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Lafarge Sustainability Report: Normalized Emissions Drop 2%

Cement firm Lafarge reduced its normalized emissions by almost 2 percent in 2011, according to the company’s latest sustainability report.

In 2011, the company produced 593 kg of carbon per ton of product, compared to 604 kg per ton in 2010. Lafarge’s net annual emissions are now 29 percent lower than they were in 1990, the report says, putting the company “well on track” to meet its 2020 target of a 33 percent reduction versus 1990. In 2011, Lafarge produced 67 percent more cement than in 1990 but its CO2 emissions increased by just 26 percent over the same period.

The company’s absolute CO2 emissions increased just over five percent year-on-year, from 93 million tons in 2010 to 98 million tons in 2011. Lafarge’s absolute carbon emissions from its operations in developed countries stayed static, whereas the firm’s emissions from its operations in emerging markets jumped from 61 million tons in 2010 to 66 million tons in 2011. This increase is consistent with the company’s geographical development, the report says.

Overall Lafarge’s gross emissions have grown by 29 percent over 1990. However, its gross emissions in industrialized countries have seen a reduction of 37 percent over that time period, partly due to the impact of the economic downturn, the report says.

The company’s energy use increased just shy of eight percent year on year, from 53.8 PJ of energy in 2010 to 58 PJ in 2011.

Within Lafarge, the use of alternative fuels has increased by more than 30 percent over the last three years. In 2011, 69 percent of its plants used alternative fuels. The company has a target of 50 percent of its fuel in its cement plants being non-fossil fuels by 2020, with biomass comprising 30 percent of these alternative fuels. In 2011 4.7 percent of its fuel came from biomass, with waste-to-energy facilities providing 8.3 percent of its energy mix.

In Morocco, the Tetouan wind farm supplies 50 percent of the electricity used by the local Lafarge cement plant. In Malaysia, five percent of the thermal energy for the Rawang and Kanthan cement plants comes from biomass, the report says.

The company reduced its net water withdrawal rate by 31 percent from 2010 to 2011. In 2010, the company withdrew net 174 million cubic meters of water. In 2011 this figure decreased to 120.8 million cubic meters. A large decrease in the amount of groundwater the company withdrew contributed to this drop, the report shows. Some 16 million cubic meters was withdrawn from recycled water networks fed with rainwater, corresponding to 13 percent of the net withdrawal. The company also returned more water to its catchment area in 2011 than in the previous year.

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