As an Australian-owned and operated business, Hallett Group has produced and supplied a range of leading products and services to the mining, building and construction sectors for the past 40 years.
To be a leading player in the industry, it is essential to be at the forefront of sustainability, says Kane Salisbury, CEO of Hallett Group. This is a core pillar of its business strategy, and Hallett Group has long committed to investing in sustainable practices and solutions.
The broader market and industry focus on sustainability creates abundant opportunities for those who are proactive, adaptable, and ahead of the curve, explains Kane. Hallett Group has embraced its role in driving better environmental, social and governance outcomes and capturing the business opportunities it provides.
Early mover advantage
Kane says that the sustainability initiatives Hallett Group is now delivering result from multi-year investment programs, with some in development for seven years. "Our early work in sustainability has positioned us as the best at what we do,” Kane notes.
“We will continue to double down on improving our own sustainability whilst developing sustainable materials and solutions for use in the wider market. This is where our agility and innovation provide a key competitive advantage."
In 2022, for example, the company unveiled plans to establish a highly-automated manufacturing and blending capability to value-add and distribute multiple streams of industrial waste by-products generated in Australia. The process creates products that can replace cement, known to be one of the world’s largest sources of carbon emissions.
Further, by leveraging established renewable energy sources in this innovative manufacturing process, Hallett will produce possibly the lowest emission green cementitious materials anywhere in the world.
South Australia has emerged as a leader in the nation's renewable energy transformation, Kane says. The momentum is only growing stronger as companies like Hallett Group continue collaborating on inter-connector projects with other regions and establishing hydrogen hubs to both support local heavy industry and potentially access export markets.
Kane says the company is also exploring new opportunities that sustainability leadership opens up. For instance, Hallett Group will have a significant footprint in the regional South Australian city of Port Augusta, producing green cement, and its ambitions don’t stop there.
Setting the stage for a sustainable future
Kane says the company is determined to offer innovative solutions that support industries' transition towards a sustainable future. This includes pushing conventional concrete boundaries by exploring new ways to substitute virgin materials with alternative sources.
Examples include using recycled concrete aggregates and manufactured sand to capturing and reusing run-off water from its three million litre catchment facility at its flagship Dry Creek plant in South Australia. Hallett is also substituting industrial by-products for natural sand and then pushing the boundaries on using supplementary cementitious materials to replace more than 60% of the cement typically used in some high-spec projects.
“Hallett is truly leading the industry,” Kane says. “We recognise that the global trend towards decarbonisation is gaining momentum, and it presents both disruptive challenges and opportunities. We are excited about the possibilities and are very active in leading, rather than following, the progress being made to lower carbon emissions across the industry."
Changing culture for the better
In addition to adopting practices that positively impact the natural environment, Kane says creating safe and healthy workplaces is also imperative. This is particularly vital amid talent shortages across the manufacturing sector.
To secure the people Hallett Group needs to capture growth opportunities, Kane believes the business must go beyond simply offering a job and wage. According to Kane, changing the perceptions of the industry and developing a supportive organisational culture can help attract a more diverse group of employees.
"We are establishing the Hallett Social Club, an employee-operated non-profit initiative," Kane says. "We are investing in our head office by setting up facilities such as a staffed canteen, gymnasium, health centre, and more, which we believe will become self-supporting and set us apart."
Kane says the goal is to create a central workplace destination that brings our diverse team together, promotes collaboration, and goes beyond traditional transactional relationships employers have with employees.
"Finding and retaining talent has become increasingly challenging, so we are committed to implementing new approaches to improve our industry and business." These efforts also ensure staff have the mental health assistance they need.
"We are deeply passionate about supporting a group called Mates in Construction, which focuses on suicide prevention and mental health services for the construction industry," Kane says. "As a business, we have experienced the impact of these issues first-hand."
Hallett Group remains a tier-one supporter of Mates in Construction, one of only two along with the State Government. Kane says that Hallett Group are more than happy providing financial support, explaining that, more importantly, it has a significant mutual benefit where the workforce's wellbeing is concerned.
Manufacturers emerged from the disruption of the pandemic in great shape, relying on their agility and resilience to support the recovery. The boom in demand that followed amid supply chain issues and talent shortages again tested, then proved, these innate characteristics.
From here, the positive financial performance outlook and broad optimism across the sector defy known challenges. Manufacturers are investing directly into areas they believe will ensure they are more efficient, productive, and sustainable beyond the current economic uncertainty.