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Argos announces a $23 million investment in strategic projects to contribute to Honduras’ economic reactivation

  • With this investment project, the company will make operational improvements to expand its installed production capacity nationwide.
  • The company will also invest in renewable energy by expanding its solar farm in Comayagua and installing a new one in Río Blanquito.
  • Between 2022 and 2023 the company will generate more than 500 direct jobs during the construction phase of these projects.

 

Argos, a leading cement producer in Honduras with a 40-year track record in the market, together with its strategic partner, the Military Welfare Institute, announces an investment of USD 23 million over the next two years, with the aim of boosting the country’s growth and development.

 

The investment funds will be used for strategic projects such as the expansion of the production capacity of its Piedras Azules plant, located in Comayagua, the extension of the solar farm currently operating adjacent to the cement plant, the installation of a new solar farm at its Río Blanquito, Choloma, operation, and the strengthening of the waste management and co-processing program.

 

«This investment is a vote of confidence of Argos in Honduras and represents our commitment to the country’s economic reactivation and our firm determination to contribute to the consolidation of prosperous and sustainable communities based on competitive and visionary initiatives. We will continue our efforts to promote the development of Honduran families through the creation of social value at a national level,» said Luis Eduardo Tovar, CEO of Argos Honduras.

 

The expansion of the installed capacity of the Piedras Azules plant will allow Argos to increase its annual cement production by 35% and is the cement company’s way of preparing itself to meet the accelerated market demand, which it serves from its 3 production and logistics centers nationwide.

 

In addition, the solar farm in Comayagua, inaugurated in 2020 and currently consisting of 32,160 solar panels that supply up to 20% of the plant’s energy consumption, will increase its capacity to supply up to 25%, equivalent to an additional 5 MW, for a total of 15 MW for the solar farm, allowing Argos to reduce its annual CO2 emissions. At its Río Blanquito operation, the cement company will launch a second solar farm with an estimated projection of 1.2 MW with the installation of approximately 2,000 panels. All this reaffirms Argos’ commitment to sustainability and environmental care.

 

The announced investment will also be used to strengthen the industrial waste co-processing program, through the acquisition of new equipment and facilities to prepare and consume waste-derived fuels, with the purpose of achieving up to 12% substitution of fossil fuels by 2030. This represents an environmental benefit for the company as they will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 14% and contribute to the responsible management of more than 5,500 tons of solid industrial waste per year. In recent years, the company has co-processed more than 1.5 million waste-tires in the country and recently signed an alliance with Fundesur and Fundación Herco to collect up to 5,000 tires per month in Choluteca and co-process them as an environmentally responsible solution for this waste.

 

This investment will be executed between 2022 and 2023 and will generate more than 500 direct job openings, which will also boost local economies and promote a more prosperous future for Hondurans.

 

About Argos Honduras

It is a company with a 40-year track record in the Honduran cement market and is a source of employment for more than 2,500 people directly and indirectly in the country. Argos has left its mark on the country’s development by participating in important infrastructure projects such as the construction of the CA-5 highway, the second peripheral ring road in San Pedro Sula, the new building for the Central Bank of Honduras, the main South Highway, the El Cajón hydroelectric dam, and the Palmerola International Airport, among others.

 

Over the last five years, it has invested more than 55 million lempiras in social support programs to benefit its neighboring communities. Backed nationally and internationally by certifications and recognitions in sustainability, social responsibility, road safety, gender equity, and environmental management, Argos is a benchmark for its good business practices with a high sense of social, economic, and environmental responsibility.

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PIEDAD MONSALVE

Gerente de Comunicaciones
pmonsalve@argos.com.co
(57 4) 3198700

DANIELA VALLE

Directora de Comunicaciones
dvalle@argos.com.co

Atmospheric emissions

We are committed to reducing our emissions through actions that achieve more efficient processes and the implementation of abatement measures, contributing to good air quality in the places where we operate.  Our cement-, concrete- and aggregate-production processes generate punctual and scattered particulate matter (PM) emissions, as well as emissions of sulfur oxides (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the clinkering furnaces of the cement plants.

