Partnerships with the private sector:
Industry practices

Industry practices

Making one planet from two worlds

Having recognized the challenge of sustainable development to industry with an environmental policy declaration in 1995, the giant Lafarge concern turned to WWF International and become its first Conservation Partner from an industrial group. It allows itself to be audited on eight environmental performance indicators.

To improve its environmental performance, Lafarge has set up local partnerships with WWF local offices.

Lafarge, the Paris-based world leader in construction materials with nearly 80,000 employees in some 75 countries, became the first industrial group to join the WWF Conservation Partners programme in 2000, the second firm after Canon Europe. The programme today includes HSBC, Nokia and Ogilvy.

WWF agreed to contribute the expertise needed for Lafarge to develop and improve its environmental policies and practices and to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and biodiversity conservation. After achieving significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions, in improving quarry rehabilitation practices and implementation of eight key performance indicators, the partnership has been renewed for a further three years. The performance indicators cover environmental audits, reduction of fossil fuel consumption, waste recycling and emissions control. The programme also includes commitments to heighten awareness amongst the widest possible audience on the importance of environmental preservation through local partnerships between WWF local offices and Lafarge Business Units in places such as Kenya, Austria, France and China.

Over time the partners - working under the slogan «Two Worlds, One Planet» - have broadened the scope to be more ambitious, Committed to finding solutions to allow emerging economies to pursue their growth limiting the increase in their CO2 emissions, Lafarge and WWF intend to work together to replace fossil fuels by biomass products in a number of cement plants.

By 2005 80% of 800 quarry sites had rehabilitation plans ensuring biodiversity restoration, ahead of schedule. CO2 emission reductions went beyond the Kyoto Protocol targets, the main international standard designed to reduce greenhouse gases, though this was partly due to a reduction in cement production. Lafarge is on track to achieve its target of 20% by 2010.

Michel Picard, Vice-President of Environmental Issues for the Lafarge Group, has pointed out the business sense its commitment to environmental sustainability makes: «Beyond the contribution of this partnership to the improved perception and reputation of Lafarge, I consider that it has greatly enhanced our vision of sustainability and our capacity to anticipate future issues. The permanent dialogue with WWF challenges our beliefs, our strategies, and our practices, and produces tangible results. I am convinced that through this process, Lafarge is gaining a competitive advantage for the future.»

Some 80% of quarry sites have rehabilitation plans and CO2 reductions are better than the Kyoto target.