Mr. Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge, and James P. Leape, Director-General of WWF International, have announced the renewal of the partnership between Lafarge and WWF International for another four years. This new phase of the partnership will see a continuation of the work carried out by Lafarge and the non-governmental organization since 2000.
A will to do better, together
In 2000, Lafarge was the first industrial player to become a WWF ‘Conservation Partner' by signing a five-year global partnership, first renewed in 2005. Through this ongoing partnership, WWF International and Lafarge formalized their will to work together on the reduction of the environmental footprint in the construction materials sector.
At the renewal of the partnership, Bruno Lafont stated:
"Building on the progress we have made via this partnership with WWF International, we have decided to renew our engagement. Since 2000, we have made considerable progress on our environmental approach, however much work still needs to be done. We expect an effective support from WWF International, in areas of climate change, biodiversity or water consumption. Such a partnership is a fantastic opportunity to challenge our vision with the one of an environmental NGO. In the current economic context, we reaffirm our commitment towards sustainable development at a strategic level to differentiate us today and in the future."
James P. Leape. General Director of WWF International welcomed the renewal of the partnership and said:
"The recent performances in terms of CO2emissions achieved by Lafarge are encouraging. The commitment of Lafarge by our side has also pulled the largest international cement groups to commit to objectives to reduce CO2 emissions. The challenge for Lafarge is to extend its efforts to its entire Group notably in emerging economies (Brazil, China, and India) where demand for construction materials is growing rapidly. Through this partnership, we are looking to Lafarge to take a leadership role in moving the entire cement sector, and other industries, towards a sustainable economy."
Working areas for an effective partnership
Lafarge and WWF International have jointly identified key areas where they intend to get firm commitments from the Group:
- Climate change: to pursue the program of CO2 emission reductions based on the targets defined in 2001 with WWF International;
- Persistent pollutants: to improve monitoring and reporting practices within the Group and to take action to reduce persistent pollutants emissions;
- Water consumption: to improve Lafarge's understanding of its water consumption and define concrete action plans to reduce it;
- Biodiversity: to apply on a number of sites the biodiversity indicator and the management system for rehabilitation of quarries that were developed in the previous phases;
- Sustainable construction: to promote sustainable construction products and systems all along the building construction chain.
Major advances have been made as part of previous partnerships:
- 2008 results demonstrate that Lafarge has made a significant step toward achieving its two targets in term of reduction of CO2 emissions. At the end of 2008; absolute emissions in industrialised countries have gone down 12.5 percent over the 1990-2008 period, and a 18.4 percent reduction of net CO2 emissions per metric ton of cement for the group during the same period. The monitoring and expertise of WWF International was decisive in the pursuit of these objectives.
- In terms of biodiversity, Lafarge has implemented, with the support of WWF International, performance measurement tools for its quarry rehabilitation process.
- As a producer of construction materials, Lafarge is involved in issues of sustainable construction, this in a long-term collaboration with different actors of the industry and benefits from the support of WWF International.
The partnership has already found resonance in local commitments and actions, notably with fauna and flora initiatives in Canada, surveillance of the Panda habitat in China, biodiversity awareness campaigns in Romania and Austria, development of biofuel projects in Kenya.
Co-operation based on constructive dialogue
Since 2000, Lafarge and WWF International have conducted their partnership in a spirit of openness, leading to quantitative targets and indicators, which, combined with a schedule of deliverables, has made it possible to measure precisely the performances of Lafarge. The majority of these performances are audited by independent professionals.
Transparency and dialogue are key elements in this partnership, allowing for open discussions between two seemingly opposing visions with a view to pursuing a common goal: finding solutions to reduce Lafarge's ecological footprint, while taking into account the reality of Lafarge's business environment.
About WWF International
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit www.panda.org/media for the latest news and media resources
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With more than 84,000 employees in 79 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 19 billion in 2008.
In 2009 and for the fifth year in a row, Lafarge was listed in the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.