Lafarge Africa, one of Africa’s leading cement manufacturing giant has made bold claim to surpassing competitions in the industry to become the leading key player in Africa, with its vision 2030 initiative.
The cement manufacturing giant has unveiled plans to position itself ahead of competition in the next decade with its recently launched 2030 Plan, aimed at tackling the planet’s biggest issues for the next decade, set new standards and be the leading example of sustainability.
The plan, the firm explained, supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and consists four pillars: Climate, Circular Economy, Water & Nature, People and Communities. Each pillar comes with a set of quantitative targets such as reducing emissions, deriving energy from waste and developing initiatives that will impact 75 million people across the world. The theme for the 12-year plan is “Building for tomorrow”.
Resource scarcity alongside urbanisation, climate change and housing needs are some of the challenges the world faces today, especially in emerging economies like Nigeria. This perhaps explains the position of the firm.
According to the firm’s Director of Communications, Public Affairs & Sustainable Development, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, “at Lafarge, sustainability is a core value and business strategy. It’s part of what we do wherever we operate. Some of world’s biggest challenges like urbanisation, housing and climate change are visible in Nigeria. The 2030 plan is our way of providing sustainable solutions to these challenges within and outside our operations,”she said.
Similarly, Lafarge Africa Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michel Pucherchos said: “LafargeHolcim, of which we are a subsidiary, is not only the world’s largest building solutions company, but one with a rich history of sustainability. This enables us to adapt quickly and proffer sustainable and innovative solutions in markets like Nigeria, where the growth potential is immense but must be sustained for future generations.”
Housing and Sustainable Development Director at the University of Lagos, Professor Timothy Nubi, said Lafarge should be applauded for its initiative and effort in sustainability development in the country. This, according to him, is because sustainable development is still at its infancy in Nigeria.
“Few companies are still doing what we see as significant in this area; majority of firms still see it as oh they are asking us to spend money. Only very few like Lafarge see it as part of their DNA. It is a way of being responsible. Such initiatives give both economic and social benefits to the country and its people,” Nubi explained, adding that what the company has done has led to “an inclusive economic growth”.
Stakeholders in the industry agreed that the cement maker is threading on a familiar ground in terms of its sustainability agenda. For instance, they explained that the cement maker has either adopted or sponsored sustainable innovations within and outside its operations, one of which is the use of alternative fuel in its operations and the Lafarge National Literacy Competition.
Ambrose-Medebem explained that as part of its alternative fuel strategy, Lafarge uses local alternative energy sources at its plants across the country. At its Ewekoro plant, for instance, almost half of the energy generated in one of its production kilns comes from palm kernel shaft and shells. Last November, it concluded the fourth literacy competition, an annual competition for only public primary school pupils from across the country. Two pupils from Edo State won this year’s competition.