Holcim Group targets net-positive nature impact, unveils new water targets
The world's largest cement company, Holcim Group, has launched what it claims is the first strategy in the sector targeting a net-positive impact on biodiversity, choosing a 2030 deadline.
Announced today (3 September), the new targets have been developed as part of a partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) and Holcim claims they are “science-driven”.
Underpinning the commitment for Holcim to deliver a net-positive impact on biodiversity by the end of the decade are commitments to develop nature rehabilitation plans for all quarries by the end of 2022 and to assess the company’s biodiversity baseline across all managed land, using the ICUN’s Biodiversity Indicator Reporting System (BIRS) by 2024. This latter activity will help the company to develop rehabilitation plans for other areas. BIRS is the system against which Holcim will be accounting for biodiversity losses and gains.
Holcim has also announced new commitments to achieve water positivity at 75% of its sites by 2030, prioritising sites based in areas deemed to be facing high levels of water risk.
As is the case with many other large businesses, the firm is seeking to reduce its water consumption in tandem with forging partnerships to help deliver water replenishment. There are new targets to reduce water intensity in the cement business by 33%; in aggregates by 20% and in ready-mix concrete by 15%. All targets have a 2030 deadline and a 2018 baseline. All sites will be equipped with water recycling systems this decade to help drive progress.
“With nature at the heart of everything we do, I am pleased that we are taking significant steps to improve our biodiversity and water stewardship in a measurable and science-driven way,” said Holcim’s chief sustainability officer Magali Anderson.
“Building on our net-zero commitment, our nature-based solutions play a vital role in reducing the impact of climate change and increasing our business’ resilience. Becoming nature-positive plays a critical role in our vision to build progress for people and the planet.”
The news comes on the same day that the ICUN has begun this year’s World Conservation Congress in Marseille. The Congress is the world’s largest recurring conservation event. It will convene more than 10,000 delegates, with participants attending both virtually and in person. Discussions will be organised into six Commissions dedicated to species survival, environmental law, protected areas, social and economic policy, ecosystem management, and education and communication.
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