ESG

As a world leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim puts ESG at the heart of our “Strategy 2025 – Accelerating Green Growth”.

We understand the importance of living up to our responsibilities. That’s why we partner with some of the foremost industry leaders to guide our business activities with an ESG focus.

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ESG FAQ

What is ESG?

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance and is a set of criteria used to evaluate a company’s performance.

ESG takes into account the impact the business has on its stakeholders.

How does Holcim prioritize ESG?

As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, we adhere to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards throughout our operations and management. This is demonstrated by our strong ESG ratings and our partnerships with industry leaders to help us guide our business in the right direction.
 

DISCOVER OUR COMMITMENTS, MEMBERSHIPS AND RECOGNITIONS

our contribution to the UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

 

As partners of the UN Global Compact, we are active across all 17 SDGs. We have identified the nine goals that are most closely linked with our business, and we focus our efforts into making a bigger impact in these areas.

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Our actions

Through sustainable building solutions, we enable cost-effective and durable construction to protect people from the effects of natural disasters and climate change. We also provide affordable housing, fair and safe work, and we purchase goods and services from national markets to boost each country’s GDP.

Our actions

Holcim helps boost local workers’ income through our sustainable agriculture projects and procurement of residual agricultural biomass as an alternative fuel. We equally support employability and entrepreneurship in local communities through training and education, and we build durable and resilient roads in agriculturally productive areas to reduce food loss during transport.

Our actions

Our strategy includes providing decent housing, clean water and sanitation, affordable energy and accessible healthcare. We prioritize health and safety throughout our business, ensuring the health and wellbeing of our employees, contractors, communities and customers.

Our actions

At Holcim, we invest in training our workforce, developing new talent and educating local communities. We partner with academic institutions to mentor students and facilitate research to advance the sustainable construction industry.

Our actions

We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive company. Holcim is an equal opportunities employer that makes no distinctions on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. We have committed to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, and our gender diversity is globally recognized – we feature in Forbes’ World's Top Female-Friendly Companies.

Our actions

We actively manage our water use to lower consumption, reduce pollution and protect water-related ecosystems. Concrete has a vital role to play in the building of resilient and sustainable water infrastructure. We therefore provide a number of solutions to reduce water use and the risk of flooding.

Our actions

Our net-zero pledge guides our objectives of reducing our energy consumption, increasing renewable energy use and using alternative fuels. Our concrete ranges offer strength, durability and resilience to climate-related and natural disasters. An essential building material for energy-related construction, concrete has numerous applications from geothermal projects to wind turbine foundations.

Our actions

Holcim has a global presence and is often the largest employer in the community. We take seriously our responsibility to provide safe, fair and decent work. Through job creation and community projects, we strive to have a positive impact in the local area.

Our actions

Innovation is at the heart of our strategy and we partner with researchers, start-ups and industry leaders to advance R&D in the sustainable construction industry. Our infrastructure solutions aim to meet today’s challenges: energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, a low environmental footprint, and high standards of health, wellbeing and comfort.

Our actions

Our green building materials contribute to the construction of durable and cost-effective infrastructure and housing. As a responsible employer, we also play an important role in reducing inequalities through equal training, fair and transparent hiring practices, decent wages and professional development opportunities.

Our actions

We are developing our green building solutions to meet the challenges of rising populations and growing urbanization, and to enable the construction of green cities. In addition to working with local communities, providing affordable housing and offering sustainable building materials, we have partnered with Bloomberg to create the Circular Cities Barometer.

Our actions

We are an industry leader in recycling, following the circular economy’s “reduce, reuse, recycle” principles. Through smart design and sustainable building materials, we are building more with less and guiding the transition to a more responsible construction industry.

Our actions

Our climate actions are based on our net-zero targets, validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative. We are continuously finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint, developing green building materials and making our operations more circular. Our carbon capture pilot projects are a promising step toward net-zero.

