La­farge tar­gets lead­er­ship in en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity

The Punch - - HOMES & PROPERTY - Mau­reen Ihua-maduenyi

LA­FARGE Africa Plc says it is aim­ing to be­come the in­dus­try leader in en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity by set­ting ex­am­ples on how to ad­dress the planet’s chal­lenges.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, the Nige­ria of­fice takes its in­spi­ra­tion from the par­ent com­pany, La­farge­hol­cim’s 2030 plan, which aims to lead in sus­tain­abil­ity and set new stan­dards.

It stated that by the year 2030, the com­pany’s am­bi­tion is to have trans­formed the way the in­dus­try worked.

“It aims to set a strong ex­am­ple for the con­struc­tion sec­tor to play its part in ad­dress­ing the planet’s big­gest is­sues. As the global leader in the con­struc­tion and build­ing ma­te­ri­als in­dus­try, La­farge­hol­cim has the op­por­tu­nity, re­spon­si­bil­ity and the will to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence,” the com­pany said.

Mean­while, the com­pany said that as a proof of its in­no­va­tive and im­pact­ful so­cial in­vest­ment in 2018, its Nige­ria of­fice has won the in­au­gu­ral CSR Awards of La­farge­hol­cim for the Mid­dle east and Africa.

It stated that the an­nounce­ment was made re­cently by the Re­gional head, La­farge­hol­cim for the Mid­dle east and Africa, Mil­jan Gu­tovic.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, Nige­ria won the over­all award af­ter beat­ing 35 other coun­tries in two of the four award cat­e­gories.

“The coun­try won gold for its CSR ini­tia­tives in the ed­u­ca­tion and employment cat­e­gory ahead of egypt (sil­ver) and Kenya (bronze). Nige­ria also won gold in the Shel­ter and In­fra­struc­ture cat­e­gory ahead of Morocco (sil­ver) and Cote d’ivoire (bronze),” the com­pany said.

Gu­tovic, while mak­ing the an­nounce­ment, was quoted as say­ing that all par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries show­cased the crit­i­cal and im­pact­ful work done in host com­mu­ni­ties to bring La­farge­hol­cim’s global sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment strat­egy to life.

“The projects pre­sented dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion demon­strate our com­mit­ment across the Mid­dle east and Africa re­gion to en­rich­ing lives within and be­yond our fence. I want to thank all par­tic­i­pants for the en­thu­si­asm shown in mak­ing real im­pact in the lives of peo­ple in the coun­tries where we op­er­ate,” he said.

he stated that as a re­ward for com­ing out tops, Nige­ria’s win­ning ini­tia­tive would be repli­cated across the Mid­dle east and Africa to con­sol­i­date on its gains.

The com­pany noted that since 2014, it had worked as­sid­u­ously in Nige­ria to bridge the hous­ing deficit while also help­ing to meet the United Na­tions Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal 9 – In­dus­trial In­no­va­tion and In­fra­struc­ture and Goal 11 – Sus­tain­able Cities and Com­mu­ni­ties.

It added, “La­farge in­tro­duced the easy home ini­tia­tive in Nige­ria, an am­bi­tious hous­ing so­lu­tion, which, us­ing strate­gic part­ner­ships, helps in­di­vid­u­als build de­cent homes with a low bud­get. The com­pany also links prospec­tive home builders to fi­nanciers, qual­i­fied build­ing pro­fes­sion­als and high-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als. In 2016 alone, over 30,000 peo­ple ben­e­fited from the ini­tia­tive, and the aim is to reach a lot more peo­ple by the year 2030.

“In 2017, La­farge Africa cre­ated the Ce­ment Pro­fes­sion­als Train­ing Pro­gramme that helps youths with en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit to achieve their goals in the fields of tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, in­stru­men­ta­tion and au­to­ma­tion. In its first year, more than 30 youths have been im­pacted by the pro­gramme. In the same year, the com­pany made large in­vest­ments in di­verse so­cial in­vest­ment pro­grammes and ini­tia­tives in its host com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try, di­rectly im­pact­ing more than 450,000 ben­e­fi­cia­ries.”

It stated that to sup­port the UN Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal 5 on qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, La­farge Africa had com­ple­mented the Nige­rian govern­ment’s ef­forts to im­prove ed­u­ca­tion at the pri­mary level through the La­farge Africa Na­tional Lit­er­acy Com­pe­ti­tion.

“Since 2014 when the project kicked off, over 600,000 pub­lic pri­mary school pupils have been im­pacted across 544 Lo­cal Govern­ment Ar­eas in Nige­ria,” it added.

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