Lafarge charts further sustainability advances

Lafarge charts further sustainability advances
Published: 09 May 2011

In its newly-released 2010 Sustainability Report, Lafarge tracks its sustainable development advances of the past year. The cement producer reported progress in several fields, including CO2 emissions, specific heat consumption, alternative fuel use and air emissions.

The company improved its CO2 emissions record during the year as gross CO2 emissions fell from 632kg/t of cementitious product to 626kg/t while the figure for net CO2 emissions decreased from 614kg/t to 606kg/t – improving the company’s CO2 emissions performance by around 20 per cent against the 1990 baseline.

“As we endeavour to move towards more effective sustainable development, we must agree to measure and verify our progress, and do so publicly. I am delighted that Lafarge was among the top ten in the global ranking by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) of companies with the best approach to greenhouse gas reporting,” commented Bruno Lafont, Lafarge’s chairman and CEO.

Lafarge’s report also shows the company’s plans to expand its climate actions and further contribute to integrating Chinese companies into the Cement Sustainability Initiative. Moreover, its second-generation climate change commitments not only aim to reduce CO2 emissions further, but also to maintain a dialogue with downstream stakeholders and pursue an innovative product strategy. The latter found expression in Aether, its new clinker, that requires less limestone and less energy to produce, enabling a 25-30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, according to the company. Over the past year, Lafarge shaved off another one per cent of its clinker factor, which stands now at 74 per cent.

In terms of specific heat consumption, the firm reported a lower level of 3.66GJ/t of clinker, marginally improving the previous year’s figure of 3.67GJ/t of clinker. 

The use of alternative fuels in its plants climbed to 11.7 per cent, with biomass taking 2.7 per cent – an increase of 40 per cent over the past three years and waste-derived fuels taking up the remainder.

In terms of emissions to air, Lafarge surpassed its 2012 targets far ahead as last year’s figures demonstrated.

During 2010, the company was able to make further reductions. SO2 emissions fell further from 455g/t clinker to 425g/t YoY – considerably below the 2012 target of 721g/t. Advances for NOx emissions were more modest as these decreased from 1934g/t clinker to 1791g/t clinker, but surpassed the target of 1988g/t clinker comfortably.

Likewise, stack dust emissions declined from 160g/t clinker in 2009 to 149g/t clinker the year after – against a target of 163g/t clinker. The company also responded to the new emissions standards for mercury, total hydrocarbons, particulates and HCl as outlined in the US NESHAP regulations by measuring emissions and developing appropriate management programmes.

Going forward, Lafarge will be setting new standards to take it sustainable development to the next level. “2011 will mark an important new milestone for the Group as we define our new ambitions for the year 2020,” added Bruno Lafo