June 27, 2005

Lafarge renews unique partnership with WWF on emission reduction, environmental indicators

Two leading organizations in industry and conservation have renewed a unique environmental partnership as Lafarge and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported on their significant progress in reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, improving quarry rehabilitation practices and implementing eight key performance indicators. The original pioneering partnership was launched in March 2000 for a five-year period and has been renewed for a further three-year term.

"Our partnership with WWF has helped us speed up the development of our environmental policy and lays the foundation for increased co-operation in the future," said Bernard Kasriel, CEO of Paris-based Lafarge, whose building materials operations are located in 75 countries around the world.

Under the initial partnership, achievements to date have included:

Definition of eight performance indicators, which have been jointly monitored and results published annually. These include: environmental audits of sites; quarry rehabilitation plans; dust emissions; greenhouse gas emissions; water consumption; energy use and recycling; raw material consumption; and waste generation.

Development of rehabilitation plans for 80% of the total 800 quarry sites, in line with the jointly defined methodology and 2004 target, ensuring biodiversity restoration.

Development of a biodiversity index in Lafarge's Mannersdorf quarry in Austria; this is currently being tested in Sandrancourt quarry, near Paris.

The collaboration has also yielded significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions, going well beyond the 5.2% target set under the Kyoto Protocol. At the beginning of the partnership, ambitious emission reduction targets, over the period 1990-2010, were set, calling for a 20% reduction of net emissions per tonne of cement, and a 10% reduction of absolute gross emissions in industrialized countries.

By 2004, emissions had been reduced by 11.2% reduction per tonne of cement produced worldwide, with a 9.5% reduction in absolute emissions in industrialized countries.

In 2004 as well, the percentage of substitute raw materials used in production of cement was 9.8%, nearing the target of 10% by 2005, and 50.5% in the production of gypsum, surpassing the 2005 target of 45%.

"We are delighted at the success of our cooperation", said Dr Claude Martin, director general of WWF International. "It shows environmental groups can play a key role in working with the private sector to achieve positive change, rather than just calling for it," he added. Based in Switzerland, the group is active in more than 30 countries.

With its renewal, the scope of the partnership has been broadened and will lead more specifically to the creation of a global monitoring system for enhancing ecological biodiversity in quarries with the aim of deploying the process worldwide. At the same time, a special focus will be put on establishing initiatives between the two organizations' local offices.

In a bid to reduce CO2 emissions even further, Lafarge has committed itself to finding ways of enabling emerging countries to pursue their development while ensuring that the growth in their CO2 emissions is contained. At the local level, Lafarge and WWF will work together to extend the replacement of fossil fuels with sustainable biomass in selected cement plants, such as in China, East Africa and in Brazil.

Lafarge and WWF will work together to promote sustainable construction systems and products across the construction chain, and showcase examples of state-of-the-art buildings, enhancing the ecological efficiency of buildings.

As part of the partnership, persistent pollutants that could be found in inputs to, and emissions from cement plants will receive specific attention through the identification of ways to limit these emissions by improving production processes.

More information is available from Lafarge contacts: Stephanie Tessier at Lafarge, +33-1-44-34-92-32, E-mail stephanie.tessier@lafarge.com, or Olivier van Bogaert at WWF International, +41-(0)22-364-9554, E-mail ovanbogaert@wwfint.org.

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