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Construction Industry Driving Sustainable Growth Through Strategic Recycling Acquisitions

In recent years, the construction industry has witnessed a notable trend: market leaders are increasingly acquiring companies that offer routes to a circular economy. This strategic shift underscores a commitment to recycling and sustainable practices, driven by the imperative to reduce waste and promote environmental stewardship. The acquisitions by prominent industry players such as Aggregate Industries and Heidelberg Materials exemplify this movement, marking significant milestones in the transition towards greener construction practices.

Aggregate Industries and Holcim Group’s Strategic Moves

Aggregate Industries, a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Holcim Group, has made substantial strides in expanding its recycling capabilities. The company’s latest acquisition is Land Recovery, a rail sector specialist that recycles rail ballast and supplies materials for concrete and asphalt production. This acquisition marks Aggregate Industries’ third in just a couple of years, reinforcing Holcim Group’s ambition to enhance its UK recycling operations.

The acquisition aligns with Holcim’s broader goals of circular construction and recycling 10 million tonnes of construction demolition materials by 2024. Miljan Gutovic, Holcim’s chief executive, emphasised that integrating Land Recovery would bolster their position in circular construction.

Heidelberg Materials’ Expansion Through Key Acquisitions

Parallel to Aggregate Industries’ initiatives, Heidelberg Materials has also been proactive in acquiring recycling companies to strengthen its circular construction capabilities. The German multinational recently completed the acquisition of Mick George, a key player in East Anglia and East Midlands which operates in bulk excavation, skip hire, waste management, and aggregate and concrete supply.

The acquisition adds a significant recycling platform to Heidelberg’s portfolio. Simon Willis, chief executive at Heidelberg Materials UK, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, citing it as a major step towards leveraging opportunities in the construction waste sector. This move is part of Heidelberg’s strategy to offer circular alternatives for half of its concrete products by 2030, underscoring their commitment to sustainable construction practices.

Heidelberg’s Acquisition of B&A Group

In addition to Mick George, Heidelberg Materials UK has also acquired B&A Group, a leading construction soil and aggregate recycling company based in Bristol. B&A Group specializes in the supply of recycled and primary aggregates, site clearance, earthworks, land remediation, and sustainable land regeneration.

The acquisition by Heidelberg Materials UK is poised to significantly enhance their circular offering, complementing their existing aggregate and ready-mixed concrete businesses. This strategic move aligns with Heidelberg’s goal of developing innovative technologies for processing soils and construction waste, thus transforming waste into valuable materials for the construction cycle.


This trend of industry acquisitions highlights a transformative shift towards sustainable practices within the construction industry. Companies like Aggregate Industries and Heidelberg Materials are leading the way, integrating recycling operations to enhance their circular construction capabilities. These strategic acquisitions not only bolster their recycling capacities but also align with broader environmental goals, demonstrating a commitment to reducing waste and promoting sustainable development. As the industry continues to evolve, such initiatives are likely to become increasingly common, driving significant advancements in construction practices and environmental stewardship.

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