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Putting Sustainability Where Our Mouth Is

Take a poll of constituents in the public domain or even within the concrete construction sector that asks what the top buzz words are today and arguably one of them that will surface at a high percentage is sustainability. Whether forced by regulation or encouraged by intuition, the drive for sustainability in our homes, our jobs and throughout the landscape of the construction industry is for all tense and purpose a new playing field. I’ve heard many describe it as “the new norm.” No, not the big guy at the end of the bar soaking his mediocrity in suds.

As Executive Director for this Association I have the privilege of being at the table for the Concrete and Masonry Related Associations (CAMRA). This collaboration brings together all interests in our segment of the construction industry to provide the 50,000 ft perspective on our industry and the competition. CAMRA has also begun to shape initiatives that all or specific subsets can hone direction and pool resources to achieve something greater as a whole. This is, in many respects, done for the sake of sustainability both for the concrete industry as well as for the future of such collaboration. One of the aspects of each of you belonging to a networking group like the CFA is that your small (relative) voice can be amplified and heard at a much greater level through us. This is the same sense I have at CAMRA where the CFA voice is amplified and at times considered a lead voice.

At CAMRA, within the CFA guiding efforts and likely at each of your businesses, in response to the pressures placed on the building industry, the drive for true sustainability has to be present and discussed. Whether it is considered a “fad” like the personal computer or the cellphone or truly a foundational part of tomorrow as it is today, for the moment there is no denying that moves to be more sustainable have a positive influence, even if it is limited to morale.

With this in mind, you should ask the question what is the CFA doing for sustainability? Dramatic efforts have been put forth in the last year here at CFA HQ to consider sustainability a priority. We have committed our entire communication history to digital media including records for membership, transactions and CFA association management. Perhaps you’ve noticed our emphasis on e-billing. CFA has converted all A/R and as much of A/P as possible over to electronic notifications and transactions. These have reduced our paper consumption to barely a case per year and lowered our recycling substantially. Were it not an election year, our recycling volume might be even lower. Likewise, we continue to promote ways you can connect to this great network without requiring travel or expensive participation. While we know it is of tremendous benefit to be physically present, we also know how much of a challenge it is and that virtual connection is the very best next option.

We are doing a lot to make sustainability paramount and to borrow the phrase from the Ford Motor Company, “Job 1”. Being sustainable in our work efforts has definitely made an impact on our efficiency, on our expediency and also on our morale. We hope you feel it too.


CFA Executive Director James Baty

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us