IUCN and Holcim – one of the world’s leading cement and aggregate suppliers – began working together in 2007 with the aim of strengthening biodiversity management within Holcim’s operations. During the first partnership agreement (2007-2010), an IUCN-led Panel of Independent Experts developed an effective strategy for a Biodiversity Management System (BMS) within Holcim’s operations.

As a result of the first phase, the partnership was renewed for three years (2011-2013) with a view to ensuring the effective implementation of the BMS, demonstrating better biodiversity conservation and business outcomes to the Holcim Group as well as extending the approach to the wider building-materials sector.

In order to deliver on this, in July 2011 the ELC was requested to develop the policy component of the project partnership. A draft proposal on the envisaged methodology of work and expected deliverables was presented to the IUCN-HOLCIM Steering Committee. As a result of the discussions, it was agreed that the ELC would develop, based on the BMS, legal Guidelines that create a framework encouraging a company in the building-materials sector to operate in a way that integrates biodiversity into its business. Once the Guidelines are finalized, it is foreseen to conduct a pilot testing phase in Holcim countries of operation.

The ELC started the development of Guidelines for Policy and Legislation on integration of biodiversity aspects in extractive industry activities in 2011. The project team continued to advance the work in 2012 with two drafts and a number of working sessions, peer reviews and consultations.

During the CBD COP11 in October, the ELC co-organized a side-event on "Private Sector Engagement and Best Practices for Enhancing Biodiversity Management”. The purpose of this event was to bring policymakers, experts, and companies together to share knowledge and lessons learned, promote best practices for biodiversity conservation by private companies and define principles that create an enabling environment for biodiversity management.