Holcim Canada Inc.: Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Canada.

Project description

Holcim Canada’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC) is built on more than a decade of construction services and in kind material donations. With a growing number of opportunities for employees to volunteer on Habitat build sites, this multi- faceted partnership is helping to create a stronger volunteer culture across the company. The contributions of Holcim Canada and our employees ties in with broader Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts in infrastructure, community development and education.

Objectives

Employee volunteering helps strengthen this growing partnership. In the communities where employees work and live, they witness the difference that their contributions make in a local family’s life as they help provide foundations for society’s future. Each employee is able to participate on a week day project and is paid for a regular day of work, which demonstrates corporate commitment on this CSR initiative and protects employees for Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) purposes.

For many office employees, they see first-hand how our products are used on site, which provides them with greater insight and a broader understanding of Holcim’s core business. It is also an opportunity for team building and internal networking within the company as employees from all divisions participate in these full-day events.

Holcim Canada’s involvement has also helped build greater awareness of the Holcim brand and Dufferin divisions. The presence of the Holcim or Dufferin logos at the build site creates a connection with the community, which is visible to members of the public, including employees. As such, employees are encouraged to participate in this corporate volunteering program by making meaningful contributions to help build strong, healthy and vibrant communities. These efforts give employees a sense of pride, for their own contributions and those of their employer.

Activities

Employee volunteering with HFHC started in 2009. Participation on improvements at a Habitat ReStore (building supply store) and home build sites, including a Women’s build, have involved more than 100 employees to date. As part of Holcim Canada’s focus on employee engagement and participation in CSR activities in 2011, employees have been mobilized internally to contribute to four “builds” in Toronto.

Holcim Canada’s new CSR lunch and learn series also featured the HFHC partnership. The information presented about the organization and Holcim Canada’s contributions was well-received by more than 60 attendees. This dialogue with employees sparked more interest regarding employee volunteering on Habitat build sites.

Furthermore, in Ontario, HFHC logos will be placed on 200 Dufferin Concrete RMX drums. While in Québec, Holcim Canada is working towards greater affiliation with Habitat for Humanity Montréal, which will provide new opportunities to educate and engage employees on the importance of this issue. Holcim Canada is also represented on the Québec Board of Directors.

Results

Building on significant involvement at the local level, the three-year pledge for the 360 Built Smart Partnership at the national level further strengthens this partnership. Holcim Canada’s commitment to community investment through this program has been highlighted in the media in Ontario and Québec. As a corporate advocate on this issue, Holcim Canada’s involvement has also been recognized at appreciation events by community leaders, including politicians. The benefits of Holcim Canada’s involvement in this partnership prove to be numerous and ongoing - for employees, they have an opportunity to contribute to their local community in a meaningful and sustainable way.

May 2011