Holcim Hungária, Hungary: Environmental "clean-up days".

Holcim Hungária, Hungary: Environmental "clean-up days"

Holcim Hungária has been organizing annual "clean-up days" at the Lábatlan and Miskolc plants since 2005. The "environmental protection and waste collection days" quickly became popular among students and teachers. Holcim designed the program together with local schools, involving elementary school pupils and their teachers.

Its involvement in this project demonstrates Holcim Hungária's commitment to environmental protection and local communities.

With regard to the environment, other activities included:

  • cleaning the streets and public spaces in Miskolc, Lábatlan and Nyergesújfalu
  • educating children of the importance of protecting the environment
  • involving local NGOs and green organizations
  • developing good relations with WWF, one of the leading national green organizations
  • presenting Holcim Hungária as a responsible corporate citizen through positive press coverage.

The "clean-up days" usually follow the same schedule:

  • 'Good Morning Children!' - Greetings from Holcim Hungária's Country Manager
  • The aim of the day - why are we here? What does environmental protection mean for Holcim Hungária?
  • Distribution of bags and gloves - students collect waste
  • Lunch
  • Entertaining educational programs with a special focus on the environment and nature protection (together with WWF)
  • Games and entertainment.

  • For the "clean-up days", Holcim Hungária cooperated with more than 120 teachers in the northern Hungary, and over 50 in the Miskolc area. Since the very first "clean-up day", Holcim Hungária has urged local NGOs and journalists to join in with the action. In 2006 and 2007, the company, together with the students and local NGOs, cleaned the streets, squares, parks and public spaces of Lábatlan.

    After receiving very positive feedback in both Miskolc and Lábatlan, the program was successfully extended to involved almost 1,000 children in Nyergesújfalu, where Holcim Hungária is building a cement plant. Indirectly, the project reached the children's parents as well, which means the company reached a significant part of Nyergesújfalu's total population.

Although Holcim Hungária received positive feedback from education institutes as well as the media, there are some valuable learning points to share:

  • Although it's good to share responsibilities with schools and teachers, Holcim Hungária is responsible for the whole event and must retain control.
  • Ask the teachers to organize some entertaining programs, with a special focus on environmental protection, for the children.
  • Financial support motivates volunteer teachers who invest energy and time in coordinating the program.
  • Try to balance the amount of time spent on waste collection with the entertainment.
  • Avoid leaving litter at the site of the entertainment.
  • Involve as many green NGOs and journalists as possible.