Social initiatives

We empower people and communities to build a better future.


We are part of the global solution when it comes to sustainable development for people and the planet, and we therefore go beyond holding a local-level social license to operate. We seek to empower people and communities through our innovative, sustainable building materials and solutions to build a better future.

We create social value linked to our business through the affordable housing and community initiatives we lead. Ultimately, we plan to make communities more liveable with our sustainable building solutions for all.


Why we do this

1.2 billion people around the world do not have access to decent housing and infrastructure. To address this need, our contribution to society focuses on developing affordable housing and infrastructure solutions together with governments and people on low incomes in different countries.

Enabling people and communities to build affordable, decent housing and infrastructure will make a positive social impact by improving living standards. Leveraging our business skills and market knowledge creates both additional benefits for people and for our business – and helps us to meet our own ambitious goals and societal expectations.

Positive impacts linked to our business

Our business is predominantly local in the 2,300 sites across 70 countries where we operate. We are an integral part of communities where we operate and provide access to work, training and skills, and source locally wherever possible. Today, 80% of our procurement spend directly benefits local and national markets.

We help to make communities more resilient by improving access to affordable housing and infrastructure, health care, education, skills and better livelihoods. We put in place social initiatives and focus our efforts on helping the most disadvantaged; we also support emergency relief efforts.

Over the past five years, we have invested CHF 216 million in community projects, benefitting over 31 million people around the world. In 2020, we spent CHF 35.6 million on social investments, inclusive business programs, and donations. Around 5,000 employees throughout the Group spent over 50,000 hours on volunteering programs in their local communities.

Our social initiatives focus on three main areas to benefit communities:

  • Affordable housing and infrastructure;
  • Health initiatives;
  • and education and skills.


Supporting communities during COVID

Building on our long tradition of working closely with our communities and promoting their health and well-being, our teams all around the world are mobilized to implement an extraordinary range of measures at country level to fight Covid-19.

3D printed school in Malawi

Holcim’s 14Trees pioneers 3D printing technology in Africa for affordable housing and schools.

Creating Jobs and Building Houses in Madagascar

Contributing to sustainable communities, Holcim Madagascar runs different social initiatives to support social and economic development in the Ibity region, ranging from building sustainable houses for vulnerable families to generating jobs in agriculture

Access to health care

We own and manage more than 60 health clinics and offer health services to our employees and contractors, employee’s dependents and other community members.