Since 1990, Lafarge has reduced its net CO2 emissions per ton of cement it produced by more than 23% and extends its efforts to reach 33% reduction by 2020. And the Group is developing solutions for constructions with a low carbon footprint.
Reducing the carbon footprint of our products and constructions
The cement industry generates around 5% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Since 2001, Lafarge, along with WWF, has committed to reducing the emissions from its Cement business using 3 levers:
Buildings and the building sector’s final energy demand equals to 31% of the world’s man-made energy related CO2 emissions. Beyond industrial processes, Lafarge’s products and solutions can also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of the buildings.
To this end, the Group is developing low carbon materials and explores and improves the impacts of construction systems in order to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings through better energy and thermal efficiency. To reach this, Lafarge uses the LCA method and steps up its research.
At the end of 2010, the independent French organization, ADEME (the Environment and Energy Management Agency), published a methodological guide comparing the carbon assessment of various construction systems for equivalent low-energy buildings (LEBs). The study revealed that, contrary to common perception, wood and concrete have the same comparable CO2 rating per m2 for an individual LEB!
LCA, sustainable construction, fly ash, slag, clinker, industrial ecology, CO2, additives, granular stacking, etc. See the glossary for all definitions of technical terms.
Partnerships and collaborations
Alain Vassal, sustainable construction director, Bouygues Construction:
"The major challenge of sustainable construction is not only the energy efficiency of buildings. It is also the reduction of emissions during the manufacturing of concrete. Bouygues Construction and Lafarge are working on a joint project to develop low-carbon concretes."
Our solutions for improving CO2 performance
Research programs, innovation, value-added products - Lafarge offers efficient solutions and is already working on developing those of tomorrow.
Testimonial 1 : Reduce carbon footprint of our cements
By increasingly substituting clinker (the basic component of cement which requires physicochemical transformation at high temperatures) with naturally or industrially sourced cement additives, or by improving its reactivity, Lafarge has developed less carbon-intensive cements.
Testimonial 2 : Research and innovation: Aether, micro-algae and partnerships…
The Group is focusing a major part of its research on breakthrough technologies relating to the chemical modification of cement as well as the capture and storage of CO2. This has led to 2 main projects being carried out in this direction:
- Cultivating micro-algae absorbs the CO2 released during the cement industrial production process and enables their biomass reuse as a biofuel.
Testimonial 3 : Duraclime™: an asphalt coming from the cold
Designed and developed in North
America, Duraclime™ is economical in energy. Its special
composition (specific additives and bonding agents) means it can be produced at
lower temperatures than traditional asphalt. Less energy is consumed to heat
the product. Less greenhouse gases are released and there are no unpleasant
Another advantage is that the particular viscosity of Duraclime™ allows a higher proportion of recycled aggregates to be added and makes the roads and sidewalks produced using it exceptionally hard-wearing.
Testimonial 4 : Extensia®: less material, more resistance
Extensia® concrete is specially designed for laying slabs and industrial floors subject to heavy loads due to traffic or storage.
It avoids the need for joints, which are costly and
unattractive on large surfaces (up to 400m²) and therefore reduces
the risk of cracking.
Extensia® has numerous benefits:
- saves energy during its implementation,
- resistance to surface abrasion (which avoids the requirement for a protective render and reduces maintenance work).
Testimonial 5 : UltraSeries™ High Strength concrete requires less volumes
UltraSeries™ High Strength is a high-performance concrete with compressive strength between 50 and 70 MPa. It is used in a range of civil engineering works and tall buildings applications:
- office blocks,
- offshore platforms,
- nuclear installations,
It is particularly adapted for sections in reinforced or pre-stressed concretes that are subject to high stress. These properties allow much higher durability and a reduction of overall volume to produce finer structures.
Testimonial 6 : Sensium®: a new era for cement
A result of Lafarge technology, Sensium® is available as 2 separate products: Sensium® for mortar and Sensium® for concrete. The Group's new range combines 3 major innovations:
- dust-free technology for greater comfort of use,
- a new production process,
- exclusive technical properties.
Sensium® is more malleable and supple for mortar, more fluid and easier to spread for concrete. It requires less effort to implement and so reduces worksite inconvenience.
Its faster hardening time and increased resistance mean work is more efficient and the result longer lasting.