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How the net zero climate pledge came to life within Holcim

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Holcim reflects on their journey to become the first global building materials company to sign the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” pledge with intermediate targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in alignment with net zero pathway.

Box-ticking or greenwashing as a marketing exercise has no place in a low-carbon world, says Magali Anderson, Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer (CSIO) for Holcim. Corporations must mainstream sustainability in their business strategies. And Holcim, a global building materials supplier, has a significant role to play in a global society where we need to build more sustainably.

In September 2020, Holcim became the first global building materials company to sign the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” pledge with intermediate targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in alignment with net zero pathway. This commitment builds on Holcim’s leadership in green construction with cutting-edge solutions such as ECOPact, its green concrete, and Susteno, its leading circular cement.

In October 2021, Holcim sets industry first 2050 net-zero targets, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), building on its 2030 commitments approved in September 2020. Setting a new milestone for its sector, Holcim’s targets cover the company’s entire value chain, including both direct and indirect emissions, following the three ‘scopes’ established by the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.

Magali brings both a personal and professional insight to her role. From her decades of experience, Magali understands that the future must be greener. She draws on her 32 years of experience as an engineer and in management to ensure that she approaches sustainability with a precise objectivity that is data-driven.

“I am an extremely careful person and I would rather not do something than do it without the right science and rigor. Our sustainability strategy is embedded in everything we do at the company level. Making sustainability systematic is crucial. My job is not about making people or the company look good. I am going to put everything into helping to save life on our planet.”

The route to signing the pledge wasn’t easy. While convinced that it was the right thing to do, many wondered whether the company could actually achieve the ambition.

“Could we truly achieve it according to the science-based targets? We reached out to everybody to explain what we wanted to do and get our data and model validated. We wanted to be trail blazers,” she says.

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Holcim is not paying mere lip service. The company has rolled out green products which are central to its strategy to become a net zero company. Take ECOPact, the green concrete, which enables low carbon construction around the world. And, with its circular business model, Holcim is a global leader in recycling waste as a source of energy. It also has products like Susteno, a circular cement product that contains 20% recycled construction and demolition waste.

“We have to have the right products. Our ECOPact product is absolutely key and central to our strategy and we have just launched a breakthrough green cement product. It’s important to have a vision when it comes to sustainability but you have to back this up with product innovation and products that you can deploy. If you don’t, it’s a waste of time.”

She also believes collaboration within the built environment sector is vital if the world wants to build more with less material. “We are not a construction company, we are a supplier of building solutions. We need to find partners within our sector to make green building a reality at a much bigger scale.”

Now, more than a year since making the pledge, Magali’s sustainability and innovation teams have established clear targets across the company to prove a measurable, positive impact within their four sustainability strategy pillars: Climate, Circular Economy, Nature and People.

“If you truly believe in fighting climate change - and I truly believe in it - you have to put all your heart into finding a way to impact and doing this in a constructive way."


About Holcim

Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving the circular economy as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world’s most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim and Lafarge. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.



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