The 2011 Holcim Corporate Sustainable Development Report shows that the Swiss construction materials giant Holcim Ltd. is on track to achieve its sustainability targets. The self-imposed targets for reducing dust and NOx emissions have been met, and Holcim remains a leader in the industry with the lowest CO2 emissions per metric ton of cement produced. For CEO Bernard Fontana, sustainable development is very important, with the highest priority being occupational health and safety.
In addition to emissions goals, the company cites these factors in North American and oversees businesses as contributing to its sustainability goals:
- Strong decrease of the Injury Frequency Rate—The safety of Holcim employees and the employees of suppliers and subcontractors is critical to the success of the business. Holcim has improved the Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate by 79% since 2004, and aims to achieve a further reduction of 8 percentage points by the end of 2013.
- Significant reduction of CO2 emissions—The reduction of CO2 emissions and increasing energy efficiency remains an important area of focus. Since 1990, net CO2 emissions per metric ton of cement produced have been reduced by 21.8%, which puts the Group on track to meet the target to reduce specific net CO2 emissions by 2015 by 25% below the 1990 benchmark.
- Water management is becoming ever more important—Because of a growing global focus on maintaining biodiversity and handling important water resources properly, Holcim, in conjunction with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has developed an innovative Biodiversity Management System and is working with IUCN on implementing the system throughout the Group. A target has been set such that 80% of Holcim sites situated in high biodiversity value areas must have biodiversity action plans in place by 2013. Furthermore, a water management system, including a specific Water Directive, binding for all Group companies, was approved at the end of 2011.
- Assume social responsibility—Recognizing that building constructive relationships based on trust with communities in which Holcim operates is imperative, Group companies will have community engagement plans in place by the end of 2012.
- New directive for employees of subcontractors—Holcim recently issued a Contract Workers Directive, formalizing the obligation of Group companies to comply with not only all applicable national regulations, but also meet the requirements of the UN Global Compact and those of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the core convention of which Holcim has long supported.
- More stringent code of conduct—In January 2012, Holcim issued a new Anti-Bribery and Corruption Directive as part of the more stringent company code of conduct. The message in the report is clear: violations of the code of conduct will not be tolerated under any circumstances. The directive also mandates that each Holcim Group company must have a whistleblowing process in place.
- Contribution of a panel of experts—An international panel of external experts reviewed the Corporate Sustainable Development Report and has formed an opinion on the sustainable development performance and reporting of Holcim. The recommendations of the panel are included in a panel statement in a separate section of the report.
- Examination by PricewaterhouseCoopers—The report was assured by PricewaterhouseCoopers and has a Global Reporting Initiative application level of A+. The Corporate Sustainable Development Report 2011features Holcim’s progress against existing targets and presents a broad range of indicators.
The Sustainable Development Report 2011 and the presentation can be downloaded from www.holcim.com/sustainable.