Holcim and the World Conservation Union join forces to conserve biodiversity

Holcim and the World  Conservation Union join forces to conserve biodiversity
Published: 21 February 2007

Holcim and the World Conservation Union (IUCN)  have signed a cooperation agreement to work jointly on ecosystem  conservation and biodiversity issues relevant to the building materials  sector.

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director  General of the World Conservation Union and Markus Akermann, CEO Holcim  Ltd have signed a three-year cooperation agreement to develop new  ecosystem conservation standards for the Holcim Group.

In placing  biodiversity conservation at the core of the agreement, the strategic  alliance between Holcim and IUCN is breaking new ground in the industry.  The main areas of collaboration are:

- Review and assessment of Holcim’s approach to  biodiversity conservation management; 
- Development of a comprehensive biodiversity  policy and strategy; 
- Identification and development of joint  initiatives supporting sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity  conservation, and 
- Promotion of good practice by sharing the  learning with the wider industry and conservation communities. 

IUCN and Holcim in Sri Lanka have agreed on the first projects to  review the quality of biodiversity conservation activities at Holcim sites  in Sri Lanka and to facilitate existing quarry rehabilitation planning and  implementation. Holcim Lanka on her part will bring in technical expertise  to contribute to the rehabilitation efforts of coral ecosystems.  Furthermore the use of sustainably produced biomass as an alternative fuel  will be explored to open up an additional source of income for the  communities around Holcim sites.

"IUCN seeks intensified private  sector engagement to persuade and enable businesses to reduce their  environmental footprint and make a positive contribution to nature  conservation", says Julia Marton-Lefèvre. "With its global presence and  commitment to sustainable development, Holcim is an attractive partner for  us."

Markus Akermann: "The engagement with IUCN is driven by the  conviction that biodiversity conservation issues will play an ever more  important role in our long-term resource and reserve strategy. IUCN and  its network provide biodiversity expertise and enable Holcim to work more  closely with relevant stakeholders across the world."