Responsible employment

Holcim recognizes the crucial role employees and contract labor play in achieving our goal of creating value, and our strategy and success is built on a base of competent and dedicated people.

The vital role played by our employees is articulated in Holcim's strategy


  • Our aim to be the employer of choice results in our efforts to implement labor standards throughout the supply chain and in our wages matching or exceeding local industry standards.
  • At entry level our Group companies pay a median of 50% above minimum wage.

  • This is backed up with professional and individual development programs throughout the Group.

  • In 2014, Group companies reported a total of 1'395'503 hours of training for employees. 


Unfortunately, the business environment in some regions, especially Europe, where cement consumption has declined by as much as 75% in some countries, means adjustments and reduction of capacity is unavoidable. Holcim is aware that the reduction of employment is a painful process, and thus not only complies with local applicable laws – especially with regard to appropriate involvement of labor councils and unions - but commits to treating employees with respect and tries to find the best possible solution in the interest of both the employees and the company. 

Holcim is a long term supporter of the UN Global Compact (UNGC)

The management of contract labor across many diverse countries is an ongoing challenge. In this regard, Holcim is a long term supporter of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and is indeed active in local networks in a number of countries around the globe. Holcim takes its responsibility with regard to the UN Human Rights frameworks extremely seriously.

Holcim uses these frameworks and related instruments such as the ILO Core Labor Standards, to inform a number of policies, directives and programs which are binding on all Group companies, and against which our Group Companies are required to report progress to us annually.

These programs include:

 Contractor Safety Directive

  • Issued in December 2009, this directive sets the minimum requirements for Contractor Safety Management (CSM) which each Holcim Group company must apply when outsourcing services to Contractors.

  • The Directive outlines the requirements for ensuring that adequate processes are developed and implemented to control or minimize the risks associated with contracted activities.


Contract Workers Directive

  • Issued in 2012, this directive refers specifically to the principles of the UNGC and is supported by detailed implementation steps which are mandatory for Group companies to follow.

  • The implementation process is overseen in by the Procurement and CSR departments, and progress is tracked annually through the CSR Questionnaire.

  • To underline the importance of this initiative, we have individually revised the data provided by the Group companies in 2013 and 2014, and included it into the scope of the assurance for this report, carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers


Sustainable Procurement Initiative

  • Also informed by the UNGC principles, this initiative was developed to strengthen existing practices in managing this specific aspect of our supply chain and using our influence to promote sustainable and responsible business practices.

  • It comprises a Supplier Code of Conduct and a methodology for identifying and assessing high-risk suppliers.

  • Once a supplier is considered high-risk, a red flag is generated to ensure issues are properly addressed. Progress is tracked through the Procurement Scorecard and feedback is provided annually to Group companies notably through the CSR Questionnaire.

  • Further explanation of the sustainable procurement initiative 


As a result of our global structure, we have a highly diverse work force, especially in terms of culture and age:

  • for instance, our senior management team has over 60 nationalities represented.

  • Holcim’s CSR policy lays down our commitment in this regard, stating:  “we value diversity and promote equal opportunities in recruitment, employment, development and retention.”

  • This includes non-discrimination in respect of gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.

Driving gender diversity remains a challenge and provides an opportunity for Holcim. In 2014, 12 % of the total workforce was represented by women, with 10% of top and senior managers also being female.