UK: Lafarge Cement sustainability report highlights record performance

UK: Lafarge Cement  sustainability report highlights record performance
Published: 17 August 2010

Lafarge Cement UK has released its latest sustainability report, highlighting the company’s continued progress in improving sustainability across all areas of its operations.

Despite the impact of the global economic crisis and a challenging market, Lafarge Cement continues to prioritise its commitment to the broader sustainability agenda, achieving its best ever environmental performance across the entire business during 2009.

Using an assessment tool developed by third party organisation WSP, Lafarge has demonstrated strong progress in the wider social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability. Notable progress was made in the following key areas:

Health and safety
In 2009 Lafarge Cement achieved its best annual safety performance results on record; total injuries sustained were reduced by 70 per cent compared to 2008. The company also relaunched its internal safety recognition scheme to engage and recognise employees.

Environmental performance
A reduction in carbon dioxide emissions continues to be a key driver for Lafarge Cement and 2009 saw a 12 per cent reduction in levels from the previous year. This achievement has been supported by an increase in the use of sustainable waste-derived fuels and extenders such as fly ash and blast furnance slag to replace natural raw materials used in cement.

Product sustainability
Despite the downturn in the construction industry, sustainability remains high on the agenda for customers and manufacturers alike. 2009 was another strong year for Lafarge Cement’s sustainable products with UK£10minvested in lower carbon cements (CEMIIs) - double that invested in 2008. Furthermore nearly half (46 per cent) of sales were lower carbon cements in 2009 compared to just four per cent in 2002.

Supply chain and transportation
The impact of transport is taken very seriously at Lafarge Cement and is considered as part of the company’s overall commitment to minimising its environmental impact. In 2009, 1.2Mt of cement was transported by rail, equating to 40,000 fewer lorry movements and saving 16,700t  of carbon dioxide. In 2009 Lafarge Cement’s UK£20m rail project at the Hope Works in Derbyshire received a Rail Freight Group Special Judges Award, the first time an accolade of this kind had been given. 

In recognition of its overall progress, Lafarge Cement also received a number of sustainability awards in 2009 including an Environment Agency Water Efficiency Award, British Precast Sustainability Champion and Environmental Supplier of the Year at the National Buying Group Supplier Awards.

The full sustainability report, which also includes an interim Environmental Report is now available to download at