From May 1st to October 31st, 2010, Shanghai will host the International Expo, bringing together more than 200 countries and international organizations and welcoming 100 million visitors. The Expo, whose theme is "Better City, Better Life", will feature discussions on urban planning and sustainable construction, issues which reflect Lafarge's concerns and values. Like many other companies worldwide, the Group wanted to be associated with this project through a partnership with the Pavillon France. The Group has been strongly implemented in China for more than 15 years.
A partnership for an innovative pavilion
Lafarge works closely with architects, specifiers and users of its materials. These partnerships translate into support for young architects, participation in events relating to architecture and construction, promotion of books on architectural works, and sharing of its expertise and scientific and technical knowledge in the science of building materials.
Jacques Ferrier's "Sensual City" project, which was selected by COFRES, the company in charge of construction and events at the pavilion, embodies Lafarge's vision of innovative and sustainable architecture. This building will allow the pavilion's 60,000 daily visitors to experience the art de vivre à la française.
The building addresses the theme "Better City, Better Life" by offering a new type of urban construction. It presents numerous architectural innovations, including a lattice and a "French-style" hanging garden. This vision of urban development ties in with that of Lafarge, which aims to be a key player in sustainable construction, able to offer construction methods with a reduced environmental footprint. In a dedicated area inside the pavilion, the Group will present innovative, environmentally-friendly solutions, adapted to the problems faced by Chinese cities.
Lafarge is also present in other buildings of the Expo, as supplier of the 510,000m² of plasterboard used in 17 other corporate and national pavilions, including China's for example.
Lafarge - a long-standing partner to China
Lafarge has been present in China since 1994 and has more than 30 sites for its three businesses - Cement, Gypsum, and Aggregates and Concrete. The Group now has nearly 13,000 employees in the country, which accounts for half of global demand for cement.
Lafarge's plants in China are located in the Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing regions. The Group has pursued a development strategy since its arrival in the country and has modernized its plants. This led to a 27.8% reduction in Lafarge's specific net emissions of CO2 in China between 1990 and 2006.
The materials supplied by Lafarge, a recognized player in the Chinese market, have contributed to the construction of numerous structures, including the Grand Theatre in Chongqing, the National Museum of Sciences and Technologies in Beiing and the Theatre of Shanghai.
With 24.3 million tons of cement capacity at the end of 2009, China is now one of the countries where the Group is the most present.
Notes to editors
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 78,000 employees in 78 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 15.8 billion in 2009.
In 2010 and for the sixth 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.