Our actions

Our durable concrete ranges are ideal for building artificial reefs and coastal protection to preserve marine biodiversity. We are also actively helping prevent ocean pollution from plastics and other waste materials. Our solar-powered catamaran, the Circular Explorer, recovers and recycles plastic waste before it enters the ocean.

Our actions

We strive to be a nature-positive business with a strong commitment to preserving biodiversity. Our science-based indicators guide us in protecting natural ecosystems and biodiversity. We regularly assess our impact on the environment in areas such as forest protection, wildlife and soils.

Our actions

We are committed to transparency and compliance in all aspects of our business, with a strict human rights policy. Our code of business conduct offers best practices and ensures that all directors, officers and employees share Holcim's commitment to conducting business with integrity.

Our actions

We understand the importance of collaboration to meet SDGs. We engage with stakeholders at all levels, from local to national to global. Our commitments and partnerships include being part of the Science Based Targets Network Corporate Engagement Program, the World Green Building Council, and the United Nations Global Compact.

Our commitments, memberships and recognitions

Commitments

 

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Business ambition for 1.5C
Holcim became the first global building materials company to sign the Business Ambition for 1.5° C pledge with near-term 2030 SBTi validated targets.
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At Holcim we commit to deliver our actions in a rigorous, science-based way. As such we are now part of the Science Based Targets Network Corporate Engagement Program to road-test and provide feedback on the new methods, guidance and tools science-based target for nature is setting.
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CEO and Chairman Jan Jenisch signed the Call to Action for Business Leadership on Human Rights by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), joining forty other leaders in sending a clear message on the need to elevate companies’ ambitions concerning human rights. Together our vision is to make human rights more than just a risk and compliance issue for companies – they should be actively promoted as part of a commitment to social responsibility.
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The Holcim 2021 Action Pledge on eliminating child labour and strengthening children’s rights builds on our existing commitment to respect human and children’s rights. Respect for human and children’s rights is fundamental to our ability to do business across our 2,300 sites in 60 countries.
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Holcim is a signatory of the WASH Pledge, an initiative led by WBCSD and WASH4Work. The WASH Pledge ensures that we provide best practices on WASH (access to water, sanitation and hygiene) within our operations. We commit to taking action on WASH across our value chain, including among our suppliers, as well as in the communities that surround our workplaces and/or where our employees live.
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Holcim joined the Corporate Advisory Board of the World Green Building Council (WGBC). The WGBC is a global action network that aims to transform the building and construction sector across three strategic areas—climate action, health & wellbeing, and resources & circularity.
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Holcim’s CEO and Chairman Jan Jenisch signed the Call to Action of Business for Nature, which brings together influential organizations and forward-thinking businesses seeking to reverse nature loss. By signing the call we aim to positively influence policymakers who are currently discussing international agreements on nature and climate change.

 

