WWF and Lafarge boost environmental agenda by renewing partnership

21 June 2005

Paris, June 21, 2005 - Lafarge, the world leader in building materials and WWF, the global conservation organization have announced today the renewal of their partnership following significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions, in improving quarry rehabilitation practices and the implementation of eight key performance indicators.

This pioneering partnership was launched in March 2000 for a five year period and has been renewed for a further 3-year term.

"Our partnership with WWF has helped us speed up the development of our environmental policy and lays the foundation for increased cooperation in the future", said Bernard Kasriel, CEO of Lafarge.


Achievements to date

  • 8 performance indicators jointly defined, monitored and results published annually (environmental audits of sites; quarry rehabilitation plans; greenhouse gas emissions; water, energy and raw material consumption; waste generation; dust emissions and energy recycling).
  • 80% of the total 800 quarry sites have rehabilitation plans in line with the jointly defined methodology and 2004 target, ensuring biodiversity restoration.
  • Biodiversity index developed in Mannersdorf quarry in Austria and currently being tested in Sandrancourt quarry, near Paris.
  • Significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions, which goes far beyond the 5.2% target set under the Kyoto Protocol. At the beginning of the partnership, ambitious emission reduction targets, over the period 1990-2010, were set :
    -a 20% reduction of net emissions per tonne of cement
    -a 10% reduction of absolute gross emissions in industrialized countries.
    In 2004, achievements were of 11.2% reduction per tonne of cement produced worldwide and of 9,5% of absolute emissions in industrialised countries (Annex I of Kyoto Protocol).
    -In 2004, the percentage of substitute raw materials used in production of cement was 9,8% (target was 10% by 2005) and of 50,5% in the production of gypsum (target was 45% by 2005).

"We are delighted at the success of our cooperation", said Dr Claude Martin, Director General of WWF International. "It shows environmental groups can play a key role in working with the private sector to achieve positive change, rather than just calling for it."


New ambitions of the partnership

The scope of the partnership has been broadened and will lead more specifically to the creation of a global monitoring system for enhancing ecological biodiversity in quarries with the aim of deploying the process worldwide.

In a bid to further reduce CO2 emissions, Lafarge is also committed to finding solutions that will enable emerging countries to pursue their development while ensuring that the growth in their CO2 emissions is contained. At the local level, Lafarge and WWF will work together to extend the replacement of fossil fuels with sustainable biomass in selected cement plants, such as in China, East Africa and in Brazil.

Lafarge and WWF will work together to promote sustainable construction systems and products across the construction chain, and showcase examples of state-of-the-art buildings, enhancing the ecological efficiency of buildings.

As part of the partnership, persistent pollutants that could be found in inputs to, and emissions from cement plants will receive specific attention through the identification of ways to limit these emissions by improving production processes.

With the renewal of the partnership, a special focus will be put on establishing initiatives between the two organizations' local offices.

WWF and Lafarge believe that the relationship will positively influence the sector to act in a more sustainable manner and further lower the impact of industry on the environment, for the benefit of people and the planet.

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