Biodiversity protection

Our principle activity is raw material quarrying. With a special rehabilitation plan for each quarry, our objective is to deliver an area with enhanced biodiversity, compared to its condition before the intervention, and improve the landscape created following the intervention.

One of the key priorities and commitments of Lafarge is to have, by the end of 2010, a rehabilitation plan in at least 85% of its over 1000 quarries worldwide, to have them all reviewed according to the WWF International criteria and develop a biodiversity programme in those that have realisable potential. For many decades, the Group has applied techniques ensuring that quarries are selected, planned and rehabilitated according to the most strict standards. Some of these quarries are currently ecological parks, farms or forests thanks to the skills and experience of Lafarge people.

The rehabilitation plan for each quarry should take into account the following parameters: environmental specificities, such as biodiversity, water, soil and topography; applicable legislation; perspectives of stakeholders (property owners, neighbours, local authorities and environmental organisations).

Quarries and biodiversity in Greece

LAVA operates the pumice, gypsum, pozzolane and silica sand quarries. The company’s principle is that it has to operate the quarries in a responsible manner with long-term planning. In 2009, it formalized its commitment to two of the Sustainability Ambitions.

  1. Rehabilitation plan
    The first Ambition relates to quarries’ rehabilitation at the end of their lifetime: By 2010, 100% of the quarries will have a rehabilitation plan that complies with the Lafarge standards. Apart from the quarry rehabilitation plan submitted in the context of the permit process, Heracles Group applies the methodology developed by Lafarge for rehabilitating the quarry site.
  2. Action on biodiversity
    The second ambition concerns biodiversity and two parts: By 2010, all the quarries will have been screened according to the biodiversity criteria validated by WWF International. A site biodiversity programme will have been developed in all quarries with realisable potential by 2012.

The three pillars of the company’s biodiversity strategy are knowledge, assessment and management. In particular, the 2012 Sustainability Ambitions include:

  • to check all active quarries, in order to assess their importance regarding conservation of species;
  • develop site biodiversity programmes for all the environmentally sensitive areas and
  • ensure that the results of these two steps are integrated into the existing rehabilitation plan for each quarry.

In 2009 Heracles Group concluded the screening procedure and, having a complete biodiversity assessment of its quarries, it will select, in 2010, those that are more appropriate for the preparation of biodiversity programmes. Following this selection, the company shall ensure that, by 2012, it will have in place effective plans, meeting its biodiversity ambition.

Biodiversity Review

Lafarge Group presents in this special publication its approach to the protection of ecosystems. You can read more on rehabilitation of quarries and protection of the natural environment, the role of communities, assessment and training tools for a biodiversity management system, the role of ecosystems in developing ecological principles etc.

Attachment: “Biodiversity Review”  (2.09Mb)

Nursery at the Yali pumice stone quarry Nursery at the Milos pozolana quarry
Planting of oleander at the nursery of pozolana quarry Planting of eucalyptus at the nursery of pozolana quarry

Pozzolane Quarry in Milos
Rehabilitation of the quarry in Milos is a challenge, not only because of the island’s soil and weather conditions, but also because it is located in an extremely sensitive area (ΝΑΤURA network), next to tourist facilities. The protected species of the Milos island are the indigenous viper (Vipera scwheizeri) and the threatened species of Mediterranean Seal (Monachus monachus). Quarry operation and rehabilitation plans are designed having in mind the area’s sensitivity.