Memberships and involvement
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In 2023, Holcim entered a three-year global strategic partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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UN Global Compact logo
Holcim strives to implement the UNGC’s 10 principles to advance responsible corporate citizenship.
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CEO and Chairman Jan Jenisch is on the Executive Committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
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Holcim is co-chairing the Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA)’s “Vision 2050” workgroup and associated climate policy.
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Isidoro Miranda, Managing Director of LafargeHolcim Spain, is President of the European cement association, Cembureau.
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In 2020, Holcim joined the Leadership Group for Industry Transition, which gathers countries and companies committed to achieving the Paris Agreement.
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As a WEF member, Holcim contributes to initiatives such as the First Movers Coalition and the CEO Climate Leaders Coalition.
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Holcim supports Concrete Action for Climate, an MPP workstream, in coordinating climate action in the cement industry.
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Holcim has been a supporter of the TCFD since July 2017. The TCFD is developing voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers and other stakeholders.
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Since 2015, we have supported the GABC in promoting a zero-emissions, energy-efficient and resilient construction sector.
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As a Steering Committee member, Holcim supports the CPLC’s efforts to promote effective carbon pricing systems and policies.
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Holcim is a signatory of the We Mean Business Coalition, a global nonprofit aimed at accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
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Holcim is a founding member of VBA, which is developing a standardized model to measure companies’ environmental, human, social and financial value.
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Holcim is a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which empowers decision-makers to create a more sustainable world.
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Holcim is a founding member and co-chair of the CSC, which aims to develop a global responsible sourcing certification system.
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As a member of the Sea Cargo Charter, we are advancing sustainable shipping while lowering indirect emissions from fuels and transportation.
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CEO Water mandate
Holcim has endorsed the CEO Water Mandate, a UN Global Compact initiative, as part of its water stewardship commitment and joined the Water Resilience Coalition, a CEO-led initiative launched in 2020 as part of the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate.
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CFO taskforce
Holcim joined the CFO Taskforce launched by the UN Global Compact to accelerate its impact across the 17 SDGs.
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Holcim is the first construction materials company to join the ECO Platform, a global lifecycle assessment harmonization body promoting sustainable development.
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Holcim has been a supporter of the TNFD since its launch in 2021. Renata Pollini, Head of Nature, is currently one of the 40 Taskforce Members leading the taskforce. The TNFD is developing a disclosure framework for organizations to report and act on nature-related risks, with the aim of supporting a shift in global financial flows toward nature-positive outcomes.
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Holcim joined the 50L Home Coalition,  a non-for-profit collaborative platform tackling water scarcity globally, as Board member.
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The Smart Freight Centre is a global non-profit organization dedicated to fostering efficient, sustainable, and zero-emission freight transportation. By collaborating with businesses, governments, and industry stakeholders, they develop and promote best practices, facilitate knowledge sharing, and drive innovative solutions to accelerate the transition towards greener, smarter freight systems.

 

Recognitions
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In 2023, Holcim won the Circular Transition award at the 14th Responsible Business Awards hosted by Reuters Events. The awards recognize strategies and organizations challenging the status quo of business and transforming the world around them for a more purpose-driven, sustainable future for all.
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Holcim is the first in its sector with 2030 and 2050 net-zero targets cutting across operations and value chain validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with its sector’s 1.5°C science-based framework.
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In 2023, Holcim received an ESG Risk Rating of 26.3 and was assessed by Sustainalytics to be at medium risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors.
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In their 2023 assessment, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) gave Holcim an ‘A-’ score in both climate change and water security, which is in the Leadership band. Our score on climate change is higher than the Europe regional average of B, and higher than the Cement & concrete sector average of B. Our score on water security is higher than the Europe regional average of C, and higher than the Cement & concrete sector average of B.
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Holcim received a C+ rating in the ISS ESG Corporate Rating, which awards us "Prime" status. Our performance score places Holcim within the top 10% of companies within our industry.
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Holcim received a Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) “AA” rating based on exposure and management of industry-specific ESG risks.
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After an independent assessment, Holcim was found to satisfy the requirements of the FTSE4Good Index Series created by FTSE Russell.
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Holcim’s net-zero pledge was named the edie “Net-Zero Carbon Strategy of the Year” in 2021.
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In 2020, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark ranked Holcim highest in the building materials sector.
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In 2021, FastCompany named Holcim a top-3 company in innovative urban development for creating climate-friendly, affordable building materials.
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ESG ratings agency Moody's ESG Solutions gave Holcim its highest sustainability rating of A1+ in 2022, making it number one in its sector. This also places Holcim within the top 1% of companies ranked worldwide.
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Holcim won a 2022 SEAL Business Sustainability Award, ranking it among the world’s 50 most sustainable businesses.
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For two consecutive years, Holcim made it onto Financial Times’ “Europe’s Climate Leaders” list. It comprises 500 companies across Europe that achieved the greatest reduction in their core emissions intensity between 2016 and 2021.

 

Our stories

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