How we got here

This isn’t our first rodeo. 

Lafarge Canada has made sustainability a part of our operations for a long time. In fact, we’re building on our foundation of innovative solutions – Ecolabel is the next step for our cement products.

Change is good.

In 2008, CSA A3001 was issued – allowing cement manufacturers to increase the use of limestone in their cements, up to 15%. The more limestone we can include, the fewer kilos of CO2 we emit. Long story short: the inclusion of limestone, to create OneCem – is what allows us to keep exploring, keep testing, keep innovating, and keep providing you with high performance low impact cements.

green construction
Since 2011, we’ve been increasing our OneCem production – which in turn, means
we’ve been driving down our CO2 footprint for over 10 years.
Ready mix concrete, lafarge ready mix

Ten years ago, when Lafarge began manufacturing OneCem we knew we had an uphill battle. With a material as critical as cement – where questions like compressive strength and porosity make the difference between a safe structure and a terrible accident – we needed to be absolutely confident that it was the right decision for our customers, and for our communities. 

Groups like the Portland Cement Association, and our own international research labs, have confirmed that OneCem has the potential to significantly improve concrete sustainability with performance equal to or better than General Use (GU) cement. 

Since introducing OneCem to the Canadian landscape, we have continued to witness growth and broad acceptance across all markets, regions, and municipalities. Today, we have converted the majority of our GU sales to OneCem. It is our near term belief that GU will not be required by Canadian construction industry.

This is how Canada builds right. 

OneCem is a slightly modified version of General Use cement that improves both the environmental footprint and potentially the basic performance of concrete. There is no difference in water demand or slump loss. Even though OneCem is finer than GU cement, the extra fineness is due to fine limestone particles providing some advantages.

The setting time of OneCem concrete is generally the same as for concrete made with GU or slightly shorter. And for mixes with supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs, such as fly ash or slag cement) – many of which qualify as Ecolabel cements – the retardation effects of the SCMs are reduced. If we didn’t have the option of OneCem, we’d limit our opportunities to use supplementary cementitious materials – and therefore, limit our CO2 reduction potential.

This is how we build – strong foundation with unique innovation. 

What’s the impact of OneCem in Canada?

The numbers tell the story. For every tonne of OneCem that we manufacture, we reduce CO2 emissions by 10%. That means that since 2021, we have eliminated 494,700 tonnes of GHG emissions from the atmosphere –
the equivalent of growing 8 million trees for 10 years.

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tonnes of GHG emissions eliminated since 2011