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Sustainable Construction Company Holcim Names New Chief Sustainability Officer: 3 Things to Know

August 23, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Sustainable building and construction company Holcim has promoted Nollaig Forrest to chief sustainability officer (CSO), effective September 1, 2023, according to Holim's LinkedIn page.

Forrest joined Holcim in April 2020 as global head of corporate affairs. As CSO, she will succeed Magali Anderson -- who has decided to "pursue new career opportunities as a board member and supporter of non-government organizations," the company said.

Here are three things to know about Forrest's experience and Holcim's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: Holcim, founded in 1912, is based in Zug, Switzerland. The company has roughly 60,000 employees worldwide. At first glance, Holcim is a traditional provider of building materials such as cement. But take a closer look, and you'll notice the company has focused heavily on sustainable buildings, energy efficiency and green retrofitting opportunities.

Among the proof points: Holcim accelerated its climate action efforts in March 2023, and the company reduced its CO2/net sales by 18% in the first half of 2023 compared to the full year 2022. Moreover, Holcim is "well positioned to outperform its target reduction of at least 10% for the full year," according to a July 2023 earnings statement.

Jan Jenisch, CEO, Holcim

2. CEO Perspectives on Sustainability: In the July 2023 earnings statement, Holcim Chairman and CEO Jan Jenisch said: "It’s exciting to be at the forefront of decarbonizing Europe with three additional grants from the EU Innovation Fund for our Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage projects, making us the first in our sector with five projects supported by the EU. We look forward to finishing the year strong and to further decarbonizing building.”

On the product front, key focus areas for the company include:

3. Perspectives on Nollaig Forrest: Since joining Holcim in 2020, Forrest has "played an instrumental role in Holcim’s net-zero transition, partnering with strategic influencers across the value chain, from architects and public authorities to media and employees, to decarbonize building at scale," the company said in a prepared statement.

Ahead of the CSO role, Forrest has overseen Investor Relations, Group Communications, Public Affairs & Branding. Earlier, she was VP of corporate communications at Firmenich and held public affairs roles at Dow, DuPont and the World Economic Forum. Forrest is a member of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium Advisory Council and a member of Bloomberg’s Cities Council for sustainable cities, Holcim noted.

Forrest holds a masters degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also completed the Yale-WBCSD Sustainability Leadership and INSEAD International Marketing programs, the Holcim announcement said.

Holcim's New Chief Sustainability Officer: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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