CEMEX considers being a Responsible Business as the most advanced approach to stakeholder engagement, which, assisted by shared value, seeks not only to minimize negative impacts and anticipate risks but focuses on solving social issues that also represent business opportunities.
CEMEX is implementing a Responsible Business Strategy, integrating its existing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability efforts into its corporate business strategy, with specific aims to create a better future through fostering sustainability and resiliency and ultimately improving the quality of life and well-being of stakeholders through a culture that:
- Contributes to our license to operate
- Creates a positive experience for our stakeholders
- Creates shared value
- Strengthens our brand
In order to ensure appropriate community engagement and prepare our Community Engagement Plans (CEPs), we follow a bespoke process. Through this process, the Company is focused on leveraging stakeholder engagement to pursue shared value and other co-created projects to positively impact society and the environment.
The steps in this process are as follows:
Step 1. Stakeholder identification and management
Through our meaningful dialogues with stakeholders, we continue to develop and strengthen trustworthy relationships to take action locally, accelerate solutions to challenges, and contribute to local economic development.
To foster regular internal and external dialogue that informs and guides our CEPs, we organize inward-facing and externally oriented Responsible Business Committees. These multi-disciplinary committees contribute to the management of community issues, provide expert opinion on topics of concern to stakeholders, make commitments to follow-up on issues related to their areas, and contribute to the design, execution, and evaluation of our stakeholder engagement efforts.
Step 2. Impact identification and management
We are aware of our industry’s negative impacts, including pollution, traffic, and biodiversity loss, and as part of our strategy, we work collectively to address them. To this end, we identify and manage our impacts, create plans to diminish them through a management process, and build competences in our employees.
Step 3. Risk identification and management
All operations are committed to continuously assess the levels of risk and their potential implications, not only for our financial bottom line, but also for our social and environmental footprints. To this end, we regularly engage with stakeholders to openly address potential risks, operate transparently, and work on anticipating issues to address them proactively.
Step 4. Co-design and implementation of Community Engagement Plans
To implement our Responsible Business Strategy, we co-create CEPs by aligning both our business priorities and the local needs. CEPs allow us to collaborate and invest together with the communities we live and operate in through four community investment pillars:
- Education and capability development for employability
- Sustainable and resilient infrastructure and mobility
- Social and environmental innovation and entrepreneurship
- Culture of environmental protection, health and safety
Each CEP is comprised of initiatives, projects, and programs conceived through participative processes focused on developing people, communities, and preserving the environment. Our CEPs integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our investment pillars to ensure accountability, transparency, and track progress towards our goals.
By 2019, 92% of our cement plants had CEPs and formal stakeholder dialogues
Step 5. Evaluation and measurement
Through our CEPs community initiatives, we also contribute directly to other underlying SDGs, including 1, 3, 4, 5, 12 and 17. We measure our progress through our sustainability 2030 targets, KPIs designed for each project and impact measurement on selected pilot projects.
Step 6. Communication
We communicate our results through our Integrated Report, our Responsible Business Practices Booklet, our annual Communication on Progress with the UN Global Compact, GRI standards, KPMG net value to society, press releases and case studies.
Our Purpose "Building a better future".
We contribute through our operations and actions to build a sustainable and fair future for all our stakeholders. In order to achieve this where we operate, we work by anticipating risks and identifying or managing our negative impacts and developing and implementing programs for increasing positive impacts related to our business.
Human rights are the fundamental rights, freedoms, and standards of treatment to which all people are entitled. Respecting human rights is reinforced in our core value of “Acting with Integrity”, which is embedded in the way we do business.
At CEMEX, we aim to align our strategy and operations with universal principles of human rights. We understand that these principles constitute a global standard of expected corporate conduct applicable to all our operations.
Accordingly, we are actively and continuously determined to meet our responsibility to respect all human rights while fostering their respect among our business partners.
