Our four community investment pillars allow us to deliver focused co-investments in the cities and communities we live and operate in. They are intrinsically related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) and the contribution we want to make to the 2030 Agenda through our priority SDG's.
- Goal 8: Promotion of decent employment and economic growth
- Goal 9: Innovation and infrastructure development
- Goal 11: Advancement of sustainable cities and communities
- Goal 13: Climate change mitigation
- Goal 15: Environmental and ecosystem conservation
Given the interrelated nature of the SDG´s, even though we focus on the above SDG´s, our pillars also tackle other SDG´s through their initiatives in a cross-cutting manner.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a universal and urgent call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. This ambition will only be met through collaborative action by all sectors of society.
Education is key to facing current and future challenges; that is why we promote quality education, infrastructure, and appropriate nurturing environments in the countries in which we work. We also focus on developing technical and soft skills and competences that foster employability and ensure an adequate future workforce for our Company. As a result, communities are more self-sufficient and empowered. By facilitating access to relevant technical and vocational skills for young people and adults, we contribute directly to SDGs targets 4.3 and 4.4. We also contribute to SDGs targets 8.5 and 8.6 by involving non-educated, employed or trained (NEET) or graduate age youth in different programs that foster employability.
We support different education initiatives—from formal education scholarships to development of capabilities for employability—as well as awareness of cultural topics such as youth employability and women’s economic empowerment in the community.
In order to be able to maximize our impact and comprehensively track our actions, we have thus designed two main programs that will start working during 2020. One of these two overarching programs for this pillar focuses on developing complementary education initiatives that contribute to the employability of future generations, mainly by teaching the skills needed for tomorrow’s workplace; whilst the other is focused on the development of employability capabilities of the people in the cities and communities where we operate.
At CEMEX, we are acting to eradicate youth unemployment, strategically building the foundation for our future growth. Along with all of our industry peers, we are experiencing an aging workforce, which if unaddressed, could result in the loss of skilled and knowledgeable labor for our business continuity. Hence, it is of vital importance for our Company and our industry to rethink practices for attracting, retaining, and engaging young and innovative talent. By developing youth employability capabilities, we bridge the gap between current skills and the needs of our future industrial ecosystem.
According to the forecast of the International Labor Organization, in 2019, the expected global unemployment rate was 4.9%, while the youth unemployment rate was 11.8%; this meant that 59.1 million youth aged 15 to 24 could not find a job. In total, youth represented 33% of unemployed people worldwide. This phenomenon has grown in scale throughout the years. There are several reasons behind this trend, such as an ever-increasing population, limited economic growth, and more importantly, a gap between skills learned by students and the needs of employers. Additionally, people who have experienced youth unemployment face lower average future earnings, thus limiting the productivity and growth of future generations and affecting the overall business environment.
In order to tackle this problem, CEMEX, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), developed a program called New Employment Opportunities (NEO). By 2019, only through NEO, more than 41,000 people had already been trained by 2019, with a 74% placement rate.
Additionally, in January 2019, CEMEX signed an agreement with the Global Alliance for YOUth (All4YOUth), this agreement aims to collectively improve 15 million lives by 2022 through quality education and workforce readiness with the commitment of 20 companies.
As part of our partnership with All4YOUth, CEMEX has defined four focus areas to work on:
Digital and STEM Skills
Entry level and internships programs
Through our alliance with All4YOUth, the Company seeks to impact 65,000 young people (under the age of 30) by 2022
A significant part of our efforts concentrates on Community Centers, or non-traditional classrooms, located where we operate, which offer a wide variety of courses to develop the skills and competences for sustainable communities. These courses are not only an integral response for people of all ages to expand their knowledge, but also empower focused groups such as youth and women. In 2019, we had 40 Community Centers that offered more than 1,592 workshops to over 26,200 annual participants.
We have developed self-sustaining business models in the construction industry to improve the livelihoods in the countries in which we operate. Through these models, we support society by building durable infrastructure that contributes to the resilience of the cities and communities. We further bring together communities and local authorities to tackle critical social issues such as credit, housing, employment, basic services, resilient infrastructure, and public spaces.
Our two overarching programs for this pillar are comprised of one program that focuses on developing integral affordable housing solutions that contribute to the economical and psychological wellbeing of their inhabitants; and another which focuses on facilitating mobility solutions for people with disabilities, campaigns for efficiency and accident reduction rate in transportation as well as promoting resiliency through awareness and new building models.
According to the World Bank, 26 million people are left in poverty yearly due to disasters. Disasters are socially constructed; they are a result of natural or anthropogenic phenomena and human activity. Rapid, extensive migration results in infrastructure incapable of serving this constantly growing population and thus increased risks.
Through our Resiliency and Urban Transformation Model we transfer our knowledge for promoting a culture of prevention and rapid disaster response.
We provide innovative, sustainable solutions to social and environmental issues by supporting, promoting or otherwise contributing to organizations and activities that create innovative ideas. Our social innovation and shared value creation position us as a benchmark in responsible business. In addition, we support local entrepreneurship through training or acceleration in order to boost local economies.
Our two overarching programs for this pillar are comprised of one that focuses on empowering and providing the necessary tools for people to develop or accelerate their own entrepreneurship projects; and another which is focused on providing the tools for conceiving or accelerating holistic solutions to social and environmental problems, thus developing mature social innovation businesses.
In 2019, more than 1,500 entrepreneurships by women were supported through training or finance
We use resources sustainably, encourage a proactive attitude to diversity conservation and restoration, and reinforce a culture of health and safety in the cities and communities where we operate. We act to reduce the degradation of ecosystems by partnering to protect and restore threatened areas, contributing directly to SDG target 15.1.
Our two overarching programs for this pillar focus on one hand on community environment-related initiatives, such as biodiversity conservation to provide ecosystem services; and on another on safeguarding lives within the communities we live and operate in from natural and anthropogenic hazards through health campaigns.