Global economic and population growth and the impact on energy consumption and climate require more sustainable approaches in construction. Holcim contributes by providing innovative solutions and sustainable building materials. The voluntary emissions reduction target per tonne of cement for CO2 is within reach. The attainment is recognized externally as well: In 2008, Holcim has been rated "SAM Gold Class" and thus acknowledged as a leading company in sustainability worldwide and across sectors.
Global economic and population growth require the construction of urban and rural infrastructure and housing. In mature markets, buildings account for up to 40 percent of primary energy consumption according to estimates. A more sustainable approach to construction will be key to securing long-term environmental, economic and social viability. Together with the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, the Group therefore supports research and development for innovative solutions in construction.
Also, Holcim is committed to contributing by providing sustainable building materials and services. Globally, concrete* is the second most used commodity by volume after water. Given its long life cycle, and owing to its natural thermal inertia, it is one of the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly building materials. Concrete is of enormous economic significance as a functioning infrastructure would be inconceivable without concrete.
The Corporate Sustainable Development Report 2007 highlights Holcim's progress against existing targets and gives performance data across a broad range of indicators. For example, since 1990 net CO2 emissions per tonne of cement have been reduced by 16.3 percent and 18.7 percent excluding captive power generation. Thus, the voluntary target of a 20 percent reduction by 2010 is within reach.
Despite significant improvements in occupational health and safety, the targets have not been achieved yet. Therefore, Holcim will enforce its efforts in this area.
Community involvement and on-going stakeholder engagement are an integral part of Holcim's business strategy. Half of all Group companies already have community advisory panels and around one percent of Group net income before tax is dedicated to community projects.
Holcim's commitment is recognized externally at a local and global level. The Group has been named "leader of the industry" in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year running. In 2008, Holcim has been rated "Sector Leader" and "SAM Gold Class" by the Sustainable Asset Management Group (SAM) in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and thus acknowledged as a leading company in sustainability worldwide and across sectors.
The report has been assured against the AA1000 standard by an independent assurance provider. It includes feedback of various stakeholders and verification of CO2 emissions data. The report has been checked by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for an A+ application level against the GRI G3 reporting framework.
The report can be downloaded from www.holcim.com/sustainable.
* One cubic meter of concrete consists of approximately 300 kilograms of cement, 150 liters of water and 2 tonnes of aggregates.
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Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.
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This media release is also available in German.
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