As a signatory and active participant in the UN Global Compact (UNGC) since 2004, we reaffirm our support of its 10 principles on Human Rights, Labor, Environment, and Anti-Corruption. To demonstrate our strong commitment to these principles, we annually submit an Advanced Communication of Progress (COP) to the UNGC. We currently preside the UN Global Compact Network in Mexico, working towards integrating these principles in other Mexican companies.
In 2018 we upgraded our Human Rights Policy reflecting our support and respect for the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights principles, as expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In addition, it recognizes employees, communities, contractors, and suppliers as main areas of impact and reaffirms our commitment to the promotion of and respect for human rights throughout our worldwide operations, local communities, and supply chain.
We have carried out a Human Rights Compliance Assessment, which led to the overall identification of the main potential impacts on people in our operations and value chain. After classifying these issues based on their likelihood of occurrence and impact severity, we prioritized them and confirmed that the assessment indicated CEMEX's five potential salient human rights impacts, which are:
- Health and Safety
- Environmental Footprint
- Community Impacts
- Diversity and Discrimination
- Work-life Balance
Functions such as: H&S, Operations, Procurement, Human Resources, Sustainability, Responsible Business, Legal, Public Affairs, and ERM work as ONE CEMEX on mitigating actions.
Examples of actions conducted include:
- Monthly environmental and social incidents report, detailing all events in the period, used to register and track events and actions to solve them, through direct messaging from our CEO.
- Responsible Business Committees across all geographies, which enable us to learn from our neighbors and incorporate insights into our human rights promotion and respect strategy.
- Inclusive business models tackling poverty and housing needs.
Moreover, our global grievance mechanisms enable us to maintain permanent communication with our key stakeholder groups, especially those that might be vulnerable under certain circumstances. These open communication channels enable us to obtain valuable feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented mitigation actions based on identified risks to people.
Our main grievance mechanisms include:
a. ETHOSline: We seek to pursue that our values remain alive and our Code of Ethics is properly managed. Therefore, we encourage our employees, stakeholders, and the general public to submit suggestions, inquiries, and possible violations through our ETHOSline communication channel available 24/7.
b. Global and Local Ethics Committees: Composed of representatives from different functions in each of the countries in which we operate, these dedicated taskforces seek to ensure awareness and enforcement of our Code of Ethics. All of them receive, investigate, and collaborate to resolve reported ethics breaches, including those related to human rights.
c. Stakeholder Dialogues: Aimed at getting to know and understand our stakeholders’ needs and concerns, these dialogues enable us to identify potential impacts on people and properly address them.
d. Responsible Business Committees: Composed of each plant’s director and local environmental officials, trade union representatives, local mayors of nearby towns, neighborhood representatives, and other local institutions, these groups aim to build positive, sustainable relationships with neighboring communities.
Women's rights are human rights
In 2010, the United Nations’ Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact, collaborated to establish a set of principles providing businesses with guidance on how to empower women at work, at home, and in their lives. The Women's Empowerment Principles are as follows: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality; Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination; Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers; Promote education, training and professional development for women; Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women; Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy; and Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.
Although we have observed a worldwide change in the de-stigmatization of social roles traditionally allocated to certain genders, there is much to be done in this realm. According to the latest UN Women Figures (2018), it is estimated that gender gaps cost the economy an average of 15% of GDP. In addition, while educational attainment has increased for the majority of women, this does not necessarily translate to better opportunities. Women’s inclusion is not only a matter of social justice, but also an economic and business imperative.
Our Community Diversity and Inclusion Model fosters women's economic empowerment through education and capabilities development, enabling them to become agents of social change within their families and communities through four pillars:
- Education and Health
- Development of Technical Capabilities
- Development of Entrepreneurship and Employability Capabilities
We develop the technical and leadership capabilities of women of all ages to empower them economically, through employment or entrepreneurship, contributing directly to SDG targets 10.2 and 8.5.
CEMEX is a signatory to the principles and works inwards and outwards to ensure their recognition and application.
To read more about how we comply with the principles within our Company, please follow the link.