At CEMEX, we seek to ensure that we are a good neighbor and an active and positive part of every community in which we operate. To meet this objective, and to move closer to our vision to build a smart world together with our stakeholders, we seek to minimize our local impacts, develop strong long-term relationships with local community members, and contribute to socio-economic development wherever we operate. Promoting education and training opportunities in schools and universities, including funding cultural and sporting activities. Fostering local environmental awareness projects and encouraging employee volunteering.
A key aspect of our sustainability strategy is to create social value in a manner that is aligned with our core business strategy and values. Toward that end, we often conduct social and environmental impact assessments and seek to minimize the possible negative impacts of our operations while providing communities with opportunities to improve their quality of life.
Continuous community dialogue and action are critical to our ability to execute our sustainability strategy and operate our business. Therefore, we work with neighbors before we begin operations and maintain an ongoing conversation with them to improve mutual understanding of our business and impacts, as well as their views.
Because our operations often form a major part of our local communities—we often employ community members and work with local suppliers—we focus on building trust and open dialogue with our neighbors.
Our policy is to participate with communities openly and directly in order to build trust and address their concerns. Our strategy is to continually improve and standardize our approach to community engagement. We find what works and what is mutually beneficial for both the community and CEMEX, and we seek to systemize that practice across our operations. Most of our cement and aggregates sites have community engagement plans in place that include, for example, site visits, open days, and social investment projects. In addition, in some countries we have assembled community advisory councils to help us strengthen dialogue.
Our social investment initiatives are part of community engagement plans and are designed with a long-term perspective and in collaboration with neighbors. Our efforts also seek to leverage our core competencies and assets. Ultimately, they help to build trust and relationships and secure the growth of our business. We have developed specific social investment guidelines, which provide a common global framework designed to support the planning and execution of social investment strategies in all countries.
Our social council brings together managers responsible for social initiatives in each region of operation. The council is charged with consolidating and aligning our social investment guidelines to encourage a common approach among business units, countries, and regions.
Operating Responsibly in Occupied Territories
In accordance to our Corporate Human Rights policy, CEMEX upholds these principles across our operations, including those in occupied territories:
CEMEX has three ready-mix concrete plants located in Occupied Palestinian Territories (Mishor Adumim, Mevoh Horon and Atarot). All operate in industrial zones with the permits and licenses required by local laws, and remain committed to the principles outlined by the UN Global Compact. The locations in which the concrete plants are situated, were defined in the interim agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, signed in Oslo in 1993. The agreement states that these areas will be under the administrative responsibility of Israel until a permanent agreement is reached. Therefore, these settlements are legal and compatible with the existing agreement between the cited parties. Moreover, much of the facilities’ concrete production is delivered to Jerusalem where it is used for residential and infrastructure projects, meeting the demands of all local communities, regardless of race or faith. In 2015, as part of our asset sale strategy, we sold our portion of the Yatir quarry and no longer hold a partnership with the third party that manages and operates the quarry, therefore we are not involved in natural resource extractive activities in the West Bank. During the ten years we did own a portion of the quarry, we were never involved in its management. Production, operations, logistics, sales, etc., were managed and operated exclusively by a local partner.