The construction and building sector, and the concrete industry in particular, are viewed as having a high impact on the environment. Innovative approaches are needed to foster sustainable construction, not only technical solutions, but also responses to broader socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues.
The Holcim Foundation is the extension of the Group's commitment to sustainable development in overall strategy and operations. The objective is to encurage sustainable responses to the technological, environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues affecting building and construction, regionally as well as globally. The Holcim Foundation's objectives are implemented by:
- Supporting sustainable construction in the scientific field, among experts in the construction sector, business and society.
- Awarding innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects from around the globe.
- Providing appropriate financial support to enable the realisation of outstanding construction projects, particularly for the benefit of disadvantaged communities.
- Organizing seminars or symposiums on the topic of sustainable construction at the professional/academic level.
The Board of the Holcim Foundation defines and approves the strategy and the programs of the Holcim Foundation and its initiatives. The Board is responsible for managing the Holcim Foundation, and appointing individuals to support its activities. The majority of members of the Board must be independent from the sponsor of the Holcim Foundation.
The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction is dependent upon competent support, especially in the technical field. Five of the world's leading technical universities have agreed to act as partners to the Holcim Foundation:
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA.
- Tongji University in Shanghai, China.
- University of São Paulo, in Brazil.
- University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Drawn from around the world, partner universities help to host the Holcim Forums and to produce a specialised publication from each Forum; they define the evaluation criteria to be used for the Holcim Awards; and they put together the panels who judge the competition entries. As a global technical competence center the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) coordinates the collaboration among partner universities and the Awards juries.
- Holcim wish to create an impact beyond their own industry and go further than standard CSR.
- Holcim see the Holcim Foundation as a long-term opportunity to make tangible advances in sustainable development and thereby create further value – not only for the cement industry, its products, processes and partners – but also for society as a whole.