A proposal for integrated biodiversity management
Under the IUCN-Holcim Phase I agreement (2007-2010), an Independent Expert Panel was set up with the main purpose of proposing a system for including biodiversity in all planning and operational processes at Holcim.
Panel members visited Holcim sites in 7 countries, representing different geographic areas, operations, lifecycle stage, and issues. The visits allowed the panel to observe Holcim operations, talk to Holcim staff, and meet with local stakeholders and authorities – and so gain a thorough understanding of Holcim processes for identifying and managing biodiversity issues, as well as how socio-economic, political, geographic and biological factors influence the planning and operating environment in which Holcim operates.
Based on this, in 2010 the panel published a set of recommendations for a Biodiversity Management System (BMS) to systematically guide Holcim in its approach to biodiversity management.
BMS framework: Integrating biodiversity into existing business processes
Holcim accepted and adopted the panel’s recommendations. Rather than creating a separate process and system, the Group embedded the appropriate biodiversity considerations into existing tools and processes. Relevant existing guidelines were updated and, where needed, new guidance was published.
The recommendations for a BMS framework were launched in October 2010 at the 10th Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan. It encompasses the entire lifecycle of a quarry, from exploration of a new site and developing the project through to site operations, rehabilitation and closure.
New policies to support BMS implementation
In January 2011, Holcim issued a revised Environmental Policy that includes a commitment to seek opportunities to protect, restore and enhance biodiversity on and around extraction sites. To support this commitment and BMS implementation, an internal biodiversity directive was issued at the same time. The directive addresses:
- Compliance with applicable legal requirements
- Application of the Holcim Biodiversity Management System
- Decisions based on up to date information
- Biodiversity considerations for new site development
- Biodiversity management at existing sites
- Consideration of the natural environment in restoration
- Monitoring and Reporting