Tuesday, June 21, 2011


On Friday I went to an onsite presentation put on by Holcim, a major cement and construction material company. The idea was that they would share their sustainability, community feedback, and environmental best practices with local civil society (which apparently includes UNDP) in an exercise in corporate social responsibility. No surprises, this is what Holcim did (the surprise was that it wasn't in English - joke's on me!). They have some very innovative methods in reaching out to local communities to work with them on their concerns, and touring around the site, it seemed apparent that this company didn't just put this program on to offset criticism of their carbon emissions - their corporate social responsibility project seemed to be very central to what they did.

After a presentation on their best practices, we toured an extraction site and got to learn a lot more about how construction materials are taken out of the ground and how it impacts the local environment (while wearing cool construction helmets, orange vests, and safety glasses). Afterwards, we were served a delicious lunch and I had a chance to meet some of the international workers that Holcim employs, including an awesomely charming Frenchman.

Is this post an advertisement for Holcim? Probably not, considering that none of my friends buy industrial quantities of cement. But, if you do want to build a bridge or a tunnel or a 70 ft. statue of yourself, maybe look into Holcim as a more socially and environmentally responsible way to do it.