Leading building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc. is ready to raise its positive impact on Mindanao’s progress by introducing more innovative construction technologies and sustaining social and environmental programs. 

During the 32nd Mindanao Business Conference on Aug. 24, Holcim Philippines Chief Sustainability Officer Zoe Sibala highlighted how the company’s drive to decarbonize operations and lessen consumption of virgin materials supports sustainable tourism in Mindanao.  (You may check this https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/advancing-sustainable-resilient-tourism-mindanao%3FtrackingId=GBtmVGbKRjeRccC8QfcKag%253D%253D/?trackingId=GBtmVGbKRjeRccC8QfcKag%3D%3D)

Sibala said the company’s push for sustainable and innovative construction solutions is enabling Mindanao to build essential structures that boost tourism, preserve natural resources, and adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. 

One such solution is bioactive concrete that can help revitalize marine ecosystems. Sibala said the company is engaging partners to consider this innovative solution for coral reef restoration and for breakwater structures to mitigate coastal erosion. The nature-based solution is developed by Holcim Group concrete experts and marine biologists from French ecological engineering organization SeaBoost. 

“Tourism can be a catalyst for positive change in Mindanao. To be a catalyst, we think out of the box. Paradigms shift and we embrace new ways of working. We cannot grow, develop, and consume resources at the same pace. Significant savings – both financial and natural resources, can be realized just by changing the construction methods, design, and type of materials used for the right application,” she added. 

Sibala also expressed hope for greater collaboration among key stakeholders to create an environment that enables Holcim and other players to better support sustainable tourism in Mindanao. 

“Tackling the challenge of pursuing a sustainable development of the tourism industry requires all of us to work together – an enabling policy framework, responsible business practices and consumer behavior,” she said. 

Meanwhile, the company’s plant in Lugait, Misamis Oriental along with its associates union participated in an Iligan Council hearing last Sept. 1 on updating an ordinance that promotes the use of locally-produced building materials in the city.  

Holcim Lugait Plant Manager Luningning Donato expressed the company’s appreciation for the city council’s initiative, noting that such a policy can help the company remain as a partner of progress in the region. 

Donato highlighted that the company continues to help Iligan develop in terms of the technology that provides innovative products and access to new solutions. Holcim Philippines has proven itself as a positive force for development by providing gainful employment, tax revenues, and community and environmental programs.  

Also on Sept. 1, the company’s waste management unit Geocycle shared its willingness to help the Misamis Oriental provincial government on this matter.

During the meeting of the Environment and Natural Resources Officers Association, Geocycle representatives shared the process for which the Lugait plant can receive qualified wastes for co-processing into alternative fuels and raw materials in cement manufacturing. Environment officers from 21 municipalities in Misamis Oriental attended. 

As of the first half, nine local government units in Mindanao are supported by Holcim in waste management. The company has also converted 600,000 tons of waste into alternative resources during this period. 

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