Respecting human rights

Holcim recognizes that managing business-related human rights risks is a requirement of doing business in a globalized world. Developed in 2011 and 2012 and implemented in 2013, Holcim’s approach is risk-based and fully in line with the internationally recognized UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Ruggie principles).

The methodology is further based on a categorization of countries based on the UN Human Development Index (HDI) and the Freedom House Index (FH) according to low, medium or high-risk business environments.


  • Group companies operating in high-risk countries are required to conduct a full impact assessment by 2015, supported by a trained facilitator.

  • Group companies operating in low-risk environments are required to conduct a self-assessment, for which support is also provided if needed.

To date, Human Rights Impact Assesments (HRIAs) have been conducted at 39 Group companies. Twelve of these received thorough impact assessments, 29 conducted self-assessments, and two companies did both. Impact assessments in the remaining seven high-risk business environments are scheduled for 2015.


  • A guidance manual and tools have been distributed to all Group companies, and face-to-face and online training delivered.

  • Progress on assessments and follow up action plans will continue to be monitored through the CSR Questionnaire. 

Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas

Holcim has also been working with others to promote human rights, particularly the United Nations, through the UN Global Compact and the expert group on Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The UNGC and PRI have been developing a “Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas”. 

Holcim was part of an expert group of companies that tested the implementation of the guidance, and two Holcim Group companies are featured prominently in a case studies report about progress on this initiative.  

Download the PRI UNGC publication