Biodiversity

Positively impacting nature through biodiversity protection


Our operations are strongly linked to natural resources and our business plays a key role in tackling biodiversity loss and degradation. We work with nature in a transformative, rather than traditional way. By capitalizing on natural processes, endemic species and local adaptation, we strive to take into account the wider landscape and conservation context.

A strong commitment to protect biodiversity


At Holcim, we commit to making a measurable positive impact on biodiversity backed by science-based indicators on our sites and managed land, helping to protect natural ecosystems and the livelihoods of those in neighboring communities. We will achieve this by working in partnership with local stakeholders, who understand the local ecosystem, ensuring a positive contribution to biodiversity and the communities who rely on nature for their livelihoods and quality of life.

  • We will define our biodiversity level baseline by implementing a biodiversity measurement methodology Biodiversity Indicator Reporting System (BIRS) developed in partnership with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) across all of our managed land by 2024. Additionally, the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) tool will be used to support us to prioritize actions in high biodiversity areas.
  • By 2030, we commit to a measurable positive impact on biodiversity backed by BIRS.
Webinar: Building a nature-positive future

Our biodiversity commitments

100
%
of our quarries will have rehabilitation plans in place by 2022, compared to 93% today.
100
%
of active and non-active quarries will be measured using BIRS to establish our biodiversity baseline by 2024, up from 35% today.
100
%
of our quarries with high biodiversity value will have specific Biodiversity Management Plans by 2022, an increase from 94% today.
 

How we reach our commitments

 

Progressive transformative rehabilitation

 

Rehabilitation processes
 

rehabilitation biodiversity

*Measured using the Biodiversity Indicator and Reporting System (BIRS), developed in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Our approach, to enhance biodiversity in quarries, is to work with nature in a transformative, rather than traditional way. We capitalize on natural processes, endemic species and local adaptation to take into account the wider landscape and conservation context. Some key actions include buffer zone optimization and creation of habitats not previously found on the site, like green corridors for wildlife connectivity and wetlands.

Our sites are rehabilitated in a progressive way. Areas where extractive work is finished are rehabilitated while extraction continues in other areas of the quarry.

 

Measuring positive biodiversity impact


We apply the mitigation hierarchy to prioritize and guide actions to enhance our positive biodiversity impact.

 

Mitigation hierarchy
 

mitigation hierarchy


We worked in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to develop a methodology to measure our biodiversity level. This tool is called Biodiversity Indicator Reporting System (BIRS). With BIRS we will define our biodiversity level baseline and measure biodiversity improvement over the years on our sites and managed land. BIRS assessment will allow us to better understand the challenges and opportunities we have at each site for enhancing biodiversity and improving ecosystem quality. We will identify key actions, develop action plans and implement them to increase our biodiversity index.


Biodiversity Indicator and Reporting System (BIRS)*
 

biodiversity indicator crop

*Developed in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)


We worked in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to develop a methodology to measure our biodiversity level. This tool is called Biodiversity Indicator Reporting System (BIRS). With BIRS we will define our biodiversity level baseline and measure biodiversity improvement over the years in our sites and managed land. BIRS assessment will allow us to better understand the challenges and opportunities we have at each site for enhancing biodiversity and improving ecosystem quality. We will identify key actions, develop action plans and implement them to increase our biodiversity index.
 

A pioneer in impact valuation


As a founding member of the Value Balancing Alliance, we developed a global Impact Measurement and Valuation standard for assessing and disclosing economic, social and environmental impacts.
 

Landscape approach
 

Our quarries and sites are an integral part of wider landscapes, which play an essential role in providing ecosystem services to people, including indigenous communities and vulnerable groups, as well as being the habitat of wildlife and flora. The landscapes cover important habitat types, from forests to grassland, from deserts to aquatic / ocean shore habitats. We aim to become a leading voice in landscape protection beyond our own sites, participating in or leading multi-stakeholder collaboration with all relevant stakeholders - from industrial sites to our suppliers (which usually are located in the same landscape) to agricultural producers and local communities. Creating and executing on a common vision for biodiversity protection across our landscapes will include important local elements such as wildlife corridors, protection from natural hazards such as fire or floods, and it will be complemented by our approach to water stewardship and commitment to human rights and positive social impact. This will enable a holistic and inclusive view, resulting in a more sustainable landscape for all.

 

Promoting good practices throughout the value chain
 

We require all Holcim suppliers who are deemed to have a significant environmental impact to implement a recognized system for identifying and managing those impacts. For our extractive raw material suppliers, we developed a comprehensive biodiversity training module.

embedding biodiversity into product innovation


Green building innovations that embed nature into the built environment are an important lever for us to positively impact biodiversity.

Bioactive concrete: preserving marine wildlife


Bioactive concrete is a solution that supports marine biodiversity by rehabilitating areas with damaged coastal ecosystems.

Agrovial: creating sustainable rural roads


This unique hydraulic road binder combines cement with locally sourced soil, reducing negative environmental impacts and improving surface quality on rural roads.

Inercem: innovative hydraulic binders


This range of hydraulic binders was specially designed to solidify and immobilize sludge and waste materials, and rehabilitate contaminated soil sites.

nature stories