As we enter the 'International Climate Year' of 2015, our 2014 Sustainability Report highlights our fight against climate change. But it also goes further by maintaining the continuity of transparency implemented over the last 15 years, and reporting a real acceleration of progress, with increasingly tangible results achieved worldwide.
Focused on climate
2015 is 'Climate Year', and as we look forward to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris this December, a large part of our report is devoted to the challenges of climate change. One area of progress is particularly impressive: by the end of 2014, our CO2 emissions were 26.4% lower per ton of cement than they were in 1990, largely as a result of our use of alternative fuels, which has doubled over the last four years.
And that's not all: our commitment to fighting global warming applies at every stage in the lifecycle of the materials we use. From extraction to end use, we offer innovative solutions that reduce the impact imposed by our industrial sites and make buildings more energy efficient. For example, our special concretes with environmental added-value, like Agilia®,Thermedia® and Hydromedia®, are available in 27 countries, and contributed more than a third of our sales in 2014!
GRI G4-level Certification
Another high point of the year was that our sustainability report complies fully with the directives on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) reporting issued by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative). Despite the increasingly demanding levels of compliance set by the new 'G4' standards, we are publishing a new GRI-approved report, underlining the strict criteria imposed by our initiatives, and the care with which we monitor their impacts in all our operating countries worldwide.
2014... a year of accelerating progress
As in previous years, our report charts our progress in every aspect of sustainability. What changed this year though is the speed of that progress. Since introducing our Sustainability Ambitions 2020 program, which sets out the road map for our progress initiatives, the pace of results has accelerated, demonstrating that Lafarge is on-track for transforming its approach in ways that deliver a positive contribution to the environment and society.
Our use of alternative fuels reached a new record high in 2014, with an average substitution rate of 20.7%*, of which 38.1% came from biomass.
Our affordable housing programs are now a reality in 18 countries, benefiting 300,000 of the world's most disadvantaged people.
118,000 volunteering hours were recorded in 2014 across 30 countries, involving more than 10,000 employees in contributing to 900 charitable programs.
* consolidated according to IFRS11 financial standard.
Although our commitment reflects a willingness to make further progress with the support of the global bodies of the Group, this same commitment is delivered with exactly the same level of conviction at local level through a network of expert operations staff who put our Ambitions into practice in ways that comply with our goals and meet the needs of individual communities. Here are some of their experiences.
In 2050, 70% of the world population will live in cities, twice as many as there were in 1970. Whether large, medium or small, whether in mature or emerging countries, cities are central to the challenges facing the planet. To improve cities, Lafarge contributes to the construction of cities around the world, through its innovative solutions providing them with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful, and better connected.