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Cemex's Social Responsibility Initiatives

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG047
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1996 - 2004
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Cemex
Industry : Cement
Countries : Mexico

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"Our commitment to social responsibility guides our strategy for sustainable development, which is to run an efficient and profitable business while caring for the needs of our environment and our communities." 1

- www.cemex.com.

"An important element of our strategy is to create programs that benefit both our society and our company." 2

- Inter American Development Bank, www.iadb.org.

"Cemex is committed to social responsibility and to collaborate in the making of a different Mexico." 3

- Israel Moreno, Director and Founder of Patrimonio Hoy.


Mexico-based Cemex, the third largest cement company in the world, received the World Environment Center Gold Medal award for International Corporate Environmental Achievement4 in 2002.

This award was given in recognition of the fact that Cemex has not only developed new products and techniques that minimize waste generation but has also made significant efforts to conserve the environment. The company also conducted eco-balancing studies for its new manufacturing processes before implementing them. It used alternative fuels that not only brought down energy costs for the company but also helped it to protect the environment. Cemex had initiated several social responsibility initiatives that focused mainly on environmental conservation and community development. The company released a sustainability report based on the Global Reporting Initiative's 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (Refer Exhibit I)...

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This report highlighted the public account of the company's economic, environmental and social performance in relation to its operations, products and services. One of the major community welfare initiatives Cemex took was the 'Patriomonio Hoy' program that enabled poor people to upgrade their own houses by purchasing building materials from Cemex.

The company recognized a high potential market for its products in the lower income market segment especially among do-it-yourself home builders.5 'Patrimonio Hoy' means "Patrimony Today."

Patrimony refers to the tradition of creating something of value that can be passed down to future generations. The idea behind the program was to encourage members of the program to save and invest in property (Refer Exhibit II for the mission and objectives of the Patrimonio Hoy program).

According to Israel Moreno, the director and founder of Patrimonio Hoy, "Our focus is not just on material things. Doing business and finding solutions for these people are of equal importance." 6

Cemex's Social Responsibility Initiatives - Next Page>>

1] A Sustainable Future, posted on www.cemex.com.

2] Workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility Inter American Development Bank, www.iadb.org, June 28, 2004.

3] Herbst, Kris, Enabling the Poor to Build Housing: Cemex Combines Profits & Social responsibility, www.changemakers.net, September 2002.

4] The medal is awarded to honor a company for its efforts to meet health, safety and social goals, as well as for its environmental achievements.

5] People who want to construct their houses themselves without using the services of construction workers or engineers in order to reduce costs.

6] Herbst, Kris, Enabling the Poor to Build Housing: Cemex Combines Profits & Social responsibility, www.changemakers.net, September 2002.


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