Butterfly farm used to gauge clean air

By MANNY B. MARINA V


LUGAIT, Misamis Onental – The Butterfly Farm inside the Lugait plant of Holcim Philippines is the company’s barometer whether its advocacy to protect the environment is working or not.

Judging from the swarm of butterflies fluttering inside the farm, Holcim’s blueprint for environmental protection is on the right track.

Lorenzo Pendang, officer-in-charge of Holcim Lugait. said the leading cement company has taken the initiative to provide livelihood opportunities to its community and to promote environmental concern through the plant’s butterfly farm which was established in Sept. 2007.

Explained Pendang: “Butterflies are very sensitive to changes in the environment, and help warn us about unhealthy changes that are taking place.”

As part of its social corporate responsibility philosophy, the plant has sponsored workshops on butterfly production and marketing for employees, students and residents of Misamis Oriental.

Through the workshops, participants were able to produce and sell butterfly products such as framed butterflies and bookmarks. That means extra income for families who can barely make both ends meet.

HatcheryPendang said the butterfly farm is an indicator that the cement plant thrives on a healthy environment.

Holcim mantra

Gillian Cortes, Holcim’s internal communications officer, said the company’s mantra is sustainable development which is all about managing resources responsibly to ensure that future generations can meet their own needs.

It’s all about empowerment, too. We want to provide livelihood to the communities. We want them to know that Holcim cares.” she pointed out.

The company works in partnership with local communities and has two flagship programs that are focused on making education accessible to the poor.

The Holcim “galing” Mason program aims to bring dignity of Filipino masons through skills training and competitions. Graduates of the program are certified by the government as skilled labor

The second program is the WIWAG Business Weeks, a simulated business program, which gives high school students in state universities access to intensive training to business management and economic interrelations.

Through this program, students learn about the corporate world as senior officers of different global and local corporations share their experiences.

Sherryl Yao, external communications officer, said environmental safety is Holcim’s daily business. Holcim invest millions for quarry rehabilitation to improve biodiversity and implements a “cradle to cradle” principle which primarily aims to restore quarry areas and enhance them to become multi-use functional areas, hopefully better than their original state prior to quarry operations.

Holcim Philippines takes pride in being the leading cement company in the country. With a workforce of over 1,300 Holcim Philippines upholds its commitment to strictly enforce global safety standards for all plant employees and surrounding communities.

Holcim strictly complies with the Philippine Clean Air Act and international emission standards as the company uses alternative fuels and raw materials program to reduce fossil fuel consumption and to recover thermal energy from waste through co-processing.

By giving back to society and protecting the environment, Holcim contributes to a growing economy and to building stronger and more prosperous communities, Holcim’s people and technology aim to make a difference in many lives.

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