Corporate Sustainable Development Report

7 November 2002

"Providing foundations for society's future" - Holcim publishes first sustainability report.Swiss global cement producer Holcim Ltd has published its first sustainability report. The report outlines the Group's economic, environmental and social performance and presents Holcim's objectives for the areas of risk management, climate change, alternative fuels and raw materials, atmospheric emissions, occupational health & safety, and social responsibility. In particular, by 2010, the Group aims to reduce specific net CO2 emissions by 20 percent globally against the reference year 1990.

In a sustainability report published today, leading cement producer Holcim has emphasized its commitment to environmental performance and social responsibility as key elements in its long-term growth strategy. The title of the report - "Providing foundations for society's future" - reflects Holcim's mission to create long-term value for all stakeholders.Holcim has taken a leading role in the cement industry in its response to sustainable development. As a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and an active partner in the Cement Sustainability Initiative, it has influenced the overall direction of the cement industry in tackling challenges from climate change to community involvement.The report focuses on the Group's core business of cement, which in 2001 generated 73 percent of consolidated net sales as well as accounting for the majority of production-related environmental and socio-economic impacts. The aggregates (gravel and sand) and concrete segments will be included in future reports.In the words of CEO Markus Akermann: "The long-term sustainability of our business depends on our ability to understand and address economic, environmental and social issues. We gain our license to operate as a business very directly from the communities living around our plants."Holcim has long recognized that respect for the communities and environments in which it operates is important to its continued success. Individual Group companies have in the past introduced many measures and initiatives in their spheres of influence, especially with reference to social responsibility. A number of such initiatives are cited in the report.Holcim is now placing great emphasis on standards to be applied throughout the Group. As part of this process, new guidelines and objectives have been developed.

  • All environmental and quality management systems are being reviewed to ensure effective identification and management of environmental risks. In this regard, all Group companies are required to have their management systems certified to ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 by the end of 2004.
  • By 2010, Holcim is aiming for a 20 percent reduction in the Group's specific net CO2 emissions for each tonne of cementitious materials produced, compared with reference year 1990, with measurement according to the WBCSD CO2 protocol.
  • Holcim is committed to increasing the use of alternative fuels and raw materials. A Group policy assures the responsible use of such waste materials and industrial by-products.
  • Holcim is the first cement group to develop a global standard for monitoring and reporting emissions. This standard is to be used by all clinker-producing plants by the end of 2003.
  • From 2003, all Group companies will be required to apply uniform health and safety standards. Occupational health & safety action plans with specific targets will be in place by no later than the end of 2004.
  • Holcim gives high priority to corporate social responsibility, building on know-how and existing best practices across the Group. A comprehensive policy is to be launched Group-wide in 2003.

Holcim plans to publish its next sustainability report in 2004, enabling all stakeholders to judge the Group's performance against the targets set.

With majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents, Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement, as well as aggregates (gravel and sand), concrete and construction-related services.

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