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For CEMEX, social responsibility is a way of being and doing business. This story tells what “Building a better future” looks like. Given the importance of the sustainability-related challenges that society is facing, CEMEX has integrated sustainability into its business strategy. Their model ensures that they concentrate their efforts and resources on the issues of highest relevance to their business and greatest concern to their stakeholders.
Construyo Contigo is designed to improve housing for low-income families by offering the training, funding, and technical assistance they require to construct their own homes. Its business model is based on public-private partnerships with governments, non-profit organizations, universities and communities.
Construyo Contigo combines the following four programs and practices:
"We want to build a better future, our goal is to create sustainable value to meet the needs of construction ensuring that sustainability is integrated into our business strategy". CEMEX has a clear vision and its high impact social programs and initiatives have the same sense of purpose of building a better future and creating value for all its stakeholders.
The innovation was born after 2010 when Nuevo Leon, Mexico was hit by a huge hurricane named "Alex" where a lot of people lost their houses and the principal avenues were destroyed. The Government of Nuevo Leon decided to invest in the reconstruction, but they didn’t know how to make sure the money spent would go to the construction process. CEMEX decided to donate materials, but thought there had to be a better way to ensure the resources would be enough and that they would be used properly.
This was the reason everything began. CEMEX thought developing a program where people would be involved in the construction process would make communities care about the work put into building their homes. This is why Construyo Contigo was born. It is a way to ensure social participation and the right allocation of construction resources.
CEMEX goes above and beyond, collaborating with local communities to ensure everyone has access to adequate resources. They understand that the best way to predict the future is to innovate.
CEMEX wants to actively participate in sustainable communities, as well as create opportunities to develop social and inclusive businesses. They also constantly promote empowerment, diversity in workplaces, and developing abilities within communities so they can find alternate sources of income.
Construyo Contigo has had a positive effect for CEMEX because it has improved its reputation as a responsible company, plus it has increased its sales and the generation of new alliances with governments and a handful of NGO. Furthermore, the community has engaged in the construction of sustainable houses and has acquire knowledge and skills to self-develop their own houses and later become self-employed in the same kind of construction business. Socially speaking it has contributed in the generation of social interactions and improvement which has improved the security of the communities. Contruyo Contigo greatly improves the natural environment because it promotes a better use of materials and the saving of natural resources.
This initiative has a direct, positive, and immediate effect in the most vulnerable communities in the country, developing skills and capabilities for its members by participating in the constructive process of their own houses with sustainable criteria. In the long term, the relationship between government and society will support CEMEX in their pursuit to new zones to obtain their principal materials.
CEMEX has managed to increase business by leveraging their innovations. Through their programs, CEMEX has built a better reputation worldwide which in turn has led to an increase in sales. Nowadays governments, businessmen, and NGO´s approach CEMEX looking for their expertise. With their innovations, CEMEX continuously broadens their offerings and service capabilities, which enables them to reach more markets.
Through their innovations they constantly create value for their stakeholders, which helps align common interests. This engagement with their stakeholders helps attract and retain talent which is crucial for their continuous growth and aids guarantee operational continuity.
CEMEX has set a target to benefit more than 15 million people by the year 2020. The announcement was made within the framework of the 2015 UN Private Sector Forum, where Fernando González Olivieri, CEMEX's CEO, was present.
CEMEX´s initiatives foster empowerment and growth, creating lasting sustainable value. Social business models have allowed the company to work with hundreds of communities all over the world and improve the quality of life of approximately thirteen million people.
As an equipment for the houses, CEMEX offers clean cook stoves that have many benefits. They are made from concrete, which has certain properties that helps reduce the amount of wood used by families in half. Using this stove reduces the risk of inhaling carbon monoxide. They are also very easy to install. Studies have shown a 65% savings in wood usage and a 99% reduction in carbon monoxide gases as well as other suspended particles that are very harmful to humans.
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Luz Elena Barragán Bravo, Social Responsibility Director
Rene Ríos Muela, Inclusive Business Advisor
CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products, reliable service, and solutions to satisfy the construction needs of customers around the world. They work hard to develop and deliver the best and most sustainable solutions in cement, ready-mix, and aggregates, so they can transform ideas into reality. They strive to make the future better for customers, shareholders, and communities by becoming the world's most efficient and innovative building materials company.