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Weekly Briefing: July 24-28, 2023


Week of July 24, 2023

OSHA Advancing Plans for Expanded Recordkeeping and Reporting Rule to Take Effect in 2024

  • The rule restores annual record submission requirements for certain establishments with 100 or more employees, including construction-related sectors, to report work-related injuries and illnesses in detail.

  • OSHA will now mandate employers to use their official company name when submitting the records. OSHA states that this measure aims to facilitate a more accurate assessment of whether a specific company has fulfilled the reporting obligations.

  • Construction industry groups oppose the rule, concerned about potential mischaracterization of safety programs and the disclosure of sensitive information that could be misused.

  • Labor groups support the rule to improve workplace safety insights and advocate for expanding the requirements to more businesses.



 

ESG Put to the Test in a High-Inflation World

  • ESG investing faces significant challenges as sustainable funds were exposed to short-term risks, including missing out on the oil price surge in 2022 and experiencing volatility in growth stocks due to inflation and rising interest rates.

  • Despite the challenges, investors still believe that sustainable investment is not just a passing trend, given the global energy transition and greater awareness of the benefits of well-run companies.

  • To build a sustainable investment portfolio, investors should diversify and not solely rely on growth stocks. They can consider core portfolios with satellite options in higher-risk areas, and look for sustainable companies with strong management, financial discipline, and sensible debt levels.

  • Sustainable investing is not limited to equities; investors should also explore other asset classes like bonds, particularly green bonds, which finance environmental or renewable projects and can have a positive impact.



 

National Labs Study Finds Updating Building Energy Codes Can Save Lives in Face of Intensifying Climate Hazards

  • The report stresses the value of adopting the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to protect occupants from extreme temperatures during power outages caused by hazardous events.

  • IECC requirements improve building envelope efficiency, allowing occupants to safely shelter in place for over four days during disasters coupled with extreme heat or cold.

  • Adopting the IECC can extend habitability by up to 120% during extreme cold and 140% during extreme heat, reducing deaths by 80% in extreme heat and 30% in extreme cold, with strong financial benefits for new single-family buildings.




July 25, 2023


Cumming Group, a Washington-based advisory firm specializing in project and cost management services for the built environment and backed by New Mountain Capital, has acquired PCM Consulting, Inc. (PCM), a Massachusetts-based construction project controls firm. The acquisition of PCM will help to expand Cumming Group’s advanced manufacturing capabilities and aims to enhance both companies' ability to serve clients in the life sciences and semiconductor sectors amid the ongoing trend to re-shore and near-shore advanced manufacturing. Derek Hutchison, CEO and President at Cumming Group, stated, “We have enjoyed a successful track record partnering with PCM to deliver mission-critical solutions in the life-science and semiconductor sectors, two industries that are central to our defensive growth strategy.”



 

July 26, 2023


North American Construction Group Ltd. (NACG),a Canada-based provider of mining and heavy construction services to customers in the resource development and industrial construction sectors, has acquired MacKellar Group, an Australia-based provider of heavy earthworks solutions to the mining and civil sectors. The acquisition will expand NACG’s capabilities and customer base globally and is a strategic fit due to shared cultural alignment and operational similarities. The deal will add approximately 450 mobile heavy equipment assets and 1,000 employees to NACG, allowing for diversification and a stronger position in the Australian market. Of the deal, Duncan MacKellar, Chairman of MacKellar Group, said: “Joining NACG offers a significant opportunity for both companies to share best practices and execute on our growth strategy. Our shared culture, highly skilled maintenance and operations teams, and now global operations will position us as a leader in heavy equipment fleet, allowing us to better serve customers across Australia.”



 

July 26, 2023


Roux Associates, Inc. (Roux), a New York-based environmental consulting and engineering firm, has merged with Benchmark Civil/Environmental Engineering & Geology, PLLC, a New York-based civil and environmental engineering services firm, and its affiliate, TurnKey Environmental Restoration, LLC (collectively called Benchmark TurnKey), a New York-based provider of site investigation, remediation, infrastructure construction, and environmental and site management services. The merger with Benchmark TurnKey will enhance Roux’s service capabilities and establish a more robust operating footprint in Western New York.



 

July 26, 2023


RSK Group (RSK), a United Kingdom-based Environmental consulting and services firm, has acquired PD&MS, a United Kingdom-based specialist engineering services company operating within the energy transition, conventional energy, low carbon and renewables sectors. The acquisition of PD&MS will help RSK expand and enhance its service offerings within the renewable energy sector, as well as across its businesses. RSK Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Ryder said: “As international economies move towards their net zero targets, PD&MS can help by dealing with all critical assets, with a particular expertise in brownfield developments. The company has an exceptional reputation and track record of growth and diversification through periods of market transition. With its foundations in oil and gas services, PD&MS is now using its transferrable skills on projects and to build momentum within renewables and low carbon."



Alliance Technical Group's Decatur, AL office, in a show of continued support for their local communities, actively participated in the Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive, an initiative organized by United Way of Morgan County. This program aims to empower local students by providing them with essential school supplies and materials, fostering their confidence, and ensuring a strong start to their educational journey. Serving as one of the partner locations, Alliance Technical Group's office donated several supplies and welcomed contributions from community members who generously donated, all of which were collected and distributed by United Way of Morgan County to benefit students in need.



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