The planet is facing a climate and ecological crisis. Meanwhile, the world’s growing population and rising living standards place the planet’s resources under greater pressure.

These interrelated economic, social and environmental challenges are addressed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), the global blueprint for people, planet and prosperity.

Business is a vital partner in shaping a sustainable future. For example, refractories play a small but critical role in developing infrastructure for new and larger cities: housing, offices, schools, hospitals and transport systems. As the global leader in refractories, RHI Magnesita has a responsibility to lead on sustainability too.

We must ensure that RHI Magnesita is on a sustainable growth path and able to succeed in a low-carbon and resource-constrained economy. As RHI Magnesita expands geographically, we must be a valued employer, business partner and member of communities in which we operate.

Driven by our Board and led by our Executive Management Team, our sustainability strategy supports and is integral to RHI Magnesita’s overarching strategy. Sustainability must be at the heart of our business, part of who we are and how we do business.


Our material issues

We conduct period stakeholder consultations to confirm the issues that are material to our business. The issues identified by internal and external stakeholders to be most material are:

  • Climate and energy
  • Health and safety
  • Diversity
  • Recycling
  • NOx and SOx emissions.

For each of these issues, we set targets and report progress towards achieving them.

In addition, we also work on other issues that, although less material, are still important to us and our stakeholders. These include:

  • Water usage
  • Forests and diversity
  • Sustainable supply chain
  • Community investment
  • Human rights and
  • Anti-corruption.


Engaging with Stakeholders

Listening and learning from stakeholders is vital and we continue to expand our engagement on sustainability. For example:


We actively engage with the investment community on our sustainability agenda. RHI Magnesita is rated Prime (C+) by ISS ESG rankings and Silver by Eco-Vadis.


We work with customers to develop solutions that support their climate action plans. For example, we offer low-carbon bricks and recycling services, while our innovative coatings technology improves customer energy efficiency.


To engage employees and create our new culture, RHI Magnesita leaders regularly hold townhall meetings while a network of culture champions helps bring our new culture to life. Our new female employees’ network is helping to shape our gender diversity agenda, while a global sustainability award recognises outstanding contributions towards our sustainability strategy.


We increasingly work with suppliers on sustainability. For example, our target for carbon emissions reduction now includes Scope 3 raw materials. We also work with suppliers on safety requirements and our Supplier Code of Conduct.


As our business expands globally, we are extending our community investment programmes, too. By working with local communities and partners, we aim to support local needs and aspirations.

We also work in multilateral partnerships. To identify and develop low-carbon technologies, we work with universities, research institutions, start-ups, open innovation platforms and industry associations. For example, we have joined the European Cement Research Academy (ECRA) and entered into partnerships with Imperial College London and others.

Sustainability Governance

Our sustainability agenda is overseen by the Corporate Sustainability Committee. This Board committee identifies key risks and opportunities, sets the strategy, establishes targets and reviews progress. The Committee is chaired by independent Non-Executive Director Janet Ashdown.

The Committee, CEO and Executive Management Team are regularly updated by the Sustainability Steering Committee, a cross-functional group of senior management for driving progress and embedding sustainability throughout the business. 

Standards and Reporting

We have signed the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability movement, signaling our commitment to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As participants, we must integrate human rights, labour rights, environment and anti-corruption principles into our business strategy and operations. Other initiatives we participate in or support include:

  • Climate: In 2019, we made our first climate submission to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).
  • Diversity: We report our progress in increasing female leadership to the Hampton-Alexander Review.
  • Anti-Corruption: We support Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement.
  • Community investment: We are members of the LBG (formerly London Benchmarking Group) and use this global standard for measuring corporate community investment.

Sharing our progress in an open and transparent manner is vital. In this report, we focus on material issues which, together with the GRI Content index, comprises our GRI report.

This report was prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards (Core option) and represents our Communication on Progress (CoP) to the UN Global Compact (self-assessed as Active).