GLOBE Foundation

Building Lower Carbon Cities - Lafarge Takes Action


Source: GLOBE Foundation

Lafarge Canada Inc, Natural Resources Canada, the Queen's Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy and Carbon Management Canada have announced plans to join forces and are investing more than $8 million to develop innovative solutions to power Lafarge Canada's cement plant in Bath, Ontario, by re-using local surplus materials as low carbon fuels.

This multi-partner initiative intends to produce low emission, low carbon fuels from local supplies such as construction and demolition site debris (wood based), railway ties, and other energy containing materials that aren't presently recycled.

The results of this full-scale demonstration program will enable the Canadian cement industry to adopt low carbon fuels faster, making the industry more competitive while providing better local value to local communities and, importantly, reducing carbon emissions.

'Our commitment is to build better cities and communities. Being a responsible neighbour and sustainable partner in the community where we live, work and raise our families is part our core values,' said Bob Cartmel, President and Chief Executive Officer in Eastern Canada for Lafarge Canada Inc.

'We are delighted to bring this world class demonstration initiative to the Canadian cement industry. We believe that this project is exactly in line with our mission of building better cities by lowering our carbon footprint, making use of local fuel supplies, and creating local sustainable jobs.

In meeting Canada's extensive infrastructure needs, the Canadian cement industry currently emits about 3.8% of the country's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and about 30-40% of those emissions are due to fossil fuel use.

With the help of its partners, Lafarge Canada's project will enable the Bath cement plant to use renewable, low carbon fuels that can be found locally, reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions, making use of materials that our cities and towns don't currently reuse, and offer a sustainable alternative to the industry at large.

Carbon Management Canada (CMC), a network of Centres of Excellence that supports research to reduce CO2 emissions, is funding Dr. Mabee, Dr. Pollard, and their team's low carbon fuel research with a $400,000 grant over three years. Queen's University will evaluate the life cycle benefits of low carbon fuels in the cement industry as well as in-depth validation of expected emission reductions.

'We will be measuring the impact of low carbon fuels in a real kiln, in a real plant, making real cement, said Dr. Warren Mabee, director of Queen's University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy and lead investigator on the joint project with Lafarge Canada. 'This project will give us a very good sense of how these fuels will perform in the real world.'

The potential payoffs for using lower carbon fuels in the construction sector are enormous. Recent research in the European Union suggest that environmental improvements to the construction sector would increase its competitiveness and make significant contributions to a more resource efficient society.

The EU's Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe indicates that better construction and use of buildings in the EU could influence 42% of the final energy consumption, about 35% of greenhouse gas emissions and more than 50% of all extracted materials, for example. It could also save up to 30% of water.

Natural Resources Canada is awarding $2.68 million to Lafarge Canada to construct this full-scale demonstration plant.

Other project partners include Pollution Probe, WWF Canada, Queen's University, the Cement Association of Canada, Mesa Bioenergy, Scott Environmental, and Rail Link, a Metis company.

Lafarge Canada Inc. is Canada's largest provider of solutions to the construction and development industry. With more than 6000 employees across Canada, Lafarge provides construction solutions that build better cities and communities.

The company's Sustainability Ambitions for 2020 seek to provide solutions that use sustainable manufacturing practices and improve the environment in and around its operations.

More information is available on Lafarge Canada's website:

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