Source: Lafarge North America, Chicago
Addressing the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 24th Annual Symposium in Baltimore, Lafarge Goup V.P. of Environment and Public Affairs Jim Rushworth presented the company’s world-wide work on biodiversity with a special focus on a new World Wildlife Federation (WWF) partnership.
“It’s important we manage biodiversity at our operations and play our part in trying to halt the loss in biodiversity experienced worldwide,” said Rushworth. “We are honored to have been invited to participate in the WHC Symposium where we are publicly launching our Biodiversity Guidance, developed to help our operations understand and manage biodiversity. The Guidance was developed with WWF and it is partnerships like this one, and with WHC, that make our efforts on biodiversity and community engagement possible.”
The guidance aims to facilitate protection, restoration and enhancement of biodiversity across all Lafarge Group quarries, plants and offices worldwide. It includes specific information and case studies on issues such as: avoiding/minimizing impact to important habitats; planting only appropriate native species; removing and controlling invasive species; restoring and/or rehabilitating damaged habitats; making industrial areas as natural as possible; consulting local stakeholders and experts; and, monitoring and planning biodiversity projects.
Projects under Lafarge North America have included quarry rehabilitation at Presque Isle, Mich., and creating a native-plant garden in nearby Alpena, site of a major cement mill. The garden improves conditions for attracting pollinator species of insects, while offering an educational, easily accessible and visually appealing community space.
Lafarge Group and WHC have a long history of working together on biodiversity projects: The Council is a member of the Group’s Advisory Panel on biodiversity, created in 2006 to advise on biodiversity strategy and contribute ideas to improve and develop it. Biodiversity management and enhancement are key focus areas under the producer’s Sustainability Ambitions 2020, a roadmap to make a net positive contribution to society.