Cemex S.A.B. de CV ranks 18th on the Fortune 2017 Change the World List of 50 companies worldwide that have had positive social impact through activities central to their core business strategies.

The magazine recognized the producer’s efforts to foster sustainable building practices through the “Growing” platform, which encompasses social and inclusive businesses geared to fighting poverty, low-quality education, unhealthy homes, unemployment, poor access to financial aid, and lack of civic participation.

By 2016, such efforts had netted affordable and dignified housing to 3 million-plus in Latin America. “[The] platform has enabled us to work across our value chain with governments, micro-finance entities, low-income communities, and social entrepreneurs to build over 4 million square meters of livable space,” affirmed Cemex CEO Fernando Gonzalez. 

 “‘Growing’ is about more than altruism: It also builds a market for the company’s products,” Fortune noted. “One element of the program provides Cemex materials for houses and home improvement to families earning less than $3 a day. Households with slightly higher salaries can obtain loans to finance similar purchases. And other Cemex programs train would-be contractors (and potential future customers) in construction and entrepreneurship.”

The 2017 Change the World List was compiled with the help of non-profit consulting firm FSG and its Shared Value Initiative organization. Researchers selected companies on these criteria: measurable social impact; business result in terms of profitability of the socially impactful work; and degree of innovation.

Cemex joined J.P. Morgan Chase, Apple Inc., Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and Toyota Motor among the top 20 Change the World companies. Others linked to construction on this year’s ranking are CH2MHill and Grohe.

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