Lafarge launches campaign to bring clarity to market

Lafarge launches campaign to bring clarity to market
Published: 19 February 2009

Lafarge has launched a campaign to call for clearer communication and usage guidelines on sustainable building products – following extensive research that has highlighted confusion amongst many builders.

‘Clarity in the Market’ kicks off in March with the relaunch of Lafarge Cement’s own packed product portfolio – in a move which will see packaging facilitate better understanding of the environmental impact of cement materials.  As the Government introduces tightening green targets governing the construction sector, small builders have voiced their demands for more on-pack environmental information and recommendations on mix and application.

The small builder marketplace frequently falls prey to confusion over the sustainability of different cement products.  Lafarge Cement’s research reveals that builders can struggle to understand when a CEMI or CEMII cement should be used, and where early strength materials can reduce the long-term environmental impact of a project.  Misunderstanding formulation and CO2 emissions is also widespread, and builders may miss the opportunity to select a more durable, workable material in a misguided attempt to use a more sustainable product. The result can be at best wasted product and poor cost-efficiency – and at worst, failure to meet strict Government guidelines.

Allan Everett, marketing manager for packed products at Lafarge Cement, comments: “Our research has shown us that a third of end-users do not know the difference between our Blue Circle, Procem and Mastercrete cements.  In the small builder market, differentiating between these can have a big impact on a project’s sustainability credentials – but understanding the reasons behind use of different materials can be difficult.  In the case of our sulphate-resisting cement Sulfacrete, the result can be a significantly reduced lifespan for a building – but without good on-pack guidance, a builder may not know when and where this applies.

“As priorities evolve, so do product solutions – and we want to help move the marketplace away from use of traditional products to an understanding of more innovative solutions available to support builders.  Our campaign for better guidance and on-pack communication should do this – driven by our own move to redesign our range.”

Lafarge Cement’s Clarity in the Market campaign will see the introduction of clearer labelling across its packed product range, with environmental information brought to the front of the bags to help builders select products that meet their sustainability targets.  Colour coding and logos will assist selection whilst instructions on mix advice, health and safety and guidance on application will be clearly prominent on-pack.  For small builders, products such as Lafarge Cement’s Blue Circle Cement, Mastercrete and Sulfacrete will be positioned as priority products for this market, with new sector guidelines and the Lafarge Cement helpdesk promoted to assist with selection and use.

Allan Everett concludes: “We are making these changes to provide clear distinction between products, give more information on mix and environmental impact and help users navigate the complex market.  Packaging has a clear role to play in helping the industry meet tightening targets and manage economic pressures.  With this, we hope to take the cement industry forward into a period of clearer communication, better understanding and more responsible guidance for users across the supply chain – supporting our drive for a sustainable marketplace.”