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Februay 13th, 2015 - Diversity & Inclusion: A new Group policy for a heritage value

At Lafarge, we believe that being able to harness the value of different ideas and perspectives optimizes team performance and the work environment, both key to our pursuit of excellence. To develop a common understanding of what Diversity & Inclusion means, and reinforce the consistency of the international deployment of our approach, we have just released a new Group Policy. Discover its guiding principles here!

The diversity of our business environment is reflected in our workplaces, customers, communities and stakeholders, as well as the cities we contribute to building. We acknowledge and respect all the differences that make each person unique and we aspire to create a work environment where our employees feel they belong and can contribute to our business performance.

As the new Group policy states: "Diversity & Inclusion create the conditions for our success as a company, by giving us access to a broader set of talent and skills, positioning us as an Employer of Choice, and helping us strengthen our links with our stakeholders and the communities in which we operate."

Integrating Diversity & Inclusion into the way we work

We continuously strive to fully embed Diversity & Inclusion principles throughout our corporate systems, processes, and leadership behaviors, and we know we still have plenty to do. However, some of our efforts thus far have been visibly recognized.

At the end of 2014, the Group was accredited with the Gender Equality European and International Standard (GEEIS) after an external audit conducted by Bureau Veritas. The certification is valid for two years and recognizes the progress made by our company in deploying our gender equality programs at international level.

The Group was recognized for its capacity to stimulate and lead a program both centrally and through four of its sites:

  • the Head Office,
  • Brazil,
  • Nigeria
  • and Spain.

 
Lafarge Brazil, Nigeria and Spain were in turn recognized for their initiatives in promoting gender balance in the organization. In a meeting held at the French National Assembly in November 2014, they were invited to share their practices with other companies:

  • Lafarge Nigeria: providing childcare support within or near the company sites;
  • Lafarge Brazil: increasing the number of women in manager roles from 14% to 21% in the last five years, through training and development programs; 
  • Lafarge Spain: improving the current representation of 25% women in manager jobs by specifically focusing on the industrial population. As a result, the country has recently hired a gender-balanced team of young engineers and appointed a female cement plant manager.

 

February 11, 2015 - #Climattitude: the right attitude regarding climate for Lafarge

On February 11th, Bruno Lafont took part in a debate on climate organized by Havas Paris with Nicolas Hulot,the French President's Special Envoy for Planet Protection. This debate came before Paris 2015 Conference on Climate Change which will take place in December. This is the opportunity for us to underline our commitment to fight climate change and to define what Lafarge "Climattitude" is, i.e. how we act in favor of climate.

A debate for climate

The objective of Paris 2015 Conference (or COP21) -which will take place at Paris in December 2015- is to reach a new international agreement on climate (see box). With this conference in prospect, Bruno Lafont, Lafarge CEO, and Nicolas Hulot, the French President's Special Envoy for Planet Protection, took part in a debate organized on February 11th by Communications Agency Havas Paris on the following theme: "Is a new international agreement on climate realistic? What will be the role of French companies?" They debated on major stakes of COP21: what expectations can we have? What impact for companies? How can they contribute to the decision process? What business solutions to fight climate change? Etc.

#Climattitude

We talk about it on social media! Follow #Climattitude information on all our Group official pages!

The Paris 2015 Conference or COP 21

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is born of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or "UNFCCC", which acknowledges the existence of anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change. Its 196 "Parties" States meet every year in a global session where decisions are made to fight climate change. The COP held in Paris in December 2015 will be the 21st, hence the name "COP21". It will be a crucial conference, as States must reach an international agreement, setting the framework for a transition towards resilient, low-carbon societies and economies.

Video only available in French

The Lafarge "Climattitude"

Climate change is a major topic for Lafarge, both as a cement producer and an active player of the construction value chain. The building sector alone is responsible for nearly 30% of the global CO2 emissions. That is why we engage in finding innovative solutions to reduce our CO2 emissions within production processes, but also in creating products that enable better energy efficiency in buildings, or in promoting within the Group and beyond what we define as the right "climate attitude": the "Climattitude".

For Lafarge, "Climattitude" is a mindset that brings together a range of our initiatives to fight climate change:

 

  • Reducing our direct and indirect CO2 emissions per ton of cement, with industrial performance as well as research & development programs, or with the use of renewable energies.
  • Contributing to the reduction of overall emissions of a growing urban society, through construction solutions which improve building energy efficiency and through building better cities, more compact and more durable;
  • Contributing in a collaborative and responsible way to the public debate on energy, climate and innovation (see box).    

 

'Climattitude' carried at the top level

"Climattitude" is also a commitment displayed by the Group's CEO, Bruno Lafont, at the highest level of the national, European and worldwide organizations:

  • at international level: Bruno Lafont is co-chairman of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) and Energy Efficiency in Building (EEB) initiative run by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and a member of the Executive Committee of the WBCSD; 
  • at European level: he chairs the Energy and Climate Change working group of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), a forum of fifty chief executives and chairmen of major European companies in industry and technology;
  • in France, he is Chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission of the Medef, the French employers' federation.    

Havas Paris / IPSOS study – French people & the COP 21

On the occasion of the debate, Brice Teinturier, Executive Vice-President of IPSOS France, presented the results of the latest Havas Paris / IPSOS study: "French people facing the impact of climate change".

December 5, 2014 - International Volunteer Day: volunteering in Lafarge reaches 30 countries

The International Volunteer Day, organized by the United Nations, takes place on December 5th. Volunteering is growing fast within Lafarge. Since the start of 2014, volunteers from Lafarge operations in 30 countries have contributed more than 100 000 hours to supporting local communities and building better cities. Find out more about volunteering through initiatives and images!

