CSR PORTRAIT N°5: Siam City Cement

Philippe RICHART

Member of Group Executive Committee of Siam City Cement and CEO of INSEE Vietnam

Can you explain your activity in a few words?

INSEE Vietnam is a member of Siam City Cement Public Company Limited (SCCC), a Thai-based regional building materials company. INSEE Vietnam (formerly LafargeHolcim) has been in Vietnam since 1994 and is one of the leading cement and other cementitious products producers in South Vietnam. We also developed over the years a waste management company, under the name of Ecocycle. We have 5 production sites all over South Vietnam, and greater HCMC and Mekong delta are our core markets. Our product portfolio is application based and we are proud of having pioneered latest technologies in our industry to raise standards and propose greener products used in many iconic buildings and infrastructure projects, as well as countless housing and commercial developments across South Vietnam.

 

Have you already implemented a social or environmental project in your company? Or do you have a sustainable development policy?

We have a purpose in our company - “Build For Life” that drives our decisions, initiatives and the way we operate. We are strongly committed to bring positive values to life through our activities in our markets and around the community where we are. In addition to the economic performance objective, we are driven by social responsibility and environmental concerns.  Sustainability has always been INSEE’s principle and I believe that we are very proactive in Vietnam in creating platforms and awareness (INSEE Prize with universities to promote sustainable construction, INSEE annual Large Infrastructure Projects Conference, Zero Landfill advocacy, etc…).

On the corporate social responsibility, we have for years developed partnership with our local stakeholders around our production sites and work with them to implement projects they feel much needed for their communities often around health and education.  Few recent examples such as building  the Kien Binh II school in Kien Luong district, Kien Giang; building Lung Lon 2 bridge across Cai Tre canal; many co-projects to build new rural areas in Mekong, Green Summer Campaign with university, the Enterprise-based Vocational Education for college students, Community Health Care Program in some southern provinces…

Moreover, INSEE Ecocycle - the waste management solution branch of INSEE Vietnam has participated in “Together with farmers protecting the environment” campaign which was launched in 22 provinces of southern Vietnam, collected and treated more than 36 tons of used pesticide packages in the field in the last 2 years.

Recently, the salinity of the Mekong delta has become an increasingly major concern that may have long lasting negative effects. And awareness of the problem is way too low. So INSEE has recently decided to cooperate with Tuoi Tre Newspaper in “Bring freshwater to Mekong Delta” project in sponsoring the project of buying water purifiers and water tanks to help local people along with providing sulphate resistant cement INSEE Extra Durable for supporting anti-saline construction projects or houses in some provinces in Mekong Delta, contributing to mitigating the impact of drought and salinity.

 

What type of advice would you give to other companies in Vietnam to launch such CSR project?

I am not into the concept of conducting CSR activities just for having a CSR project. Social responsibility should be first an essential component of the values of the companies and an element that attracts people to join and engage them.  Secondly, a business is operating within a community, and as such, like the other members of the community has a responsibility.  The two combined creates the ingredients to identify, prioritize and deploy successfully any initiatives. My advices would be:

1) to ensure that the project is sustainable and create a positive spin, with your company contribution becoming the base for new projects and benefits 

2) to involve the full organization and people into the project.

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