Sustainability in Action

Keeping safety at the forefront of people's minds

The 2017/18 Annual Europe Safety Campaign, which ran from November 2017 to February 2018, consisted of a series of locally developed programmes with a focus on occupational health and transport safety in addition to dedicated central initiatives rolled out across the business units.

The dedicated initiatives consisted of a specifically designed workshop for frontline leaders, which focused on 3 key areas:

  • positive behavioural reinforcement 
  • planning for effective safety communication 
  • responsibilities around contractor safety Management

Assessing and progressing our safety culture

We have completed safety culture assessments at every one of our materials businesses in North America, covering all employees at close to 1,300 locations across 44 states and 6 Canadian provinces. The primary action point is to learn from our employees on how to prevent the incident before it happens. We believe those closest to the risk should have the most to say about it, so we are moving towards a more analytical and proactive approach to incident prevention. This looks at the wider system and aims to understand human error, system induced error and how leadership influences our actions. We have been piloting this approach with good results and will roll out management training to all staff in 2018.

Using virtual reality technology in safety training

Our US-based Digital Engineering Team provides technology research and development to all of CRH. A very powerful use of virtual reality (VR) technology in safety training is currently being developed. Scenarios simulating complex experiences, such as interactions with machinery and/or equipment, have been prototyped, and learning theory is being integrated to ensure that the knowledge gained from the experience can be applied to complete tasks more safely in the workplace.

Innovative recruiting approach at Cadillac Asphalt

In the US, skilled labour is in short supply with predictions of a 5 million worker gap by 2023. Cadillac Asphalt, our Joint Venture Partner in Detroit, Michigan, had the additional challenge that 15% of employees were eligible to retire in two years. To address this, Cadillac came up with its ground-breaking Future Paving Professionals Program (FP3). Pre-apprentices, recruited through outreach programmes, work in this union-approved programme alongside more experienced employees. Having completed the 700-hour on-the-job training programme, some have already moved up to full-time apprentice and are on their way to building rewarding careers. The goal is to continue to refine the approach and bring on 15-18 apprentices each year, while improving retention rates.

Community engagement in Eastern Europee

Our businesses are rooted in local communities, therefore, the emphasis is first and foremost on local needs, serving the communities in which we operate, supporting community spirit, collaboration and the development of community facilities. Rohoznik cement plant in Slovakia, part of our Europe Heavyside Division, welcomed members of the community advisory panel and village council last November as part of its ongoing engagement programme.

Republic Cement “Kitchen of Care” program

Republic Cement, part of our Asia Division, launched its campaign against hunger and malnutrition among public schoolchildren in its local community in the Philippines through the Kusina ng Kalinga (Kitchen of Care) program. The school-year-long program is run in partnership with local stakeholders, including parents of the children who volunteer daily to help prepare nutritious lunch meals.

Cementos Lemona 100 years celebrations

In 2017, Cementos Lemona, Spain, part of our Europe Heavyside Division, celebrated its centennial with the local community, government, suppliers, customers and colleagues. Since 1917, the history of Cementos Lemona has been closely linked with that of its community, and through providing quality products and being a pioneer in the use of new technology, including the use of alternative fuels, the plant has become recognised for its commitment to sustainable development.

CRH Americas partnership with Habitat for Humanity

Every year, CRH Americas sponsors a company-wide Habitat for Humanity project, which unites employees of all the product groups to build a home for a family. This is in addition to the year-round support to Habitat for Humanity affiliates nationwide by CRH Americas operating companies.

Collaborating for sustainable building certification

Our Americas Products businesses Oldcastle Architectural, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® and Oldcastle Precast all provided products to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The stadium is the first professional stadium in North America to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) platinum certification.

Restoration and biodiversity in Rudus

The restoration of aggregates extractive locations is an excellent opportunity to develop and preserve a variety of habitats as well as provide open spaces for the community. To realise this opportunity, Rudus, part of our Europe Heavyside Division, implements its LUMO programme in collaboration with local stakeholders across Finland. A unique project within this involves a 32-hectare worked-out gravel pit in Ryttylä, South Finland, which has been assigned to Vuokon Luonnonsuojelusäätiö, a nature conservation trust. It will be a conservation area for the many endangered species and plants that thrive in the area.

Dufferin Canada receives Gold Certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council

Dufferin Aggregates, a division of CRH Canada, received Gold Certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for its amphibian breeding pool at its Acton Quarry, which supports eight different amphibians including Spotted Salamanders, American Toads, and Northern Leopard Frogs. The company also received two awards from the Wildlife Habitat Council for this leading-class project.

Improving water management

We play a role in improving water management through application of our products, which include stormwater filtration, flood resistance and other water-related products. For example, Struyk Verwo Infra, Netherlands, part of our Europe Lightside Division, has developed the Greenbrick concept, which combines paving with grass and makes large surfaces suitable for water infiltration and evaporation, reducing the risk of flooding.