Shares in buy-and-build quarried materials company SigmaRoc (SRC:AIM) gained 3.6% to trade at 114.5p after it announced a collaboration with paving slabs-to-bollards maker Marshalls (MSLH) to develop ultra-low carbon products for the concrete building materials sector.

For SigmaRoc, whose institutional backers include BlackRock, M&G and Janus Henderson Investors, the collaboration represents a further step in its journey to increase access to ultra-low carbon construction products.

It follows the launch of the world’s first cement-free block in 2021 and builds on SigmaRoc’s commitment to manufacture a cement-free alternative to every product within its precast product group (PPG) from January 2022.

SUSTAINABILITY STEPPING STONE

‘To date SigmaRoc has focussed on developing scalable, low-carbon solutions for major infrastructure work,’ explained Michael Roddy, managing director of PPG at SigmaRoc.

‘However, we recognise that residential and urban environment projects represent a significant portion of UK construction activity so we are excited at the prospect of working alongside Marshalls to help develop these solutions.’

Roddy regards the collaboration as ‘another stepping stone in our commitment to invest, improve, integrate and create a sustainable future for construction.’

AMBITIOUS ESG TARGETS

The collaboration is also exciting news for Marshalls, one of Shares’ running Great Ideas selections, though the shares were flat at 813.5p on Friday after a strong run.

By working with SigmaRoc, which by the way grew pre-tax profits by an impressive 64% to £8.7 million in the first half to June, Marshalls envisages being able to give customers an ultra-low carbon alternative to a variety of traditional hard landscaping and construction products, thereby lessening ‘the long-term environmental impact of hard landscaping solutions in alignment with our ambitious ESG targets’.

Serving a client base which runs from big governmental and corporate clients down to tradesmen putting in patios and driveways in people’s homes, Marshalls has an excellent track record of identifying and targeting areas which are likely to see growth.

We flagged Marshalls’ investment attractions at 638.5p in February 2021 and the shares have subsequently risen by 27%.

In August, Marshalls raised earnings guidance for 2021 and 2022 amid continued strength of demand and positive trading in its end markets, spurring yet another round of upgrades from brokers.

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Issue Date: 10 Sep 2021