bob Schaefer in 1974 to oversee production. Two years later, the timber company sold the farm to an international investment group, and since 1978 Mr. Schaefer has continuously helmed the farm. Today, Noble Mountain consists of 4050 acres of land (3700 owned and 350 leased), covering two of the largest contiguous Christmas tree plantations in the world. The farm principally grows the Noble Fir, with Douglas Fir and Nordmann
Fir also extensively grown, and a small amount of Grand Fir grown in the wetter soils. The quality of their trees and efficiency of operation has seen Noble Mountain become hugely successful, with more than half a million trees produced every year and 600,000 replacement saplings planted. AERIAL CARGO “Helicopter harvesting is one of the things Noble Mountain is extremely proud of,” explains Mr. Schaefer, General Manager of Noble Mountain. “It has done a huge amount for the industry to provide a clean fresh tree.” Before helicopter harvesting, trees were removed from farms by employees, carried from the farm to the closest access road to be loaded on trucks. Noble Mountain had used this method for many years until, in 1975, more than 8000 SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
NOBLE MOUNTAIN TREE FARM
trees needed to be harvested. Some of the rows in Noble Mountain are half a mile long, meaning trees needed to be carried by hand up to a quarter of a mile before they reached the road, a gargantuan effort that meant cutting needed to begin in late October. By the time Christmas arrived some of these trees were more than a month old, and no longer looked fresh. “We brainstormed solutions and I said something about doing it by air,” says Mr. Schaefer. “The owners said I should contact a helicopter company to see if something could be worked out, so I talked to a local one and came up with a concept for flying the trees out by helicopter.” Noble Mountain and the helicopter firm collaborated to create a sling system that hangs 40 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
“WE’RE ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR MORE INNOVATIONS WHICH COULD CHANGE THE INDUSTRY”
beneath the aircraft, carrying 10 to 12 trees at a time. “We put all of our eggs in that one basket,” says Mr. Schaefer. “If helicopter harvesting had not worked we would not be in business today. We didn’t put in roads, we didn’t buy a lot of equipment or trailers, we decided to go all in with the helicopter sling concept to fly trees out to a processing yard. It was truly one of the big innovations in the industry.” FRESH AND EFFICIENT In the helicopter harvesting system, trees are carried to a nearby clearing where they are stacked on top of netting that wraps up and is slung beneath a helicopter to be flown out of the field. This process dramatically
improves the speed of harvesting, meaning trees arrive at clients’ stores still clean and fresh. A dozen trees are lifted out at a time, meaning many more can be harvested and enabling Noble Mountain to efficiently manage more than 4000 acres. A byproduct of using helicopters rather than trucks has been to eliminate the need for road infrastructure through the rows of trees. As a consequence, more of the available land can be put to productive use, and polluting truck emissions are reduced. The efficiency of the helicopter system also means fewer employees are needed to achieve the same level of productivity. Today, Noble Mountain’s helicopter harvesting system has been adopted by the Christmas tree industry across the West Coast of the
United States. “Helicoptering is in and of itself the most efficient way ever developed for getting trees out expeditiously and in a timely manner,” says Mr. Schaefer. RESPONSIBILITY FIRST In 2011, Noble Mountain was named a Socially and Environmentally Responsible Farm (SERF), and to this day remains the only major company in its industry to hold SERF certification. SERF means the tree farm has been audited for compliance with stringent regulations regarding holistic protection of land, water, wildlife, communities, and employees. The decision to apply for SERF certification came about because Noble Mountain felt they already met many of the criteria. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
NOBLE MOUNTAIN TREE FARM
For many years, the company had been gathering in-depth data on their operations. One example was a long-running initiative to map out all the flora and fauna on the farm. “We identified every weed, bird, and animal that we’ve ever seen on the farm, just so we knew from an environmental standpoint what we were dealing with and the best ways to co-exist with them,” Mr.
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Schaefer explains. “From early on I believed that we had to look at the whole environment of our farm, everything that we control, and do whatever is best for the whole environment. With things like that already happening, we looked at this certification program and realized we already met most of the requirements. The only thing was that we weren’t fully documenting this.”
