International day for Biodiversity - 22 May 2006

22 May 2006

Lafarge celebrates biodiversity

To mark the International Day for Biodiversity Lafarge will host an event at one of its quarries in France, for a number of organizations concerned about biodiversity. The visit will be presided over by the French Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development, Nelly Olin.

Conscious of the impact of its activities on the environment and convinced of the need to protect the ecosystems and biodiversity of its quarries during and after their use, Lafarge has been committed, for several decades, to the progressive rehabilitation of its sites. The first of the Group's quarries to be rehabilitated was in 1930 in Draveil, France. The Group now has over 1000 quarries worldwide.

As part of the renewal of its partnership with the WWF in 2005, Lafarge decided to develop a system for measuring and improving the biodiversity of its quarries, with the objective of rolling this out to the majority of its sites worldwide. This global biodiversity management system will promote biodiversity as a key factor to be taken into consideration in the Group's quarrying activities.

The most innovative part of this management system involves the development of a Biodiversity Index, which provides a scientific means of measuring the ecological value and evolution of the Group's sites. Teams of international experts from the worlds of science, academia and NGOs are systematically consulted and data is shared with the scientific community, thus contributing to an improved knowledge of local biodiversity. Given the considerable variation in the bio-geographical conditions of the Group's 1000 quarries, the development of this experimental Index marks an innovative and audacious approach. The Index will provide a framework to help the Group's employees throughout the 76 countries where it is present to help plan, manage and restore its quarries, thereby contributing to the improvement of the biodiversity of every site.

Sandrancourt is one of the quarries where Lafarge is testing its Biodiversity Index, which was originally developed at Mannersdorf, one of the Group's quarries in Austria. Testing the Index at this site is a key step towards validation before rolling it out to other sites around the world.

Lafarge's innovative and ambitious approach to its quarrying activities reflects its commitment to constantly improving its practices in sustainable development. As such, Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2006 ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. The Group is convinced that long-term value is best created when considering the interests of the community and environment in which it operates. This strategy reflects the Group's core values and combines industrial know-how, performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy.


Note to Editors:

Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all four of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. With 80,000 employees in 76 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 16 billion in 2005.
To make advances in building materials, Lafarge places the customer at the heart of its concerns. It offers the construction industry and the general public innovative solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everyday surroundings.

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