In the context of our Sustainability Ambitions program, we have committed to reaching 1 million volunteering hours each year by 2020.

This ambitious target was introduced to ensure Lafarge's programs with local communities could create more value.  As a result of this initiative, more and more programs are leveraging the considerable skills and expertise of our teams to specifically address areas of need (such as job creation & education, provision of affordable housing and preservation of water resources & biodiversity), working closely with the local community and its associations.  As a result, these programs become, by nature, more long-term and more sustainable, based on partnership and a greater balance of financial and non-financial support.

In addition, our teams are benefitting from their time dedicated to volunteering: opportunities to make a difference on key local topics as well as building morale and teamwork as well as additional skills.

Although volunteering took place on an ad hoc basis before, a specific global ambition on this topic has enabled it to develop very quickly.  According to data collected at the end of November, the commitment of teams around the world, supported by a dedicated network of sponsors and project teams has seen an exceptional acceleration across the Group.

  • More than 100,000 volunteering hours achieved (growing from 30,000 in 2012 and 57,000 in 2013);
  • 30 countries are represented, including seven newcomers this year: Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Poland, Russia and Zimbabwe;
  • A community of more than 9,000 volunteers worldwide supporting more than 700 different programs.


"Volunteering represents a significant contribution by Group and its teams. These results show how it can make a difference in reinforcing our image and improving links with our communities and supporting people development," explains Alexandra Rocca, Executive Vice-President Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development.

"Aside from surpassing an important milestone, it is great to see the level of participation by teams right around the world.  As well as all of the volunteers themselves, I'd also like to congratulate the sponsors of this topic in every country, who have ensured the professionalism of these programs, particularly in ensuring volunteering is always undertaken in a safe environment." 

"The acceleration and experience gained this year should be of great benefit as we maintain our focus on developing programs in partnership with our stakeholders designed to create shared value for communities as well as for our business."

Our Sustainability Ambition 2020 for volunteering

We have made a commitment as part of our Sustainability Ambitions 2020: Contribute 1 million volunteer hours per year to locally selected projects in the realm of job creation, biodiversity, water conservation, skills training, affordable housing or health.

 

Introduction to International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day (IVD), organized by the United Nations in 1985, is celebrated on December 5th each year. It provides an opportunity for volunteers and volunteer organizations to work together on projects and campaigns to promote their contributions to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), at a local, national and international level.

 

December 1, 2014 - World AIDS Day: 13 years and counting for Lafarge program

HIV/AIDS affects more than 35 million people globally, and remains a reality of daily life for many. Once again this year, December 1st marks World AIDS Day, an opportunity to bring forward the awareness and prevention programs developed by Lafarge in our affected countries since 2001.

HIV / AIDS: a far-reaching commitment

Since 2001, the Group has recognized HIV/AIDS as a priority and implemented a specific program including several awareness and prevention actions.  Now in its 13th year, the Lafarge program has expanded to cover thousands of employees, contractors, families and people in local communities where Lafarge operates.  These programs feed into the Health promotion and wellness pillar of the Group's Health Strategy.


"We will continue to participate with various prevention initiatives as guided by local health authorities, says Mikateko Shisana, Group Health VP. We believe that our program is succeeding because of the commitment of our employees in using the services are provided. We'd like to recognize the countries that support our employees and stakeholders in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic."

 

Some of these activities include:

  • Voluntary Counselling and Testing
  • HIV/AIDS awareness and education
  • Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission
  • Community Outreach programs
  • Condom distribution to employees and contractors
  • Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials are produced and distributed on an ongoing basis, and have now expanded to include key health topics such as Malaria, Diabetes, Hypertension, Hepatitis, and Breast and Prostate cancers.

Key actions on the ground in sub-Saharan African countries

As a result of these programs across the Group, significant progress has been made in recent years, particularly in sub-Saharan African countries, which continue to be the most impacted by this disease:

  • In Uganda, 596 employees, contractors, dependents and community members are on active HIV/AIDS care and management.  An additional 30,000 people have benefited from outreach programs in the community.
  • Lafarge Malawi was the first private sector organization to formally launch an HIV/AIDS policy in 1997.
  • In Tanzania, 735 employees and contractors have benefited from the Lafarge HIV/AIDS program.
  • In Kenya, 100% of employees participated in HIV counselling and testing programs. Over 40,000 residents within a 10km radius of the Mombasa Plant have also benefited from the "Investing in the health of our employees and the community" program.
  • In Nigeria, 168 Peer Educators have been trained since 2007 to provide follow-up on treatments and useful local contacts.
  • In Cameroon, 866 employees, contractors and family members affected by HIV have benefited from sensitization, screening tests and the distribution of preservatives.
  • In Zambia, mobile clinics now offer screening and medicare to local communities.
  • In South Africa, 1,944 out of 2,219 employees have had HIV testing (over 87% participation!).  All managers across all 5 product lines have also undergone a Wellness Managers Workshop.    

 

World AIDS Day

In addition to ongoing programs, several countries are commemorating December 1st  this year with specially planned activities to mobilize and bring awareness to employees and neighboring communities.

  • The Mombasa Plant will have a skit highlighting important HIV messages, and candles will be lit in all sites in Kenya.
  • South African employees will participate in a "Who wants to be a Health-ionaire" game show challenge and treated to lunch.
  • A Raffle Draw, voluntary counseling and testing and an AIDS Sports Bonanza will be held in Tanzania.
  • At Lafarge HQ in France, employees participate in a solidarity sale for "Dessine-Moi un Mouton", a charity that supports children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
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