Gypsum industry news
Valerie Gervais appointed Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Saint-Gobain in North America19 May 2017
US: Valerie Gervais has been appointed as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Saint-Gobain Corporation, the group's holding company in North America. She will take a position on the group's North American Executive Committee and will report directly to Tom Kinisky, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Saint-Gobain Corporation.
Gervais will be relocating to Saint-Gobain's North American headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania from Paris, France where she was responsible for human resources for Saint-Gobain Glass US and human resources for Saint-Gobain ADFORS and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics within the Innovative Materials Sector globally. In addition to her new position in North America, she will continue to support the global Performance Plastics business, reporting to James Thomson, Vice President of Human Resources for Saint-Gobain's Innovative Materials Sector.
Gervais started working for Saint-Gobain in 2010 as Vice President of Development and Recruitment for Saint-Gobain in North America. Prior to that, Gervais held the positions of Director of Global Talent Management and Director of Leadership & Organizational Development for GlaxoSmithKline. She holds a master's degree in business from the Institute of Management in Rennes, France.
US: Eagle Materials' sales revenue rose by 6% year-on-year to US$1.21bn in its financial year to 31 March 2017 from US$1.14bn in the same period in 2016. The building materials producer completed its acquisition of Cemex's Fairborn cement plant in Ohio with associated assets in February 2017 and this contributed to its cash flow in the period. The group's gypsum wallboard sales volumes rose by 4% to 231m3 from 222m3 despite a fall in volumes in the fourth quarter.
US: Guillermo Gutierrez has been appointed the Vice President of Investor Relations at International Paper with effect from 1 July 2017. He will report to Glenn Landau, the senior vice president and chief financial officer. He succeeds Jay Royalty, who has been named vice president and general manager, Foodservice.
Gutierrez, aged 45 years, joined International Paper in 1994 and has held roles of increasing responsibility in finance, sales, marketing, supply chain and general management. He currently serves as Regional Managing Director, EMEA Packaging. Gutierrez earned a Bachelors degree in finance from Tulane University in 1994 and an MBA from the University of Miami in 2001. Guillermo and his family will relocate from Madrid, Spain to Memphis, US.
Canada: The government has opened its Drywall Support Program for applications until the end of May 2017. This program provides drywall contractors and builders in Western and Northern Canada with compensation for elevated drywall costs due to anti-dumping duties imposed on imported drywall from the US, according to Canadian Newswire. The initiative is also intended to homeowners in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by the 2016 wildfires and are now facing higher rebuilding costs. The US$9m scheme will be administered by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
US: Thomas Kinisky has been appointed as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Saint-Gobain Corporation, Saint-Gobain's holding company in North America. He has also been appointed as the Senior Vice President for Saint-Gobain and is a member of the company's Global Management Committee. Kinisky assumed the position earlier in 2017 when he succeeded John Crowe. Crowe was also the president and CEO of Saint-Gobain's subsidiary CertainTeed. He has been succeeded in these roles by Benoit Bazin, who will also continue to serve as the global President of the Construction Products Sector and Senior Vice President for Saint-Gobain.
Kinisky joined Norton Company in 1989 before its acquisition by Saint-Gobain in 1990. He spent over a decade working in research and development in various roles, including Vice President of Technology and New Business Development for the company's Abrasives Division, before assuming the role as president for Saint-Gobain Crystals in 2002 and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in 2008.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Pace University and a Master of Science in materials science from New York University (Polytechnic University). He has authored technical publications and holds five US patents.
US: The Gypsum Association has elected Timothy Power as the chair of its board of directors. Power is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Continental Building Products. Other appointments that have been elected include Georgia Pacific's Charles R Harrison as the vice-chair of the board, USG's Albert R Zucco as the treasurer and the Gypsum Association's Stephen H Meima as the secretary. American Gypsum Company's Peter Bauser is the past chair of the board. Officers were elected at the recent meeting of the Association's board of directors in Albuquerque, New Mexico. All terms are for one year and are effective from 1 May 2017.
US: USG's profit has been reduced due to rising commodity costs in both its gypsum and ceiling businesses. Its operating profit fell by 22% year-on-year to US$91m in the first quarter of 2017 from US$116m in the same period in 2016. Its net sales rose by 2.7% to US$767m from US$747m, roughly in line with its sales revenue growth in 2016 as a whole. The group reported that US gypsum wallboard volumes decreased by 4% in the quarter. Domestic wallboard manufacturing costs increased by US$16m due to rising waste paper and synthetic gypsum input costs.
"We had sound operational performance in the first quarter and we are seeing solid demand for our products," said Jennifer F Scanlon, president and chief executive officer. "I am encouraged about our prospects for the balance of the year, despite the uptick we are seeing in commodity costs."
US: CertainTeed has gained six additional Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), bringing its total number of gypsum wallboard EPDs to 12. The building materials producer started launching product specific EPDs in the drywall category in late 20115.
"CertainTeed is proud to have pioneered EPD verifications both within our drywall products and extending across CertainTeed insulation and ceilings categories. Since the beginning, we've delivered on our commitment to provide better product transparency so that our customers can make informed decisions on environmental sustainability implications at the initial stages of project development," said Dave Engelhardt, president of CertainTeed Gypsum.
CertainTeed Gypsum offers 12 product-specific Type III EPDs that include seven plants in four different product categories. The company says it is the only manufacturer to offer 'Cradle-to-Grave' EPD transparency that takes the entire development process into account. The EPDs from CertainTeed Gypsum are third-party verified by UL Environment and include information on global warming potential, embodied energy and other impacts that occur as a result of manufacturing.
The six new EPDs are available for four product groups including AirRenew, M2Tech, Easi-Lite and CertainTeed Type X. AirRenew is produced at the Moundsville plant in West Virginia and the other products are manufactured at the Montreal plant in Quebec, Canada.
US: USG has released Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels, a lightweight gypsum wallboard panel with sustainable credentials. The panel is based on USG's UltraLight Panels and USG's Corporate Innovation Centre developed new gypsum core chemistries and a manufacturing process to reduce 20% of carbon dioxide emissions and decrease water usage by 25%. It is being released in the US in two core formulations for fire and non-fire-rated applications.
The product was developed in response to the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products in July 2016. It may also contribute to achieving additional US Green Building Council (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED v4.0 credits and meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
"There has been a significant movement in the architecture community to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector," said Edward Mazria, chief executive officer and founder of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. "Yet, to fully achieve our goal for the building sector to become carbon-neutral by 2050, manufacturers like USG must quickly rise to the occasion and develop sustainable, low-carbon and zero-carbon building materials."
Canada: Residents rebuilding their homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta will be compensated for duties liable on gypsum wallboard imported from the US. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement, according to the Canadian Press. A source quoted by the agency said that it is part of the government's response to a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruling that lobbied it to cut duties imposed on wallboard products being imported into Western Canada from the US. The CITT ruled that gypsum wallboard imports from the US had 'hurt' the local industry in January 2017 but, in a separate ruling, it also recognised that competition had been 'substantially' reduced in Western Canada.