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Holcim highlights resource conservation, waste reduction benefits of circularity

Aside from being a waste collection and research vessel, the Circular Explorer serves as a platform to advance discussion on the importance of circularity in sustainable development.
LEADING building solutions provider Holcim Philippines is calling for an accelerated shift to circularity to help the country reduce waste and conserve virgin natural resources while advancing development.
Circularity is helping the company’s business and environmental performance and it believes the country can similarly benefit from such practices. Already, the company has become among the country’s top recyclers having reused over a million tons of waste in 2023 from industrial and local government partners in producing cement. Circularity has also enabled Holcim Philippines to reduce freshwater withdrawals in operations since 2018 which is driven by water recycling and improvements in efficiency.
Holcim Philippines is working with stakeholders to similarly rethink wastes as alternatives to virgin materials, particularly construction demolition materials which can be reused in building new structures without compromising performance. The company is stepping up interactions with clients, building industry professionals, and government authorities on this practice noting that this is steadily gaining ground in other countries.
Holcim Philippines is well positioned to support local partners interested in using circular construction materials given its access to expertise and the latest technology from the Holcim Group, the global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions. In 2023, the Holcim Group recycled nearly 8.4 million tons of construction demolition materials and aims to reach at least 10 million tons by 2025.
Holcim Philippines chief sustainability officer Sam Manlosa, Jr.: “Advances in technology and design allow us to repurpose construction demolition materials instead of using virgin resources in new structures. This practice is relevant to the Philippines and we are excited to work with partners to accelerate its adoption locally.”
Aside from practicing circularity and sharing its expertise, Holcim Philippines is engaged in a campaign on the benefits of the practice to the youth, scientific community, and policymakers. The main tool: Circular Explorer, a waste collection and research vessel co-developed with German environmental group One Earth, One Ocean Foundation to support the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
Although Circular Explorer’s waste collection efforts are the first to grab attention, it is moving on several fronts to highlight the critical role of circularity in addressing the waste that comes with growth.
The Circular Explorer is equipped with a compact set of oceanographic sensors and a microplastic collector to support research by UP Marine Science Institute. It is also supporting the Plastics Research Intensive Methods Training Program to capacitate 80 early-career researchers and faculty members from 50 universities and government agencies across the Philippines.
The project team has also initiated talks with several schools and the Department of Education on using the platform to teach about marine conservation as well as embed the importance of circularity and sustainability in the education curriculum.
Circular Explorer project manager Christine Bellen: “Circularity is a critical enabler of sustainable development with positive impact from sea to cities. By engaging a variety of stakeholders, we aim to win over allies that can accelerate momentum towards transformation. We are hopeful that the steps we are taking can help shape policies supportive of circularity, and mold a new generation more mindful of the environment.”


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