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Contribution to society
The Lhoist Group believes that it is very important to respect both the people and the environment of the sites that it operates and where it processes the stone. We are aware of the fact that we must continually face up to our responsibility to respect the environment and the communities surrounding our operational sites.
Through our actions, which are often low-key, we try to serve the general interest and contribute to the spreading of ideas to improve quality of life. As a major economic player, we are mindful of the cultural, educational and associative development of the communities in which we play a role.
Various initiatives are carried out with neighboring inhabitants and appropriate authorities at each Lhoist location. For example, several sites regularly invite residents, politicians and other representatives to meet with plant managers and experts. This affords an opportunity for major industrial projects to be explained and discussed. These interchanges enable us to utilize our resources in a way that is acceptable and best fits the surrounding environment.
Lhoist is happy to welcome the younger generations by sponsoring the 'Place aux enfants' organisation.
We organise themed visits for schools and associations: Discovering the industrial sector, finding out how the company works, vocational guidance, discovering how we manufacture our products etc.
Action for Education
We are convinced that the quality of education has a direct, global and long-term societal impact. For these reasons, the Lhoist Group supports the association "Agir Pour l'enseignement" (= Action For Education, French acronym: APE).
At their request, Action for Education helps the leaders of the school system in the Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles (FWB) to successfully implement the Pact for an Education of Excellence. The goal is to help implement initiatives that can improve the quality and equity of the school system. More specifically, APE provides managers and their teams with quality human resources to co-create, equip, train and support entities that wish to do so while respecting their specificities and their autonomy. The Lhoist Group is very proud to contribute to this initiative.
Lhoist Berghmans Business, Economy and Environment Chair
The role of the universities is fundamental to allow our students to reach their full potential. This is why the Lhoist Berghmans 'Business, Economy and Environment' Chair was created at UCL in 2001 in order to support the efforts of the university in the development and the implementation of multidisciplinary scientific know-how of the highest level in the environmental field. This multi-faculty Chair (Faculty of economic, social and political sciences, Louvain School of Management and Louvain Polytechnic School) has already welcomed more than 1,000 students in the Master's programme, 24 young researchers from 9 countries, as well as 42 visiting scientists from 15 different countries.
Lhoist Berghmans International Innovation Chair
Under the aegis of the Louvain Foundation, Lhoist has also partnered up with UCL to create an International Innovation Chair. This Chair for research and education aims to support the international development of UCL thanks to an ambitious innovation and mobility in-and-out programme to attract talented engineering students from Belgium and abroad. The goal is to prepare them to face complex industrial challenges, to teach them methods to deal with complex technological innovation issues and to encourage their entrepreneurial spirit and this, in an increasingly global environment. Each year, 5 to 10 students from the Master's programme at the Louvain-la-Neuve Polytechnic School (EPL) will have the opportunity to follow an internship in a foreign company (with priority being given to North and South America, Russia, India and South-East Asia), whilst 5 outstanding students will be able to take their engineering Master's degree at UCL.
Cultural and community projects
We support different social and cultural projects in Belgium that are close to our local production sites.
Some examples of social projects include social help for schools and charitable organisations, sponsoring of sporting infrastructures and clubs, tourism and educational projects, etc.
Lhoist also supports programs of various cultural centers, including the 'Festival du Rire' (Festival of laughter) in Rochefort, the festival de 'Musique Baroque' (Baroque Music Festival)...
Aigremont Castle has been fully restored since it was acquired by the Lhoist Group in 2001. This exceptional place, a remarkable example of Liège’s architecture from the first quarter of the 18th century, is now open to visitors on a regular basis, especially for schools. Both classical music concerts and plays are organised here. The 'Journées du patrimoine' (Heritage days) attract some 700 people in September.
Dolomite has been extracted at Merlemont on an industrial scale since 1898. The old Bois de Rinval quarry, where extraction ended 20 years ago, is now a 14-hectare area where nature is blooming.
Our redevelopment efforts have been aimed at re-establishing the landscape: Grass and wasteland have grown on the dolomitic limestone. Several hectares of this rare environment have been preserved or recreated on the entire site and are now regularly maintained to ensure their optimal conservation. Without this, these areas of great interest would reforest quite rapidly, which would harm the most sun-loving species.
The site is home to species of light-loving plants. The most famous plants are without doubt the Orchids, the Gentians and the Broomrapes.
We are delighted sharing the wealth of this area where flowers and butterflies proliferate.