SUSTAINABLE SOIL Noble Farm have long used straw bales for water bars to reduce soil erosion, which helped them gain SERF accreditation. The farm is located in a mountainous part of Oregon which experiences a lot of rain, meaning gullies of water can quickly develop and carry away large amounts of soil. Noble Mountain’s innovative practice of using straw
water bars for erosion control allows water to be slowed down and soaked up when the soil can’t, reducing the amount of damage caused by rainfall. Like helicopter harvesting, these straw bales were an innovation by Noble Mountain that has since been adopted across in the industry. Sustainability of soil is a crucial part of qualifying for SERF. “We are very proud of being certified sustainable in this way,” says Mr. Schaefer. “We’re actually the largest company in the industry to be certified sustainable. It took a lot of work to get to that point and to pass the audit. Inspectors would come out here looking at every corner for sustainability, because it’s not just how we treat the environment. It’s also how we treat our staff, how we relate to the consumers, et cetera. SERF is more than just an environmental standard.” STAFF BENEFITS At present, Noble Mountain employs approximately 50 full time staff who are involved in the long-term care, culturing, and harvesting of the Christmas trees, with additional contract workers brought in to handle the less specialized tasks when necessary. All staff, from the contracted workers right through to Mr. Schaefer himself, are expected to have high levels of professionalism in their work and conduct. In return, Noble Mountain’s employees receive excellent benefits including some of the highest pay in the industry. Consequently, Noble Mountain has excellent staff retention rates, with many em-
ployees staying for a decade or longer. “This is advantageous because experience is key in maintaining the high quality that we have become known for,” says Mr. Schaefer. “A grader is the person who grades trees before harvesting, to make sure the best quality trees are taken to the right place. A role like this benefits greatly from people with long-term experience. We’re very proud that that most of our graders have spent 15 or more years with Noble Mountain.” CHRISTMAS NEVER ENDS “Looking forward, we want to enhance the opportunities for staff to make more money and be more efficient in their use of time,” says Mr. Schaefer. “Labor in the agricultural industry and how difficult it is to get is a big issue. Staff are outside, sometimes in miserable weather, undertaking hard work, so anything we can do to become more efficient and create methods for our employees to be able to make more money is important. They want to feel good about putting the time in. That is one thing we’re working on. We’re also continually experimenting to improve the quality of our products, working with trace elements in our fertilizer program, for example. We’re always looking out for more innovations which could change the industry, and if something has potential we’ll develop a new program as it arises. We will always pursue things that make us more efficient, and which makes our work better for the environment and improves the quality of our trees.” c
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The Green Expo Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico www.thegreenexpo.com.mx
THE GREEN EXPO® celebrates presenting solutions and technologies focused on strengthening the biological cycles and industrial cycles of our environment within an effective business showcase.
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Solar Power International Las Vegas, NV, USA
Solar Power International (SPI) generates success for solar energy professionals and the global solar industry. SPI sets the standard for solar events as the fastest growing and largest solar show in North America with industry experts sharing their knowledge.
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Canada’s largest wind energy conference focussing on emerging markets, business development, industry networking, and policy updates
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SOLAR 2017 is an integral part of the two-week U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, being held in Denver Colorado. The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered homes that push the limits of innovation in a series of 10 contests.
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2017 will be a year of change and you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about changes in the market and connect with leading purchasers, providers, government officials, and others guiding the future for clean energy.
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The Power Plant Management & Generation Summit is the premium forum bringing senior power generation executives, plant managers, and solution providers together. As an invitation-only event, taking place behind closed doors, the Summit offers a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the future of the Power Generation industry.
Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2017 Toronto, ON, Canada
CSE is a leading accredited provider of Sustainability (CSR) Training and consultancy internationally! Our Courses are approved by CMI (Chartered Management Institute).
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Oil Sands Trade Show & Conference has been the business gateway to the oil sands community. The topics for 2017 are: Greater resilience and operating efficiencies, energy efficiency, new maintenance regimes, tracking, and efficiency analysis. This global event series focuses on the technologies and systems that accelerate sustainability solutions. Focusing on solutions-oriented exchanges through seven program tracks: Grid 2.0, NextGen Buildings, Smart Cities, Food & Ag Tech, Sustainable Water Systems, Connected Transportation, and Intelligent Supply Chains.
ADVERTISERS INDEX A AE Pumps and Mechanical Services Co. Ltd. Andes Chemical Corp.
B Bahamas Stripping Group of Companies Back Cover Black Ink Marketing & Event Solutions Ltd. Inside Front BMG Insurance Agents & Brokers P19 C Carter & Co Ltd. Crane & Equipment Ltd. D D&A Mechanical Services Inc. F Fiberpol Inc.
H Hardware Station Barbados Harris Group of Companies Highlander Trading Corp.
P37 P09 P35
K K.W. Paving
L Lihtomedia Printers Ltd.
M Marshall Trading Ltd. Midac Equipment Ltd. The Movi Group
P10 P29 P18
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P Power Services Company Ltd. Premium Coatings Inc. Promotech Inc. S Solid Rock Construction Co Ltd. Star General Insurance Agents & Brokers (Grand Bahamas) Ltd. Structural Systems Ltd.
P29 P11 P07
P29 P18 P12
U United Plastics Company Ltd.
W Williams Electrical Barbados
P29 P06 P35
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