  • For society:  To contribute to mitigating the impact on air quality in the areas where we operate, acting responsibly and promoting relationships of trust with our Stakeholders.

 

  • For the company:  To develop more efficient processes that allow us to reduce our atmospheric emissions and contribute to responsible production, complying with local regulations in the countries where we operate and – in some cases – going beyond compliance with said regulations, contributing to the profitability of the business and preparing to face future challenges.

The “Emissions” pillar of our Environmental Strategy focuses on: Working on the adequate measurement, control and reduction of SO2, NOx and particulate-material (PM) emissions generated by our production processes in the cement business and on the prevention and mitigation of our dispersed emissions of particulate material (dust), originated mainly by the activities of transportation, transfer, unloading and storage of materials in the cement, concrete and aggregate processes. The foregoing, through operational control, optimization and renewal of emission-control systems to achieve continuous improvement.

Industry positioning

We position ourselves as strategic allies for the development of the territories where we are present, directly and through the empowerment of our value chain.  We do it through the construction of housing and sustainable infrastructure that enables the closing of socioeconomic gaps, the generation of employment, the improvement of the quality of life and the reduction of the impacts generated.

  • For society:  To sustainably respond to the growing demand for housing and infrastructure of the world population with the aim of improving people’s quality of life, interconnecting regions and developing innovative solutions. 

 

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    For the company:  To be strategic allies of the actors in our value chain in order to maintain the Company’s leadership in the market, ensure its competitiveness over time and increase the generation of sustainable value.

We are committed to the role we have as a Company in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda goals, the consolidation of territorial development plans where we operate, and the economic reactivation of the countries affected by the pandemic. Therefore, we focus our efforts in the development of sustainable housing and infrastructure projects that contribute to closing socioeconomic gaps, generating employment under safe conditions, environmental protection, and investment in improving people’s health systems and quality of life. 

Our work unfolds in three large lines:

 

Cities for everyone:

 

With nearly 54% of the world  population living in urban areas, the pandemic made inequality of those who live in the cities of the world

manifest. Nearly 90% of the COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the urban

centers that have, among others, challenges associated with access to basic services and decent housing conditions. For this reason, we work together with our value chain to develop projects that benefit the lessfavored population, facilitate access to housing, and promote development in

the areas of influence.

 

Interconnected cities

 

The need to connect urban areas with rural areas to expand the coverage

of basic services, such as health, has been a priority of developing countries

since before the pandemic. Therefore, during 2020, we continued working on creating innovative solutions that allow us to be present in the large projects of the countries and territories where we are present.

 

Intelligent cities

 

In recent years, the acuteness of the effects of climate change became the

risk of greatest impact to the world. Therefore, in the global stage, a need

has grown to transition to a low-carbon economy, an opportunity that becomes more relevant amid post-pandemic recovery scenarios and the effort we are making as a Company to generate new business models that respond to environmental and social challenges. For this reason, our Climate-Change Strategy includes actions aimed at mitigating the impacts associated with our productive processes, adapting our operating model and innovating from the identification of optimization opportunities.

Supplier management

Supplier management is a fundamental pillar of our Supply Chain Strategy; it seeks to build and strengthen relationships with strategic allies who have the ability to contribute to the Company in terms of efficiency, productivity, customer service and innovation.  For this reason, we carefully select our suppliers, transfer knowledge to promote their development, promote good practices and recognize those who are an example of sustainable, innovative, safe and responsible management.

  • For society:  To develop our suppliers, promote transparent practices and responsible conduct, to improve the productivity and competitiveness of our society and support the construction of a better future.

 

  • For the company:  To seek to add value throughout the Company’s supply chain, from the purchase of goods and services to the delivery of products to clients.  Through the mitigation of risks and potentiation of opportunities, the implementation of good contracting practices and service excellence, we create relationships of trust and turn suppliers into business allies.

