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Forward-looking centenary donation to the Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation

November 23, 2012

For 40 years, the Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation has been supporting special project weeks designed to provide young people in Switzerland with a grounding in economics and business management. As part of its centenary celebrations, building materials group Holcim is making a donation of 5 million Swiss francs in recognition of the major commitment shown by the Foundation and its partners.

A core element of the Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation are the so-called Economy Weeks, which, over a period spanning 40 years, it has been staging at Swiss senior high schools in close collaboration with chambers of commerce and industry associations. To date, over 100 000 senior high school students have completed an Economy Week, receiving hands-on instruction on how businesses work from more than 500 managers from commerce and industry. The simulation scenarios and the economics and business management curricula were developed in close cooperation with the University of St. Gallen.

"Young people are our future and a key pillar of the Swiss economy. The Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation is making a crucial contribution towards helping young men and women understand economic interactions," stresses Rolf Soiron, Chairman of the Holcim Board of Directors. The objective of the Holcim Group's five million franc donation is to provide the Foundation with additional funds to ensure that it can continue to fulfill its remit to maximum effect in the coming years. The Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation's goal is to make the existing teaching concepts even more attractive for students and specialist instructors alike, and to give as many young people as possible an insight into the business world.

Thomas Schmidheiny explains the vision of the Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation as follows: "The Economy Weeks have been building a bridge between business and school for 40 years now. And this is to remain the case in future too. The Holcim Group's gift will enable the Foundation to give as many young people as possible a chance to gain intensive, hands-on training in business topics during their school careers." 

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Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in around 70 countries on all continents.

Corporate Communications: Tel. +41 58 858 87 10
Investor Relations: Tel. +41 58 858 87 87

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Media contact Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation:
Dr. Ann-Veruschka Jurisch

Tel. +41 55 220 14 01