Lagos, Nigeria, Sunday, August 27, 2023. Leading innovative and sustainable building solutions company, Lafarge Africa Plc, has restated its commitment to the promotion of environmentally sustainable operations at all its plants across the country.
Lafarge Africa Plc., has invested significant resources, about 7.5mCHF to reducing the environmental impact of its operations to the barest minimum by adopting state-of-the-art technology whilst prioritizing the health and safety of its people and host communities.
Lafarge Africa sets high standards for health, safety, and the environment (HSE). The company’s goal is to conduct its business with zero harm to people while minimizing its environmental footprint. To achieve this, it has completed the installation of a new bag filter technology at its Ewekoro plant - which is a key milestone in the Company’s compliance with Nigerian Regulatory Standards and in line with its sustainability strategy.
“We continuously upgrade our operating models and strategy through extensive investments in research and innovation. In order to comply with global standards and contribute to building a safer planet, we successfully replaced our dust emission control device in our Ewekoro Plant I, from the Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) to a more modern and effective system, the ‘Bag House’ dust collection system,” commented Rachael Ezembakwe, Head of Health, Safety and Environment, Lafarge Africa Plc.
To mitigate dust emissions from other sources, such as from roads surrounding its plants, Lafarge has instituted measures to consistently reduce fugitive emissions in all its plants, preserve the local environment and minimize the impact on the neighbouring/host communities. The company also conducts air quality measurements of its plant up to 10 km radius to assure conformance to acceptable limits.
“We are fully aware of the environmental impact of our operations, particularly on our host communities. As such, we carried out a comprehensive social impact assessment in our Ewekoro plant in the year 2020, resulting in a robust action plan to reduce dust emissions. The implementation of the action plan involved changing the Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) used at the Plant to a bag house filter, in addition to other significant adjustments to our production activities, over a period of six (6) months. A robust maintenance system was also put in place for the dust control equipment at the Plant.”
Furthermore, Ezembakwe confirmed: “The dust emissions at our Ewekoro Plant has since remained below the regulatory limit of 50mg/Nm3. The emission levels are also monitored real-time to ensure that it remains within acceptable limits, and validated by the National Environmental Standard and Regulations Agency (NESREA) during its periodic monitoring inspection of our Ewekoro Plant. Quarterly monitoring exercises by government-accredited agencies are also conducted at the Plant, and the reports of the inspection are submitted to our regulators.
She noted that Lafarge Africa maintains a good relationship with its host communities, and as part of its corporate social responsibility, the building solutions company has continued to live up to its billing of improving the living standard of its host communities in Ewekoro and Sagamu in Ogun State with the provision of basic business & vocational skills, start-up kits, education grants, community projects, agricultural funds, healthcare and education facilities, among others, on a yearly basis.
To reiterate Lafarge Africa’s commitment to the health of its host communities, Lafarge provides annual medical examinations and treatment, including medications, medicated glasses, wheelchairs, etc. to support the health of community members.
“As a member of the Holcim – the leading global construction materials and solutions company in the world, care for the environment and for our host communities is built into all aspects of our operations within the country. Our social impact is focused on the areas of the most needs: Education, Empowerment, Health and Safety, and Shelter/infrastructure,” she concluded.