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19 September 2019

LafargeHolcim increases efforts to further reduce carbon footprint in Europe

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
LafargeHolcim, the French-Swiss building materials giant, is increasing its efforts to further improve the carbon-efficiency of its products and solutions. The objective is to reduce annual CO₂ emissions in Europe by a further 15% like-for-like, representing 3 million tonnes, by 2022. This will be achieved with an investment of CHF 160 million (€146mn) to advanced equipment as well as technologies to increase the use of low-carbon fuels and recycled materials in the company’s processes and products. Further funds are earmarked for the introduction of new carbon-efficient materials and services. Over the next three years, LafargeHolcim will work on more than 80 projects across 19 European countries.

Marcel Cobuz, region head Europe, said: “We are cognisant of our impact on the environment and will remain at the forefront of efforts to mitigate climate change. With this investment in Europe, we are taking a further step to become more carbon-efficient. We are not only investing to reduce CO₂ in our own operations, but are also seeking the collaboration with our customers across the value-chain to improve the carbon efficiency of buildings and infrastructure throughout their lifecycle.”

One of the key levers to improve carbon-efficiency is to integrate the principle of circular economy into the cement production process by using waste materials instead of fossil fuels and primary raw materials. In 2018, LafargeHolcim repurposed 11 million tonnes of waste materials including 2 million tonnes of non-recyclable plastics that would otherwise end up in e.g. landfills creating further CO₂ emissions. By stepping up its efforts in Europe the company aims at repurposing an additional 1.5 million tonnes of waste which would lead to avoiding 1 million tonnes of CO₂ per year.

As part of the roadmap, LafargeHolcim will also increase the use of mineral alternatives and waste materials. On average, LafargeHolcim already uses 4.5 million tonnes to replace clinker with by-products from other industries. It is during the production of clinker, the main component of cement, when most CO₂ emissions associated with cement occur. Additional efforts to replace clinker will allow the company to increase the CO₂ efficiency of its cements produced in Europe by 1 million tonnes.

In all countries, LafargeHolcim is working on products and services to help its customers improve the carbon efficiency of buildings and infrastructure across their lifecycle. In France, for example, the company has recently launched Lafarge360, a new integrated offer that includes scoring and carbon footprint modelling enabling customers to make informed decisions around the environmental impact of their project. Furthermore, low-carbon products are designed in France, Poland and Romania for soil stabilizations ensuring a better life cycle assessment of the road structure. The company is also working on masonry cements in France and Romania with a carbon footprint that is 50% lower than pure cement while ensuring enhanced properties like workability or wall adhesion. With Airium LafargeHolcim has developed an innovative, safe, green, durable and affordable insulation alternative to traditional insulation. Priority countries for this solution include France, Austria, Switzerland and Poland.

LafargeHolcim is a preferred building materials partner for low-carbon construction solutions. Its innovative concrete and cement products allow for CO₂ savings of up to 70% compared to standard Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) products. The company is committed to continuous carbon intensity reduction of its portfolio, as demonstrated by its leadership position on carbon efficiency (576kg CO₂ / tonne of cementitious material in 2018) as well as an ambitious 2030 target (520kg CO₂ per tonne of cementitious material) aligned with the 2°C scenario of the Paris COP21 climate agreement.

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