Holcim, UP renew partnership for sustainable construction course


Leading building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc. has renewed its partnership with the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Engineering (CoE) for an elective course that highlights the value of sustainability and inclusivity in building for development.

In a virtual signing ceremony on September 2, the company and the UP CoE renewed the partnership for the Sustainable Construction Elective Course (CE 197) to teach aspiring engineers about sustainable construction or designing and executing projects that balances economic, environmental, and social interests. This  is the primary advocacy of the Holcim Foundation, which encourages the building industry to play a bigger role in shaping a sustainable future.

Guest lecturers from Holcim Philippines will discuss topics such as sustainable design, environmental, and social issues in construction, and the latest developments in building solutions and innovations.

The Sustainable Construction Elective Course was previously offered in UP COE in 2018. It was launched in 2015, when Holcim Philippines also sponsored the construction of a classroom in the Institute of Civil Engineering complex. The partnership between the organizations began in November 2014 wherein Holcim Philippines employees served as lecturers in a workshop to help fifth-year UP engineering students transition from the university to the professional world.      

Holcim Philippines was represented by Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Zoe Sibala, Senior Vice President and Head of Organization and Human Resources Det Tansingco, and Vice President and Head of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Cara Ramirez. The UP delegation was led by UP Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Ma. Theresa T. Payongayong, Associate Dean for Public Service Dr. Eden May de la Pena, Associate Dean for Student Affairs Dr. Djoan Kate Tungpalan, Chairperson for Institutional Linkages Roseanne Ramos, UP Institute of Civil Engineering Director Dr. Tonette Tanchuling, UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation President Val Reyes and Executive Director Tito Aliga.

In a message delivered by Dr. Payongayong, UP Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo expressed his appreciation for Holcim Philippines’ continuing support in enhancing the instruction and research of engineering in UP. He added that the elective course can serve as a catalyst for more courses on sustainable construction in the university.

“This MoA (Memorandum of Agreement) is inspired by our vision of preparing our engineers to be at the forefront of inclusive and sustainable design, construction, and development. While we shall start with an undergraduate course, we hope to expand to an interdisciplinary course involving the different trades in construction such as architecture and engineering disciplines and in the future graduate courses. This is in line with our efforts to produce the new generation of enyinhero ng bayan who will help in nation building and engineering solutions for sustainable and inclusive development,” he said.

In her message, Sibala highlighted Holcim Philippines’ stronger sustainability commitment and the importance of engaging academic institutions as partners in instilling the value of sustainability particularly among the country’s future builders.

“Engaging them through partnerships with key academic institutions allows us to share the value of sustainable construction and early on make them our allies in building greener, building smarter, and building for all. We look forward to having our colleagues engage with these young, bright minds because one day, these young people will build these structures for our country,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tansingco noted the elective course’s importance in attracting to Holcim Philippines graduates from one of the country's top engineering schools by highlighting the exciting and purposeful transformation happening in the company.

“Another key to our success is having the right people who will drive transformations that enable us to achieve our commitments in these areas. In an industrial company like ours, it is of high importance that we attract leading talents in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Through this partnership, we hope to show students of UP College of Engineering that there are exciting things happening at Holcim Philippines and that we hope to have them be part of driving these forward,” she said.

Holcim, UP signing ceremony for sustainable construction elective course