United Nations recognizes Holcim responsible business practices

Holcim Madagascar and Holcim Philippines feature in report on best practice in high risk areas. Through its United Nations Global Compact – of which Holcim is a signatory – and support for the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the UN is working to promote responsible business practice and economic development in troubled regions.

As part of this, the UN Global Compact and PRI have been developing a “Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas”. Holcim has been part of an expert group of companies that tested the implementation of the guidance, and two Holcim Group companies are featured prominently in a recent case study report about progress on this initiative.

 

Holcim Madagascar : best practice for its efforts to combat child labor

Holcim Madagascar was cited as an example of best practice for its efforts to combat child labor in its wider operating environment. These included implementing a comprehensive corporate policy for child protection in 2010, promoting children’s rights through its CSR actions, and supporting UNICEF initiatives to tackle the root causes of the issue.

The child protection policy aims to ensure that no child labor is used at any point in Holcim Madagascar’s supply chain. The company furthermore works to better children’s living conditions and opportunities by promoting infrastructure improvement and raising awareness of the devastating effects of child labor with employees, suppliers and the broader public.

An impact assessment carried out one year after implementation of the policy, which included consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, confirmed the effectiveness and viability of the approach. A UNICEF campaign supported by Holcim Madagascar has built three sanitary complexes and is working to construct an eco-friendly school.

 

Holcim Philippines: best practice in the management of its security services

Holcim Philippines was cited for best practice in the management of its security services. The cornerstone of the company’s efforts was the implementation of a strict no firearms policy for its security guards after security-related incidents in the second half of the previous decade. The company also improved the way it chooses security contractors and intensified its dialog with local communities and the police. Since the implementation of the approach, firearms-related incidents have been effectively prevented. In particular the seemingly counterintuitive “no firearms policy” – in many areas of the Philippines armed security guards to protect company assets are the norm – has proved to actually increase safety for Holcim Philippines’ employees and facilities, as arms are often magnets for potential attackers.