Natural resources are the basis of our economic activity. Climate protection, conserving resources, reducing emissions and minimizing environmental impacts on our quarrying and production sites are our objectives in environmental protection. This requires high technical standards, which are achieved through the exchange of knowledge across the Group and the introduction of environmental management at all our sites. In addition to this, the new Sustainability Ambitions 2020 set out our long-term objectives and tasks.
Action areas for sustainability
For us, sustainable development means ensuring a balance between making profit and securing future viability through good corporate governance. We therefore strive to act in a socially and ecologically responsible way, considering the needs of society as a whole.
The focal areas of our sustainability strategy are defined by our core business: climate protection, use of raw materials and fuels, environmental and social impact at our locations, and occupational health and safety.
Sustainability Ambitions 2020
Our Sustainability Ambitions 2020 clearly define the long-term nature of our commitment. It is the primary instrument that we are using to manage our measures to increase sustainability. We regularly investigate whether we have achieved our goals and which measures have been implemented, and we establish the milestones for the next stage on our way towards sustainability. Regarding the six focal topics, we are taking consistent steps along the path we have mapped out in order to further increase sustainability within our company and thereby secure its future viability.
Our Sustainability Ambitions 2020 set the following focal tasks:
Giving highest priority to occupational health and safety
Protecting the climate
Delivering a prominent positive contribution to biodiversity
Working for sustainable construction
Using waste as a resource
Further reducing other environmental impacts
The Group Environmental Sustainability Committee is responsible for improving environmental performance across the Group and safeguarding the Group’s positioning as a responsible global player in the long term. Our environmental performance across the Group is recorded and evaluated at the Heidelberg Technology Center. The reporting is based on the guidelines of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI). Indicators that we have developed together with our stakeholders are also used to assess our impact on the environment.
The head of Group Human Resources implements the Managing Board’s personnel strategy together with the human resources managers of the Group areas and countries. Occupational health and safety is also coordinated by the Group Human Resources department. As part of the comprehensive “Safe work – healthy life” initiative, which we started in 2007, we have greatly increased awareness of occupational health and safety among our employees by means of strategic measures.
Our Group-wide risk management system is coordinated by the Group Insurance & Corporate Risk Department and ensures that risk developments can be identified and controlled at an early stage. Risk management systematically records and evaluates all risks that could threaten the existence of the Group, including social and ecological risks, in the various plants and regions. For an energy-intensive company such as HeidelbergCement, the rising fuel and electricity prices, with increasing global competition for natural resources, represent a considerable risk, for example.
Following the purchase of Hanson and the considerable expansion of our core business in the aggregates sector, we have further expanded our knowledge network. The central component is the Group-wide Intranet page “World of Knowledge” (WOK), which makes the Group’s knowledge available to all our employees. Nearly 2 000 employees now use WOK every month.