The construction industry and the general public can help in the drive towards conservation by using materials produced following the highest standards of sustainability, the top official of construction solutions company Holcim Philippines, Inc. said in a recent architecture forum.
During his presentation at the Seminar on Heritage Conservation, Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism on 16 March, Holcim Philippines President and Country CEO Eduardo A. Sahagun said rapid urbanization and climate change are two of the biggest challenges facing conservationists.
He said Holcim Philippines and the rest of the LafargeHolcim Group is helping address these challenges by producing essential materials for development in the most sustainable manner. This way, conservation efforts not only preserve legacy structures but also the environment, which is part of natural heritage.
One way Holcim Philippines is contributing to this is through the progressive rehabilitation program to conserve the environment, part of a country’s natural heritage. Under this, used lands are restored to their previous state or better so future generations will enjoy these as thriving natural habitats.
Sahagun said the public can participate in these conservation efforts by being discerning in their choice of products.
“Conserving for the future is everyone’s responsibility. It’s not just us. Supporting companies that practice this encourages more investments for sustainability,” he said.
Sahagun explained that builders must then look beyond the normal way of looking at materials and consider other things like sustainability.
“I would recommend that peers in the construction industry examine their supply chains and tilt these towards sustainability. We hope people see that we don’t just sell a grey powder and realize we invest to make sure making sure future generations enjoy what we have,” he said.
“Our lives today are all part of our heritage and if we are not conscious about our responsibility then there will be no heritage to speak of - nothing that will remind us about how we lived or improved over time. Nothing that we can look back on to understand ourselves as a people,” he added.
Sahagun said Holcim Philippines is committed to managing the impact of operations to the environment and has even implemented measures that go beyond legal requirements. He shared that the company has begun to audit the biodiversity in rehabilitated sites to ensure restoration efforts are on the right track.
“No regulation requires us to do these, but we feel it is our moral duty. We hope that with this approach, every ton that we produce leads to 10 times more positive developments,” he said.
Last year, Holcim Philippines products were certified as environment-friendly or Green Choice Products by the Ecolabelling Programme of the Philippines. The company highlighted its commitment to sustainability, compliance with the environmental laws and green programs nationwide in applying for the certification from the National Ecolabelling Programme of the Philippines-Green Choice Philippines.