Our management is divided into five stages:

  1. Identification: We determine the goods and services required for our operation and the category to which they belong, according to our Category Tree. This groups our suppliers into macro-categories which – in turn – are subdivided into two more specific levels.
  2. Pre-Selection: We validate the suitability of suppliers through due diligence and review aspects of sustainability and financial health to ensure long-term relationships.
  3. Negotiation: We select suppliers with high standards, considering technical, economic, sustainability and service aspects.
  4. Retention and evaluation: We carry out knowledge-transfer processes with those suppliers with growth potential.
    • We characterize our suppliers as critical suppliers or with potential risk in sustainability.
    • We measure the management of critical suppliers through performance evaluations in terms of quality, service, occupational health and safety, having constant feedback and identifying key factors for their development.
    • We apply the Sustainability Index to suppliers with potential sustainability risks, to identify challenges, opportunities, and to develop joint action plans in environmental, economic, social and Human-Rights matters.
    • We implement additional controls and development plans to suppliers belonging to categories where the greatest potential risks have been identified. This is how, for example, we develop road-safety strategies for our logistics suppliers; with mining suppliers, we carry out a more rigorous pre-selection process, and with contractors, we have special controls on occupational health and safety.
    • We have a Transparency Line for Stakeholders to report possible improper actions and to implement the pertinent corrective actions. 
  5. Recognition:  Every two years, through Growing Together (Creciendo Juntos), we recognize the suppliers that have shown outstanding performance in innovation, sustainability, health and safety and development and comprehensiveness.

 

Additionally, we have:

 

Contracting manual: transparent action framework that guides the negotiation and contracting of our suppliers to allow the process to be agile, make use of best practices and carry out adequate risk management.

 

Code of conduct for suppliers: in which we define the principles and behaviors that we expect from our allies in terms of respect for human rights, protection of workers, environmental management, business ethics and responsible business practices.

Ethics and compliance

We are convinced that ethics and integrity are fundamental and non-negotiable; that is why we live by these principles, integrating them into our operations, processes, and strategy, thus generating value responsibly for our business, our Stakeholders, and for society.  Through the Global Governance and Compliance Program, our ethics and business conduct system, we seek to promote that our actions are consistent with the pillars of corporate culture and integrity as the guiding principle of our business activity.

  • For society:  To promote transparent, competitive, and sustainable business environments that strengthen trust and ethics in business, generating positive impacts for the market and society.

 

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    For the company:  To promote that our actions are consistent with the pillars of culture and that integrity is the inspiring principle of all members of the Organization.  This is how we consolidate ourselves as a competitive, reliable company in the eyes of investors and other Stakeholders.

We have voluntarily adopted a self-regulatory framework that confirms our commitment to business ethics as a way to promote transparent practices that contribute to the development of competitive environments. This framework* incorporates mandatory principles of ethics and conduct:

 

 

For the proper implementation and application of these guidelines, the strengthening of the ethical culture, the prevention and control of incorrect actions, our Board of Directors approved the Global Governance and Compliance Program (GGCP, in Spanish). The program structure incorporates international best practices to evaluate compliance programs, such as ISO 37001, ISO 19600 and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines. The program has the following scope:

 

 

Likewise, it systematically groups together the activities carried out to promote integrity in the Company’s actions, its employees, and members

of the value chain, which allow the updating and permanent strengthening

of the program. Operating Scheme:

 

Efficiency and productivity

We materialize our Corporate Strategy through actions aimed at the efficient use of resources, the improvement of our financial flexibility and the maximization of income generation and business profitability.  We focus on the application of efficient, safe production processes and circular economy models, on the diversification of energy management models and on the efficient management of the supply chain.

  • For society:  To provide solutions and products that meet the needs of our clients through the responsible, appropriate use of resources and the incorporation of raw materials and alternative energy sources.

 

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    For the company:  To guarantee business sustainability, optimize working capital and capital investments, reduce costs and the level of indebtedness, and mitigate risks regarding the availability of resources necessary for our operation and the emergence of new business realities, environmental requirements and new regulations.

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