What makes a sustainability leader? Meet Holcim’s Magali Anderson

Magali received her award at a glittering ceremony in London in March (pictured)

Magali drives the sustainability agenda for multinational building materials firm Holcim. As a respected member of the Executive Committee, she ensures sustainability is included in all business decisions. Through numerous external partnerships and conferences she drives not only the sustainability agenda of Holcim but also of the sector.

Magali has worked for Holcim for more than six years and has headed up its sustainability work since October 2019. She played a key role in clearly defining the company’s strategy, fine-tuning its ambitions on climate and energy, the circular economy, nature and people, and has led the business to achieve milestones in all four of these areas.

Click here for more information on the edie Awards 2023. 

Industry breakthroughs overseen by Magali include making a 1.5C pledge with 2030 SBTi-validated targets; producing ‘positive nature’ strategy based on scientifically measurable targets, signing the ‘Call to Action for Business Leadership on Human Rights’, and signing the ‘Eliminating Child Labour 2021’ Action Pledge.

Her responsibilities encompass sustainability, innovation and health, safety and environment. During Covid-19, Holcim implemented a ‘Health, Cost and Cash’ action plan. Under Magali’s leadership, the company took measures to protect the health of its employees, customers, suppliers and communities.

With the huge focus on health, one might expect the environmental sustainability agenda to take a back seat. However, Magali considered that this was a clear sign the company needed to accelerate its journey and huge strides were made.  Under Magali’s leadership, Holcim opened a new chapter in its climate action with the net-zero pledge, along with a growing range of green building solutions, from ECOPact to Ecolabel and the endorsement of a range of products by the Solar Impulse Foundation.

Magali is an extremely energetic leader. Her colleagues told edie that she will turn any hurdle into a positive outcome and uses her energy to bring everyone along with her. Building on 30 years of experience of working in four continents, she understands the realities on the ground to trigger support for her vision.

Holcim’s climate strategy and net-zero pledge is trailblazing in the industry. To ensure that the others follow the lead, Magali co-chairs the net-zero 2050 work of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), which published its ambition in 2020 and roadmap in October 2021. Additionally, Magali holds co-chair and advisory roles in several associations, including Business for Nature and the World Green Building Council.

Since early 2021, Magali’s role expanded to include innovation for Holcim. This puts sustainability at the core of the innovation pipeline. Combining the efforts of six innovation centres worldwide, researchers across Holcim’s global network, and external partners, from MIT to ETH, Magali is committed to accelerating climate action.

Now that the new strategies are published for all pillars, her main focus is ensuring implementation, developing very detailed roadmaps per site and per country. For Magali, more important than a vision and a strategy is implementing it. She also believes there is a need to rethink our lifestyles and involve staff and other stakeholders in wider change.

edie’s judges said: “Magali is a sustainability leader through and through. In this highly competitive category, Magali stood out for her ability to shape the breadth of evidence-based ambition in a hard-to-abate sector. She is always willing to go the extra mile and has played a leading role in driving wider transformation across her industry.”

Are you our next winner?

Now in its 16th year, the world’s largest sustainable business awards scheme – formerly known as the Sustainability Leaders Awards – continues to champion bold and brilliant climate leadership. From the most ambitious net-zero carbon programmes through to cutting-edge green innovations; from impactful climate partnerships and social sustainability initiatives to the heroes on the ground who are driving positive change.

The edie Awards are hosted during our flagship Business Leadership Month, offering a unique opportunity to have your sustainability achievements recognised and admired by thousands of businesses and climate experts. Winning an edie Award empowers teams, inspires stakeholders and accelerates sustainable business growth.

Entries for the awards are NOW OPEN and the deadline for entries is THIS FRIDAY (14 October). The winners will then be revealed at a ceremony in London on 30 March 2023. Click here for full details and to enter. 


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