LafargeHolcim increases spend on carbon footprint

By Joe Sargent19 September 2019

Swiss-based material producer LafargeHolcim has announced that it has set aside CHF 160 million (€145.4 million) specifically to reduce its carbon footprint by improving the carbon-efficiency of its products.

The company’s objective is to reduce annual CO2 emissions in Europe by a further 15% like-for -like, representing 3 million tonnes, by 2022.

Lafarge says that it will invest the full sum into advanced equipment as well as technologies to increase the use of low-carbon fuels and recycled materials in the company’s processes and products.

According to the firm, further funds are to be earmarked in the future for the introduction of new carbon-efficient materials and services. Over the next three years, LafargeHolcim’s project scope will cover more than 80 projects across 19 European countries.

Marcel Cobuz, region head Europe, said, “We are cognizant of our impact on the environment and will remain at the forefront of efforts to mitigate climate change. With this investment in Europe, we are taking a further step to become more carbon-efficient.

“We are not only investing to reduce CO2 in our own operations, but are also seeking the collaboration with our customers across the value-chain to improve the carbon efficiency of buildings and infrastructure throughout their lifecycle.”

The company believes that one of the key requirements to improve carbon-efficiency is to integrate the principle of circular economy into the cement production process by using waste materials instead of fossil fuels and primary raw materials.

The company has been conscious of this factor in the past. In 2018, LafargeHolcim repurposed 11 million tonnes of waste materials including 2 million tonnes of non-recyclable plastics that would otherwise end up as landfill.

By stepping up its efforts in Europe the company aims to repurpose an additional 1.5 million tonnes of waste, which would reduce its output of CO2 by 1 million tonnes per year.

On average, LafargeHolcim already uses 4.5 million tons to replace clinker with by-products from other industries. It is during the production of clinker, the main component of cement, when most CO2 emissions associated with cement occur. Additional efforts to replace clinker will allow the company to increase the CO2 efficiency of its cements produced in Europe by 1 million tons.

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