Behind the scenes of LafargeHolcim’s Human Rights Management Approach in Latin America, Asia and Africa

Upholding the human rights of stakeholders (employees, suppliers, local communities, etc.) has become a ‘hot topic’ in recent years. In this context of increased awareness on the part of companies, LafargeHolcim developed the Human Rights Management Approach (HRMA) directive, leading to an assessment by LafargeHolcim companies of human rights situations across various regions. 

 
Indonesia Case Study

Objectives

  • Increase local awareness of human rights across LafargeHolcim businesses worldwide 
  • Implement a region-specific methodology that acts as a framework to protect against human rights violations in the workplace 
  • Assess the human rights situation in the regions where LafarfgeHolcim operates.

Summary

Taking a leading role to address the human rights business imperative called upon by civil society, governments and NGOs alike, LafargeHolcim developed a directive in 2012 that is full y in line with the internationally agreed UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It required all LafargeHolcim Group companies to conduct a human rights assessment according to low, medium or high-risk business environments, based on internationally recognized standards. 

Results

The HRMA initiative has been implemented on the ground across several regions, including the following:

  • Africa: Following a first impact assessment involving internal stakeholders and contract workers, the local team in Madagascar implemented a Human Rights Committee to validate and follow up on initial action plans. The approach has helped figure out the working conditions issues in the country and how to address them in a structured way. For example, facilitating access to on-site potable water, sanitation facilities and restrooms for truck drivers. 
  • Asia: In collaboration with various internal stakeholders (employees, trade union leaders), community leaders, external human rights organizations and more, the local team produced an impact assessment methodology relevant to its stakeholders. During the assessment, contractors’ employees were also able to freely answer questions related to their working conditions without fear of personal intimidation.    
  • Latin America: The local teams were immersed over a period of seven to 10 days to conduct impact assessments allowing identifying risks via data collection, expert interviews, and focus groups with various internal and external stakeholders. As a result, 17 people across Latin America are now trained to implement the methodology across the region. 

The main success factor of the HRMA is the involvement of top management across countries, which helped shine priority on human rights mitigation where other pressing priorities may otherwise take center stage. It also provided a great opportunity for LafargeHolcim to address day to day business-related risks in its operating environment more systematically and better engage with stakeholders