Six years after the top cement and concrete rivals merged to form LafargeHolcim Ltd., a streamlined identity, Holcim AG, has been adopted to unite namesake, Lafarge and sister building materials brands behind the Group’s purpose of building “progress for people and the planet.” The name change coincides with establishment of new headquarters in Zug, Switzerland—south of Zurich.
“Our world is changing in many ways, with population growth, urbanization and the climate challenge,” says Holcim CEO Jan Jenisch. “We are determined to play our part to accelerate low-carbon and circular construction so that we build a net zero future and raise living standards for everyone.”
Concurrent with the new identity, he adds, Holcim is reinforcing its focus on making cities greener and infrastructure smarter by offering the world’s broadest range of low carbon building materials. Becoming a net zero company, Holcim puts sustainability at the core of its strategy and, through leadership in material recycling, drives the circular economy. Management aims to make the enterprise “smarter in a data-driven and agile way while fostering open innovation.”
Along with Lafarge, Holcim is home to ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cements, Firestone Building Products and Geocycle—all retaining their respective market identities and names across the globe.
The name change preceded strong midyear guidance in which Holcim measures the effects of the newly acquired Firestone Building Products business, plus seven bolt-on acquisitions in the first half of 2021—the latter adding aggregates and ready mixed concrete production capacity in mature European and North American markets. The producer also cites leadership in green building solutions through the phased rollout of ECOPact, a family of low-carbon concrete mixes available in 24 markets across the globe; and, ECOPlanet, an innovative range of green cement that delivers at least 30 percent lower carbon footprint when measured against portland cement, yet imparts equal to superior performance in finished slabs and structures.
CORPS COLLABORATION: C&D DEBRIS RECYCLING
LafargeHolcim, Chicago, and Geocycle, a South Carolina subsidiary offering industrial, agricultural and municipal waste management services worldwide, are teaming with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to pinpoint recovery and recycling prospects for military installation construction and demolition materials. The ERDC will provide technical assistance and $3.4 million to develop a basic research program. The project will leverage resources from Geocycle’s Holly Hill research center and the Holcim Ltd. Global Innovation Center in Lyon, France.
“In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that approximately 600 million tons of construction and demolition debris was generated in the United States, which is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste,” says Geocycle Director, North America Sophie Wu. “The partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help us better understand this material and see how we can create a circular economy program leading to a zero-waste future.”
The research team will conduct a waste-characterization study at Army installations facing significant construction and demolition debris. Materials will then be evaluated for possible coprocessing opportunities, including energy or mineral recovery. Information gleaned from the research will help the Corps identify ways to reduce waste, increase its circular economy efforts, and avoid landfill costs plus associated emissions.
The LafargeHolcim, Geocycle and ERDC cooperative agreement is supported by funds appropriated to the Department of Defense and Corps. Based in Vicksburg, Miss., the ERDC conducts R&D in support of the soldier, military installations, and civil works projects as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with U.S. industry through innovative work agreements.