Holcim Vietnam Ltd: Employee volunteering projects.

Project description

Holcim Vietnam initiated a couple of Employee Awareness/Volunteering projects like construction of houses for underprivileged people in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Vietnam; the production of environmental-friendly construction materials; participation in the World Environmental Day; the Summer Campaign in partnership with IUCN and the Earth Hour event. A total number of 560 employees from all sites participated in 2010 including EXCO members.

Objectives

  • To enhance strong alliance between employees of Holcim Vietnam and local communities and authorities surrounding plants and terminals
  • To foster the culture of corporate social & environmental responsibility at all management levels of Holcim Vietnam
  • To stimulate broader and lateral thinking across Holcim Vietnam on Sustainable Development
  • To foster a good team building experience

Activities

Construction of houses for underprivileged people

Over 192 volunteers contributed their time to build four houses for families in need in the communities of Binh Tri and Binh An. Environmentally-friendly building materials manufactured on site by the volunteers were used to build the houses. The projects took place in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Vietnam.

Participating in the WWF Earth Hour

70 Holcim Vietnam volunteers participated in the Earth Hour event on March 27th 2010. Lights were turned off in office areas at all sites for one hour. The volunteers also joined the Candle Art event at the City Opera House organized by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and at the housing estate of Hon Chong. A photo contest around the moments before and after lights were turned off was open to all employees.

The winning photos were awarded with VND 2,000,000 (USD 100) for the first prize, VND 1,000,000 (USD 50) for the second prize and VND 500,000 (USD 25) for the 5 runners up.

World Environment Day

This annual activity which takes place on June 5th was also the start of the Summer Campaign. Over 150 employees of Holcim Vietnam at all sites (Hon Chong, Cat Lai, Hiep Phuoc, Thi Vai and beton batching plants) rolled up their sleeves together with local people to collect rubbish, to clean up the surroundings of the respective terminal and workplace, to clear up the drainage systems and to plant trees to rebuild a green environment.

Summer Campaign

Every year IUCN Vietnam and Holcim Vietnam run a Summer Campaign which is a chance to engage local people and government authorities around five Holcim sites in southern Vietnam. This is part of their four-year agreement to strengthen biodiversity conservation and raise environmental awareness in and around Holcim Vietnam sites and to support community outreach. In 2009, the Summer Campaign theme was waste management and environment protection. The 2010 campaign on water sanitation, human health and effective water consumption was launched on World Environment Day on June 5th and ran for four months until the end of September during the Green Sunday. The activities took place at all Holcim Vietnam sites from Kien Giang to Ba-Ria Vung Tau and throughout Ho Chi Minh City.

About 3,000 people participated. The first activity was a 2-day-training session for local authorities on water related issues and communications skills. This helped to build their interest in environmental issues and organizational skills. Additional activities included developing local regulations to protect water resources, medical checks for water-related diseases, drawing and painting competitions, and a water knowledge competition. In late September closing events were held at each site to review the results of the campaign and to present prizes to the individuals and teams that had made the most significant contribution. In 2011 the Holcim Vietnam Summer Campaign will focus on climate change.

Tree planting and beach clean-up

EXCO Green Volunteer Day took place on July 14th 2010 as part of the Summer Campaign. EXCO members spent one day with local young people planting trees in Hon Trem School. Almost 300 trees were planted in the yard of the school. They also joined in cleaning up Bai Duong beach in Binh An commune, Kien Giang. Waste was collected by local authorities and all hazardous waste was co-processed through our geocycle activities.

Blood donation

30 Holcim volunteers from all sites including Head Office, Cat Lai, Hiep Phuoc, Thi Vai took part in a Blood Donation Day on October 3rd 2009.

The annual event was organized by the Saigon Times Group in coordination with the Vietnam Red Cross Ho Chi Minh City Chapter to collect blood and raise awareness about its constant need. By being the main sponsor for this humanitarian event Holcim Vietnam provided an opportunity to its employees to engage in a meaningful way.

Community survey

In May 2009 a survey targeting local officials, contractors and residents was conducted in Kien Luong to assess local people’s community needs and level of satisfaction with Holcim’s community activities at the site in order to identify possible projects and partnerships and develop an action plan for further activities. 18 volunteers took part in this activity which involved focus group surveys, one-to-one in-depth interviews and direct visits to families to find out their economic, educational & healthcare, infrastructure and environmental hygiene conditions.

Results

The volunteer activities have brought triple benefits:

At the community level, they have proved to be excellent ways to engage our stakeholders including local authorities and communities.

At the corporate level those volunteering activities help enhance the understanding of social and environmental responsibility to embed SD in Holcim Vietnam.

At the business level individual volunteers felt proud about the company they worked for.

“As a Holcim Vietnam employee, I am very happy to have the chance to contribute to achieving the sustainable development goal of the company and of society in general. I hope that these community activities will be promoted further in the future to improve the living standards,’’ said Huỳnh Văn Bình, Supply Chain Planning Team Leader when asked about the community survey in Hon Chong.

January 2011