Sustainability strategy

Economic, environmental and social responsibilities are the three dimensions that all companies within HeidelbergCement Northern Europe (HCNE) use as a base in creating added value for our internal and external stakeholders.

We know that responsible business practices and adherence to sustainability principles, which protect local welfare and natural environments, are essential to long-term business success. That means responsible behaviour, transparency, and dialogue with all stakeholders including employees, customers, business partners, local communities and neighbours, and authorities at every one of our locations.

Our sustainability ambitions

In addition to compliance with laws and regulations, our sustainability work is based on our overall Group sustainability strategy monitored by the Group Sustainability Steering Committee. Back in 2009, our most important activities for promoting sustainability were summarized in a set of guidelines: Sustainability Ambitions 2020. They highlight the priorities of our sustainability strategy and apply to all entities within HeidelbergCement. We are currently working to update the Sustainability Ambitions. Once this is done, the programme will define our sustainability strategy until 2030.

Other focus areas

Along with environmental issues, there is also a strong focus on health and safety. An initiative called “Safe behaviour” has been implemented throughout the organization, including training of all supervisors and introduction of common tools for structuring the health and safety work. Furthermore, guidelines covering areas such as contractor safety, work at height, machine safeguarding and driving safety are implemented at all locations.

In our cement business line, measures and goals of our sustainability work are evaluated and new, more progressive goals are established annually in formalized groups and processes including relevant managers. In our other business lines, each company handles goal setting and evaluation as part of the annual budget process.

We believe it is vital to have close contact with stakeholders, including local communities and authorities. We value their views and aim to have an open and transparent dialogue. Through communication training of local management, open plant/site days and through social media as well as regular newsletters at each of our cement plants, we further encourage local dialogues.

We also believe in research and development, including possibilities through digital and mobility related products and services, to remain sustainable in today’s fast developing society.

Read more about Sustainability at the HeidelbergCement Group website.

Sustainable business conduct

Our business lines are to a large extent regulated by permits determined by authorities that control emission levels and other environmental impacts. As the dominant player on the markets in our area, behaving ethically is crucial for us and this is continually stressed. We acknowledge the importance of a functioning and competitive market and adhere to a zero-tolerance policy on corruption and infractions of competition law as well as national marketing legislation. As a preventive measure, our managers and employees participate in training to ensure compliance to competition laws and our ethical policy, which are described in our Code of Business Conduct and the Compliance Program.

The General Manager leads the HCNE executive committee, which consists of five key members of the HCNE management team and reports to a member of the HeidelbergCement group executive board. The HCNE executive committee is responsible for ensuring sustainability in our business in terms of environment, social issues, labour practices, work environment, human rights and product responsibility.

Company guidelines

These are our primary company guidelines:

  • Corporate Mission – The guiding principles for the company’s culture and fundamental values.
  • Leadership Principles – Based on Corporate Mission and designed to help us build a common management and leadership culture.
  • The Code of Business Conduct – Describes our values of high ethical and legal standards for all our business activities from strategic planning to day-to-day procedures.
  • Compliance Program – Includes a competition law guideline and an anti-corruption guideline. Based on our respect for the principles and rules of fair competition, which prohibit anti-competitive behaviours and abuse of a dominant market position.
  • Corporate Citizen Policy – Describes areas of focus to ensure effective coordination of sponsoring and voluntary activities at all locations.
  • Occupational Health & Safety Policy – We strive for zero accidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses by emphasizing prevention.
  • Supplier Code of Conduct – Building on our HeidelbergCement “Code of Business Conduct”, our globally applicable Supplier Code of Conduct acts a basis for all contractual relationships with suppliers.
  • Sustainability Ambitions 2020 - Highlights the priorities of our sustainability strategy and applies to all entities within HeidelbergCement.