Lafarge has been improving its energy efficiency and reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions this year to help it align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In fact, the company has received incentives from Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA) Energy Savings for Business program to support 11 high-efficiency projects for its operations across Alberta.
“From a sustainability standpoint, the reduction of greenhouse gases is a priority for us, but this also helps to reduce our utility costs and makes us a more efficient business,” said William Gowdy, Environment and Public Affairs Manager for Lafarge in Northern Alberta.
He said the majority of the funding is being used to upgrade lighting at their plants, as well as upgrading several motor systems to add variable frequency drives (VFD). In total, the projects are expected to reduce GHG emissions by 11,000 tonnes over the lifetime of the projects.
“When we do something like this it’s like taking a small town off the map,” said Gowdy, referring to the number of emissions reduced by their new energy efficient projects.
In addition to cutting emissions and reducing costs, Gowdy said one of the biggest benefits to installing energy efficient lighting has been improved visibility and safety.
“From a safety standpoint the improved lighting has made things a lot brighter and a lot safer,” said Gowdy. “In some instances, just the improved safety alone has helped move the projects forward.”
Lafarge expects to see a return on its investment in less than two years for its new lighting upgrades.
“We’ve found in our plants we have been able to reduce our utility costs anywhere from 10 to 33 per cent, which is massive,” said Gowdy.
The Energy Savings for Business program helped Lafarge accelerate its sustainability plans.
“There’s always competing demands internally, in terms of, where do you put your funding and where do you get the biggest bang for your buck. In a lot of cases having support from this program has helped get these projects across the line,” Gowdy added.