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Holcim Sustainability Initiatives on Track


Holcim Sustainability Initiatives on Track

4 June 2008 - A Corporate Sustainability Report released this week by Holcim Ltd, highlights that it is on track to achieving a range of sustainability targets it has set across more than 70 countries in which the leading cement and aggregates company operates.

One key target is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per tonne of cement based on 1990 figures. Worldwide Holcim has so far achieved a reduction of 16.3 percent reduction, making the target within reach by the 2010 target date.

“This CO2 reduction target was a voluntary commitment by the company,” said Holcim New Zealand Managing Director Jeremy Smith. “We’re very proud that, at Holcim New Zealand, we’ve already achieved this 20% reduction target.”

The EU estimates that buildings account for up to 40% of primary energy consumption. Adopting a more sustainable approach to construction will be key to securing long-term environmental, economic and social viability. Globally, concrete* is the second most used commodity by volume after water. Given its long life cycle, and owing to its natural thermal inertia, it is one of the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly building materials.

Holcim is committed to providing sustainable building materials and services, and the work undertaken by the Holcim Foundation to promote sustainable construction is an indication of how seriously the company takes this responsibility. When entries for the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction, run by the Foundation, closed in February, it had attracted nearly 5000 submissions for sustainable construction projects and visions from 90 countries. The competition, which offers USD 2 Million in prizes, is designed to focus the minds of students, architects, planners and engineers on creating innovative construction projects that champion sustainability, and to promote innovative ideas and solutions round the globe.

Because biodiversity is increasingly relevant, Holcim Ltd has signed an agreement with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to review biodiversity management in its quarry operations. The company anticipates that the expert “know-how” provided by the IUCN will enhance its work on dealing with these issues.

“The company’s work in this area is already being recognised”, Jeremy Smith said. “During 2007, Holcim New Zealand won the MIMICO Environmental Excellence Award from the Aggregate and Quarry Association for over 20 years of quarry rehabilitation at Cape Foulwind, Westport; a project which included establishing a native tree nursery and many voluntary hours put in by staff.”

As well as local recognition, Holcim Ltd’s sustainability commitment has also been recognised externally at a global level. The Group has been named “leader of the industry” in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year running. In 2008, Holcim has been rated “Sector Leader” and “SAM Gold Class” by the Sustainable Asset Management Group (SAM) in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and thus acknowledged as a leading company in sustainability worldwide and across sectors.

Holcim’s 2007 Sustainability Report can be downloaded from

* One cubic metre of concrete consists of approximately 300 kilograms of cement, 150 litres of water and 2 tonnes of aggregates.



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