Partnerships with the private sector:
Industry practices

Holcim / WBCSD / IUCN / Lafarge / WWF

Setting conservation standards

Concrete is one of the world's most used commodities; by some measures the second most consumed product on the planet after water. Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates, as well as ready-mix concrete and asphalt. Based in Zurich, it employs some 90,000 people and operates in over 70 countries on all continents.

Holcim has long supported sustainable development and ecoefficiency. The company played a leading role in the creation of the WBCSD hosted Cement Sustainability Initiative in 1999. For the second year in succession, Holcim has been named «Leader of the Industry» in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2006 and has thus been acknowledged as the company with the best sustainability performance in the building materials industry. In 2006, the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, in collaboration with five of the world's leading technical universities, awarded US $1 million in prizes to four sustainable construction projects.

In 2007 Holcim began a three-year collaboration with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The aim is to develop robust biodiversity conservation standards for the Holcim Group, and to promote good practice by sharing learning with the wider industry and conservation communities. The global agreement has already spawned a partnership between the local offices of IUCN and Holcim in Sri Lanka; more local agreements are set to follow.

The World Conservation Union also counts Holcim as a key supporter in the construction of its new Conservation Campus near Geneva. This state-of-the-art building, due for completion in 2009, will showcase the latest sustainable construction and energy technology. The Swiss Federal Government is another key supporter of this project. nformation from Holcim.

Pionneering partner

Lafarge, the Paris-based world leader in construction materials with nearly 80,000 employees in some 75 countries, became the first industrial group to join the WWF Conservation Partners program in 2000. WWF agreed to contribute the expertise needed for Lafarge to develop and improve its environmental policies and practices and to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

After achieving significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions, in improving quarry rehabilitation practices and implementation of eight key performance indicators, the partnership has been renewed for a further three years. The Conservation Partners program today includes HSBC, Nokia and Ogilvy.