Lafarge earmarks $8m to environmental sustainability
Lafarge Africa Plc, the Nigerian arm of the world’s leading Swiss building materials multinational, LafargeHolcim, recently committed a total of 5.3mCHF an equivalent of $5.77 million to change its current Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) to baghouse in its Ewekoro plant.
This entails making significant adjustments including the shutting down of its kilns for at least six months.
Khaled El-Dokani, the CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc remarked: “At Lafarge Africa Plc, sustainability is at the core of our strategy and it transcends all that we do.
“Sustainability is about meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. One of our goals is to pioneer the transformation of the local building materials and construction sector in Nigeria to address important environmental issues, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and our Sustainability ambition pillars of Climate & Energy, Circular Economy, Environment and Communities. Care for the environment and our host communities is built into all aspects of our operations everywhere in the world.”
The Lafarge CEO explained that this investment underscores the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
“At Lafarge Africa, our sustainability pillars – Climate and Energy, Circular Economy, Environment and Community is the lever for which Lafarge is driving innovative solutions and impact.
“Our social impact is focused on the areas of the most needs: Education, Empowerment, Health and Safety, and Shelter/Infrastructure. LAP partners with our host communities to develop and implement social interventions in these areas.”
In a statement on Wednesday, the company said it is also increasingly using biomass, including oil palm and rice husks, as alternative fuels to power its plants.
It noted that currently, a good number of cement plants in Nigeria are powered by coal, gas, or low pour fuel oil.
“However, alternative fuels are considered cleaner, more sustainable, and also help surrounding communities dispose of waste more efficiently.
Considering this, alternative fuels currently account for up to 40 per cent of the fuel used to power Lafarge Africa’s Ewekoro plant and the company plans to have all plants operating on at least 35 per cent alternative fuels by 2023,” the statement read.
At the Global level, LafargeHolcim is committed to building a world that is greener, smarter, and works for all, according to the company.
Impacting Ewekoro communities where the company operates, it said it had impacted more than 16,000 people via it’s social Investment programmes directed towards health and safety, education, rural electrification, infrastructure, and environmental sustainability across several communities.
Some of the initiatives include the 14-bed healthcare centre and medical equipment at Olujobi community, a 1.5 kilometer reinforced concrete road and drainage in Alagutan, a 4-kilometer long pipe-borne water project installed at Elebute, a transformer base for electrification at Okeoko Sekoni, and several bursary awards granted to students from the communities who are currently studying in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.