Holcim (Romania) - sustainable development needs sustainable business that can contribute to building the society

7 Februarie 2012


Holcim (Romania) launches for the fourth consecutive year the Report for Sustainable Development, a document reflecting the company's strategy, which involves the simultaneous focus on the three main pillars of sustainable development - financial performance, respect for ecological values and commitment to social responsibilities.

Innovative company and careful to change, Holcim (Romania) has adopted a sustainable development business model and is involved in finding solutions for economic, social or environmental issues which confront the modern society. The companies, which adopted this business model, understand that their long-term competitiveness depends upon their ability to understand the changes within the society. Also, assuming some of the social responsibilities helps companies to attain economic growth.

"The world is changing and, to evolve, it needs new business models. Sustainable development needs sustainable business, assumes a close collaboration between authorities, nongovernmental organisations and the business environment, and needs support from the entire society because all these entities share a common interest: to discover new partners who could invest on long term and understand the impact of their actions," said Markus Wirth, General Manager of Holcim (Romania).

Many of the challenges the society is confronted with can be overcome only through cooperation. None of the players can face them alone because each has their specific strengths and weaknesses. Authorities could set the infrastructure which to stimulate the sustainable growth, nongovernmental organisations have the capacity to identify issues which need rapid solutions and can also set priorities, facilitating in the same time the communication between different parties involved, and the business environment representatives have resources and expertise to activate proper solutions. Only through collaboration and respect for each other's benefit, this trio can have sustainable results.

The economic growth, registered both in Romania and at global level, and especially the impact of this growth regarding the energy consumption and environment determine the necessity of finding sustainable approaches for the construction materials field. Holcim has taken this responsibility and offers innovative solutions and sustainable construction materials. As part of this direction, the Holcim Group decided to reduce its specific carbon dioxide and dust emissions, and the objective of the Group is to lower the specific emissions of CO2 and dust by 20% per tonne of cement by 2010, with 2004 as reference base. In addition, the company is member of World Business Council for Sustainable Development - WBCSD, an organization formed by 200 international companies focused on sustainable development through economic growth, ecological balance and social development. Also as a founding member of the Cement Sustainability Initiative - CSI, Holcim can have a sustainable overview by analyzing the subject through the perspective of its industry.

"Beyond any economical purpose and growth of the turnover, our primary target is to build the bases for a solid future, in other words being professional in our pledges regarding the sustainable development and continue our investments in modernization but most important in people. The Holcim success is owed to the strength, passion and performance of our employees," said Markus Wirth, General Manager of Holcim (Romania).

The Sustainable Development report underlines the progress of Holcim (Romania) in the year 2007 and offers a clear perspective regarding on its performances. In its wish to be always close to its clients and to anticipate their needs, Holcim (Romania) introduced on the market, last year, a new type of cement - Structo® - which can be used in reinforced concrete or normal concrete for various construction works. Also, in 2007, Holcim (Romania) launched a national dispatch line for centralized orders for cement, filler and special binders. Thus, the clients from all around the country can order the company's products by simply dialing a phone number.

In 2007 the company continued to extend its network of plants producing concrete and aggregates. In September the 16th environmentally-friendly concrete plant was launched in Bucharest - Pantelimon with an investment of EUR 3 million. Also, in November of last year the 5th aggregates plant of the company was inaugurated in Gligoresti, the investment in this unit rising to EUR3.5 millions. Another important project of the company in 2007 was the continuation of the modernisation of the Campulung cement plant, which started at the end of 2005. The first phase of this project was finalized this year and the second and last part will be finished in 2009.

The economic growth and constant revenue allow Holcim (Romania) to contribute to the building of the society. The year 2007 was for Holcim (Romania) the best year in terms of economic performance and the company registered a turnover of EUR 296 million, 35% higher than in 2006.

Following its development strategy, Holcim (Romania) continued to invest in all fields of interest such as training the employees, protection of the environment, modernisation of production facilities, waste coprocessing. The total sum invested by the company last year amounts to EUR 125.6 million, of which 11.9 million were invested in the modernization of the production units, 107.5 million for business development, 4 million for developing the waste coprocessing activity, and 2.1 million were invested in environmental protection. The care for the environment is a tradition for Holcim (Romania) considering that the company has spent so far EUR 26 million in environment protection.

Social responsibility represent for Holcim (Romania) programs and practices integrated in the business activities and decision processes. These programs are specially adapted to the needs of the communities where the company is active in, but also target safe and healthy working spaces and training and development for the employees. Thus, Holcim (Romania) invested last year EUR 900,000 for the occupational health and safety of its employees from the cement, concrete and aggregates plants.

Holcim (Romania) supports social projects in fields such as health, education, local sports competitions, playgrounds and recreation, among which "Create your environment", "Build your future", "Open day in cement plants", "We care", Global Holcim Awards. One of the most important initiatives of Holcim (Romania) is the project "Create Your Environment", implemented in partnership with Concept Foundation and Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, and designed to educate pupils in the III-VII grades in a civic spirit and caring for the environment. In 2007, the Ministry decided the "Create your environment" school books be used in schools as an alternative subject at national level. This step represents a premiere for Romania, being for the first time that a private initiative is taken over by a public institution.

Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) 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, and employs some 90,000 people.

Holcim (Romania) S.A. currently operates 3 cement plants, in Turda (grinding), Campulung and Alesd, 16 environmentally-friendly ready-mixed concrete plants, and 5 aggregates plants. Holcim (Romania) S.A. currently has approximately 1,400 employees. The website of the company is www.holcim.ro.