Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, announces today that its corporate sustainability report has been included in SustainAbility's Global Reporters list of the 50 leading sustainability reports for the first time and ranked first among French companies. According to SustainAbility, inclusion in this list for the second time marks a “significant achievement and a strong signal of the Group's global leadership in corporate sustainability reporting.”
Global Reporters is the flagship SustainAbility research program which surveys and ranks the quality of sustainability reporting. The Global Reporters series has become the ‘gold standard' for companies interested in corporate reporting on economic, social and environmental issues. It uses a benchmark methodology developed by SustainAbility in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program and Standard and Poor's.
Lafarge was one of the first French companies to produce an annual sustainability report in 2001. Now in its sixth year, the report continues to evolve as the Group seeks to improve its sustainability practises, accompanying reporting and overall performance. In 2003 Lafarge introduced an innovative approach to its sustainability assessment by inviting an independent stakeholder panel to challenge Lafarge on its practices and provide feedback on the Group's progress. This same panel actively participates every year in the elaboration of the sustainability report, providing an informed and independent critique of its merits and downfalls.
HIGHLIGHTS OF LAFARGE'S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY IN 2006
Bruno Lafont, becomes Chief Executive Officer and announces his commitment to make Lafarge the best of its sector in sustainable development. Safety becomes a core value of the Group and number 1 priority for each employee. Already the sector leader, the Group set itself the goal of being ranked among the world's best performing industrial groups in terms of safety.
- Lafarge is selected, for the second year running, for inclusion in the 2006 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list. The list is compiled by Corporate Knights Inc. and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors Inc.
- Lafarge launches ‘Hypergreen', an environmentally responsible tower building concept for the world's mega-cities designed in partnership with French architect Jacques Ferrier, at MIPIM (the international real estate market event in Cannes, France)
In collaboration with two of France's leading engineering schools, Ecole des Ponts and Ecole Polytechnique, Lafarge sets up the world's first research and teaching chair in the Science of Materials for Sustainable Construction. This chair will further high-level innovative, materials research, opening up vast new prospects for new construction techniques that are more respectful of the environment, people and the planet.
- Under the aegis of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Lafarge assumes joint leadership with United Technologies Corp. of a far-reaching and ambitious project to promote energy self-sufficient buildings by 2050. With the commitment of a number of other leading global companies, the project will draw up a roadmap to determine how buildings can be designed and constructed to use no energy from external power grids, be carbon neutral and be built and operated at fair market values.
The Group announces the registration of its second Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Less than a year after it announced the approval of its first CDM, a wind farm supplying electricity of a cement plant in Morocco, Lafarge receives official approval of its project to substitute alternative biomass energy sources for fossil fuels in two of its cement plants in Malaysia. This project also complies with Lafarge's voluntary commitment to reduce its worldwide net CO2 emissions by 20%.
- Lafarge marks the first International Day for Biodiversity with a series of events at its aggregate quarries. Conscious of the impact of its activities on the environment and convinced of the need to protect the ecosystems of its quarries during and after their use, Lafarge has, for several decades, rehabilitated them throughout their use. More recently the Group has developed in partnership with WWF an index to measure biodiversity. The computer-calculated Long-term biodiversity Index, or LBI, will make it possible to provide a scientific biodiversity assessment in various parts of a rehabilitated quarry. The prototype system elaborated in one of Lafarge quarries in Austria is now being piloted in France and Spain. Once it has been optimized, the LBI will be deployed in all the Group's quarries.
- Lafarge publishes its 5th sustainability report. For the first time, in addition to CO2 emissions which were already audited every year by an independent expert recognized by the WWF, the content of the sustainability report is being audited by an independent audit firm.
- The French Syndicate for Renewable Energy awards Lafarge with its Renewable Energy Award for its commitment to using renewable energy sources at its production sites. The Syndicate cites the Group's wind farm, which supplies electricity to one of Lafarge's largest cement plants in Morocco, as an excellent example of an industrial company embracing technology to promote renewable energy.
The Group launches its ambitious, three-year strategic plan, Excellence 2008, putting its customers, shareholders, employees and all its stakeholders at the heart of its concerns. With this plan Lafarge reaffirms its commitment to be amongst the best industrial groups in terms of sustainable development.
- Bruno Lafont becomes Advisor to the Mayor of Chongqing, China, the world's largest city with 34 million inhabitants. Lafarge is the leading cement producer in the South West of China and is considered as having an exemplary record in terms of worker safety and the environment in the region.
Note to Editors:
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all four of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. With 80,000 employees in 76 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 16 billion in 2005.
Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years, pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy. Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2006 ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. To make advances in building materials, Lafarge places the customer at the heart of its concerns. It offers the construction industry and the general public innovative solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everyday surroundings.