Lafarge invests in community devt initiatives, Covid-19 support

Lafarge Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading building solutions company, says it invested a total of N1.2 billion in community development initiatives and COVID-19 support in 2020.

This investment comprised the company’s investments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities from which more people benefited within its host communities, according to the company’s new report.

The Lafarge 2020 Sustainability Report, which was presented to investors and the public at the Nigeria Stock Exchange recently, shows that a total of 250,000 citizens benefited from its CSR activities in 2020. That number is more than double of those impacted by similar activities in 2019.

The report explains that the company was able to achieve this because of its collaboration with governments at all levels to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and also reduce its socio-economic impact on communities through the distribution of palliatives.

Lafarge is highly committed to the environment and this has given immediate benefits to communities. The report reveals that over 3000 Jobs were created through the company’s partnership with the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA). It collects waste such as tyres, plastic bottles, polyethylene and others, which it uses to generate energy at its plants.

As a strong believer in sustainability, the firm is guided by four pillars in its approach to doing things. These are Climate and Energy, Circular Economy, Environment and Community. The objectives of this approach are reduction of CO2 emissions, increasing re-use of water derived resources, reduction of freshwater withdrawal and creation of shared value.

According to the report, Lafarge in 2020 reutilised 71,029 tonnes of waste. Freshwater withdrawal was 201L/ton and 228L/M3 respectively for cement and ready mix. The company has also played a leading role in recycling waste in Nigeria through its partnership with the FBRA.

In line with its quarry rehabilitation plan, 933 hectares have been rehabilitated, thus achieving 100 percent of its rehabilitation target in 2020. The company replaced 9.6 percent of its energy consumption with renewable sources of energy and also reduced carbon dioxide by planting over 7000 tree seedlings.

Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the company’s Director of Communications, Public Affairs & Sustainable Development, noted that, for Lafarge, doing good is doing well, explaining that their strong focus on sustainability improves relations with investors, government, communities, and other key stakeholders.

“We consider sustainability performance a critical business success factor. Accordingly, we are tracking performance from both the local regulatory and international best practice lenses,” Ambrose-Medebem said.

On his part, Adebode Adefioye, the company chairman, also explained, “by deploying innovation, we are championing how Nigeria builds better. It is holistic and strategically driven to ensure that we are scaling in reach and impact in the economic and environmental spheres.”

“In the social sphere, we are also deliberately implementing initiatives that further prepare us for the future such as leveraging technology and improving our diversity indicators,” he added.

Temi Popoola, CEO, Nigeria Exchange Limited, commended Lafarge for its leadership in sustainability reporting, noting that the company becomes one of the few leading listed companies that have demonstrated their commitment to adopting sustainable business practices and transparency in their approach to environmental, social and governance disclosure.

Source: Business Day

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