Thirteen years ago, the international Lafarge Group, the world leader in building materials, was the first industrial group to enter into a worldwide Conservation Partnership with the environmental protection organisation, WWF International. One of the key outcomes of that partnership was a commitment by the Group to reduce its global cement plant carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% per ton of cement compared with 1990 levels, by 2010. The objective was achieved a year earlier than the original 2010 target date. An ambitious revised target was recently set at a 33% reduction in emissions per ton of cement by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.
Local subsidiary company, Lafarge South Africa, recognised the potential of quality siliceous fly ash (‘fly ash'), a by-product of the Eskom pulverised coal fired power stations, as a cementitious extender. It was a means of significantly reducing emissions and producing lower carbon footprint products, while also imparting wide ranging performance benefits to concrete. Lafarge South Africa's pioneering development work resulted in it being the first local cement company to offer a complete range of extended, more environmentally-friendly cements throughout all strength classes. The term ‘extended' refers to the replacement of a portion of the cement clinker with a suitable alternative material such as fly ash.
Committed to sustainable development
Already devoting more than 50% of its research and development budget to sustainability issues, Lafarge's recent global repositioning of its brand focuses on the sustainable development implications of the huge global trend to urbanisation. The Group's logo signature ‘Building better cities' symbolises its technical strength at innovation and its commitment to help provide solutions for architects, specifiers, developers and the construction industry in general.
Lafarge South Africa is in the unique position to help create more housing in cities, more compact cities, more durable cities, better connected cities, and more beautiful cities, through having a strong presence in all its construction related business lines: cement, aggregates, readymix and plasterboard. This same expertise developed for cities, will also continue to improve development of South Africa's rural towns and villages, the cities of the future.
Looking at performance, all of the South African company's fly ash based cement products contribute solutions for better concrete in the form of enhanced durability, long-term higher strength gain, improved impermeability for more watertight concrete, resistance to ingress of aggressive chemicals, and lower heat of hydration. These attributes contribute to low life-cycle maintenance and enhanced sustainability.
Solutions for better cities
Lafarge South Africa's premium technical cement, Powercrete Plus, and the innovative self-compacting Lafarge AgiliaTM Vertical readymix concrete were used in the construction of the Fulton Award-winning building, The Podium at Menlyn, Pretoria. These products have contributed to the aesthetic and architectural solutions that helped make this landmark building more beautiful and durable.
An important example of an effective response to the trend for urbanisation is the super-regional Mall of the North retail development. The ground-breaking complex embodied sustainable, environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient features in its design, construction and operating systems. Lafarge supplied extended lower-carbon footprint cements and concrete for the construction of the Mall, which involved laying over 8 million bricks and placing 37 000 m³ of concrete.
Solution for sustainability
South Africa is now seeing a strong move to sustainable development, whether in the form of stringent environmental specifications in infrastructure tenders or developers realising the long-term financial and marketing benefits of Green Star rated buildings. With the company's innovative new generation extended cements and ready-mixed concrete products, Lafarge South Africa is able to provide architects and engineers with a wide range of solutions for lowering the carbon footprint of their designs, as well as the opportunity to design for concrete strength at later ages, enabling reduced cement requirements.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Located in 64 countries with 65 000 employees, Lafarge is the world-leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses. In 2012, the Group posted sales of 15,8 billion Euros.
Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity to help build better cities around the world: more beautiful cities that are better connected, have more housing, and are more compact and durable. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark, in recognition of its sustainable development actions.
In South Africa, the company manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better rural towns and villages.
Lafarge South Africa also demonstrates active concern for the conservation of the country's wildlife heritage and is a major supporter of the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage in Limpopo Province. The Group has for many years been a leader in sustainable development and was the first industrial group to enter into a worldwide ‘Conservation Partnership' with the environmental protection organisation, WWF International.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.co.za
For further information, please contact:
Country Communications Manager
011 657 0000
Bridget von Holdt
011 646 9992 / 0826100650