Holcim launches the Circular Explorer in Manila Bay to preserve marine ecosystems in the Philippines

  • First of its kind solar powered catamaran operated by One Earth One Ocean to clean coastal areas from plastic waste in Manila Bay
  • Empowering local action with education and science programs in partnership with the University of Philippines Marine Science Institute
  • Quezon City featured in Bloomberg Circular City Barometer, among top 25 cities in the world leading the shift toward circular living

Holcim and One Earth One Ocean launched today the Circular Explorer in Manila to be part of cleaning coastal areas in the Philippines. The first-of-its-kind 100% solar powered catamaran, the Circular Explorer is designed to recover up to four tons of plastic waste per day to preserve vital marine ecosystems in a sustainable way. In parallel, it is driving an education program to empower students and local communities as changemakers to take action for people and the planet. Taking a science-driven approach for more impact, it is partnering with the University of the Philippines Marine Institute to advance ocean research. With built-in sensors and micro-plastic collectors on board, it will drive live data mapping along its journey to fuel the faculty’s research programs.

Magali Anderson, Holcim Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer: “With today’s population and urbanization on the rise, Holcim is committed to improving living standards for all by building more with less. That’s why we are driving circular construction as a global leader in material recycling to build a net-zero future that works for people and the planet. The Circular Explorer is a platform to empower communities to join us to shift gears toward circular living.”

Doc. Deo Onda, Deputy Director for Research, University of Philippines Marine Science Institute: “Now more than ever, we need science to help us understand the environmental challenges we are facing and to guide us with equitable and sustainable solutions. Scientific initiatives, such as the one supported by Holcim with its Circular Explorer, are a significant contribution to these endeavors. By advancing research together, we can help educate the public and support key decision makers with relevant data to take action.”

Horia Adrian, President & CEO, Holcim Philippines: “The Circular Explorer is a symbol of Holcim’s commitment to sustainability. Walking the talk across our business, we recycled over 20 million tons of materials into alternative fuels and low emission raw materials across our operations over the past 15 years. By 2024 we will become the first company in our sector in the Philippines to operate solar panels in our plants. I’m excited to be partnering with like-minded organizations today to make a bigger difference together.”

Across the Philippines, Holcim’s 1’070 employees operate four plants at the forefront of sustainability, with brands from ECOPlanet green cement to its advanced range of building solutions for resilience and repair.

In line with its commitment to circular construction, Holcim engages with cities around the world to accelerate the shift towards circular living. To empower broader action, Holcim launched the Circular Cities Barometer with Bloomberg Media, showcasing the top 25 cities around the world at the forefront of circularity. Quezon City features in this global ranking, standing out for its circular systems and leadership. It was the first city in the Philippines to implement waste-to-energy power plants and has banned all single-use plastics since 2019. Its nearly 3 million residents can pay their utility bills with credits earned by recycling plastics, metal, paper and boxes.

To scale up circularity in the region, Holcim brought together experts from the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources to non-governmental organizations such as Build Change to discuss how to shift from a linear ‘take-make-waste’ economy to a circular ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ one.