Engagement of stakeholders, especially employees, is a central tenet of Holcim Vietnam’s sustainability strategy. In 2011, the company’s staff members voluntarily supported several public service and environmental projects, with commitment increasing this year.
Holcim Vietnam not only concentrates on economic development to create enterprise value, but also focuses on environmental performance management and corporate social responsibility (CSR) to promote sustainable development of the local communities in parallel with business development.
Investing in long-term partnerships
The company’s volunteering programme has received enthusiastic participation from employees at all levels, as well as customers, local authorities and local communities, with over 1000 participants in 2011. The company has also formed long-term partnerships with organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Crane Foundation (ICF), Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, Catalyst Foundation and leading Vietnamese universities such as Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMC) and Can Tho University (CTU), to create further opportunities for staff engagement. The objectives of the programme are:
- To build strong alliances between staff, local communities and authorities.
- To foster a culture of corporate social and environmental responsibility at all management levels.
- To stimulate broad and lateral thinking on sustainable development.
- To build a strong team that achieves tangible improvements.
Employees are encouraged to participate in the programme in several ways. Volunteer activities are systematically tracked and recorded, and participation statistics of each department and site are reported to top management every month to promote effective and timely support from the top. All volunteers receive a thank you card and outstanding volunteering efforts are recognised by the General Director and Sustainable Development Director. Visible involvement and support from top management has increased participation rates.
Volunteer activities in 2011
Holcim Vietnam started its volunteering programme in 2008, and by 2010 the programme had become well organised, with a systematic approach and diversification of activities. In 2011, the company supported the communities near its sites through a number of projects and activities.
Humanitarian relief and enhancement of livelihoods
Volunteers were involved in rice donations, providing dental checkups and giving gifts to school children, with the aim of improving quality of life in the local communities.
Environmentally friendly bricks and building houses
Volunteers contributed their time and skills to help build a community centre near Holcim Vietnam’s Hiep Phuoc plant, 21 houses at Rainbow Village in Kien Giang province and two medical centres near the Hon Chong plant. They also joined the Green Summer campaign, in partnership with Can Tho University and HCMC University of Technology, to teach English to students and to build rural roads, houses and bridges.
Exco Green Volunteer Day
Exco Green Volunteer Day is an annual volunteer activity in which the company’s top management sets an example for staff to engage in sustainable development activities. In 2011, 3000 mangrove and casuarina trees were planted in one day along the shoreline at Khoe La Mountain, Kien Giang province, to stabilise the soil against erosion. This is one of Holcim Vietnam’s biodiversity protection activities carried out in collaboration with IUCN.
Earth Hour and World Environment Day
The annual Earth Hour Event and World Environment Day (WED) have always attracted hundreds of participants. On Earth Hour night, office lights were turned off at all sites for one hour, whilst people lit candles together. A photo contest capturing the moments before and after lights were turned off was open to all employees. In response to WED, nearly 300 employees at all Holcim Vietnam sites joined local people to collect waste, clean up the workplace and local surroundings, clear drainage systems and plant trees.
Site cleaning and Greening Day campaign
The plants initiated campaigns for the first time in 2011. Beton Cleaning Day and Cat Lai Environmental Day are monthly events to raise awareness of a clean, tidy and safe working environment. Hundreds of staff participated in cleaning and painting parking lots and manufacturing areas, collecting waste, planting trees and repainting doors and windows.
Benefits at all levels
The volunteer activities have brought the following benefits:
- At a community level, they are an excellent way to engage stakeholders, including local authorities and communities.
- At a corporate level, volunteer activities enhance understanding of social and environmental responsibility and embed sustainable development in the company’s ethos.
- At an employee level, individual volunteers feel proud of the company they work for.
1500 volunteer days
In 2011, Holcim Vietnam employees donated over 1000 volunteer days. This year, the company will continue its volunteer programme and integrate it with a ‘Together for Communities’ global initiative. The company aims to reach 1500 volunteer days – approximately one day per employee. Each activity will be linked with the number 100 as much as possible. For example, for the fifth year running, executive committee members will participate in the construction of 100 m of rural road.
Written by Nguyen Cong Minh Bao, Holcim Vietnam
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/asia-pacific-rim/29062012/holcim_vietnam_volunteer_engagement_projects/