Cement production accounts for about five per cent of CO2 emissions globally and 1.4 per cent nationally. Manufacturing cement contributes to CO2 emissions primarily through the combustion of fossil fuels needed to achieve temperatures high enough to heat the limestone and clay and start the calcination process that is core to cement production. Globally, Lafarge is exploring the use of several new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One solution that has been tested in five of our Canadian plants is the use of low carbon fuels (LCF) in the production of cement. The goal of the Low Carbon Fuels Project at the Lafarge Exshaw is to eventually replace 50 per cent of the plant’s natural gas use with low carbon fuels that would typically end up in landfills. The plan intends to increase the use of low carbon fuels to 80 per cent within the next decade. Lafarge estimates that increased use of LCFs in the production process could cut its carbon emissions by 300,000 tonnes annually, the equivalent to taking 65,000 cars off the road every year.  Lafarge has selected the following LCFs based on a study of what types of materials are available in Alberta:

  • construction renovation and demolition waste
  • non-recyclable plastic
  • carpet and textiles
  • shingles
  • treated wood products
  • wood products
  • rubber
  • tire fluff.