LafargeHolcim joins initiative targeting barriers to energy-efficient buildings

Under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, LafargeHolcim Ltd. and its global counterpart in steel, ArcelorMittal, are aligning with other key construction players to advance Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB). The initiative addresses a major opportunity for reducing fuel consumption and attendant greenhouse gas emissions, and will bring together public and private sector leaders in local markets to understand barriers to energy-efficient buildings and drive investments improving the built environment.

LafargeHolcim charts an Energy Efficiency in Buildings lab agenda. The next phase, EEB Amplify, was launched in December at the climate-geared Conference of Parties 22 gathering in Morocco.

As part of a sustainability strategy dubbed 2030 Plan, LafargeHolcim commits “to helping our customers avoid 10 million tons of carbon dioxide released every year from their buildings and infrastructure. We plan to achieve this target using our innovative materials solutions, such as low-carbon concrete and cement, insulating concrete and thermal mass solutions.”

As a founding member and co-chair, LafargeHolcim is active in EEB promotion. The initiative has thus far piloted “EEB labs,” or three-day workshop platforms, in cities around the world to develop and implement action plans on buildings’ energy consumption. Five EEB labs have been staged in Houston, Warsaw, Jakarta, Jaipur and Shanghai. Collaboration at the EEB lab in Poland led to the release of the first benchmarking report that encourages transparency and data sharing among office building stakeholders. The next EEB labs are planned in Birmingham, Ala., Zurich and Paris.

The global market for energy efficiency in buildings is set to grow from $90 billion in 2014 to $125 billion in 2020, EEB participants report. To bring buildings’ energy consumption in line with goals affirmed during the December 2015 Paris Climate Conference, or Conference of Parties 21, they contend that annual investment in energy efficiency needs to climb well past the projected 2020 mark—to $215 billion.

LafargeHolcim officials view EEB as the perfect vehicle to engage with local governments, analyze market barriers and assist in drafting a commonly agreed action plan to unlock additional investments in energy efficiency. Along with peers, the producer aims to bring the initiative into a new phase this year: “EEB Amplify” will see the scaling up of work in at least 50 local markets by 2020.