For the fourth consecutive year, Lafarge has joined forces with the city of Paris in the Paris-Plages operation, an annual event that transforms the banks of the Seine into an urban beach. Lafarge provides the 2,000 tons of sand necessary to create beaches along the Seine (including the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville, special zones for children and several beaches along the waterfront).
With this event, Lafarge, the world leader in aggregates and the main producer in the Ile-de-France region, contributes to the life of the city and its celebration of summer. It provides an opportunity for the Group to combine a building material that is essential for urban development with a clean and environmentally-friendly means of transportation.
Aggregates, a key material for urban development
Over 400 million tons of aggregates are produced in France each year. Aggregates are one of the key components of concrete, the second most widely consumed material in the world after water. Aggregates, which include sand, gravel and grit, play an essential role in urban development and the construction industry. For example, 300,000 tons of aggregates were needed to build the Stade de France. An individual home requires between 100 and 300 tons of aggregates. In 2005, over 30 million tons of this material was used for construction, civil engineering and road works in the Ile-de France region.
A clean, environmentally-friendly means of transportation
In Paris, aggregates are mainly delivered via river transportation. This economically viable solution offers a big environmental advantage for the city. River traffic is ecological, safe, economical and punctual. It does not create any noise pollution or traffic jams. For this reason, as part of efforts to contribute to sustainable development, Lafarge promotes river transportation for its activities in aggregates in France. By using a single river convoy to deliver the 2,000 tons of sands for the Paris-Plages event, Lafarge was able to avoid the equivalent of about 80 trucks or 35 train wagons.
River transportation is part of the Lafarge Group's Sustainable Development strategy, which seeks to reconcile industrial efficiency, the creation of value, respect for man and different cultures, environmental protection, and the conservation of natural resources and energy. In the field of aggregates, the Group has built up a reputation as an expert in quarry rehabilitation (taking into account biodiversity and local needs), water management, and reducing the environmental impact.
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.
Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years, pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy. Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2006 ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. 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.