Victor Bouguenon, marketing manager at AfriSam, points out that it was over 15 years ago that the company recognised its responsibility to promote sustainable development. “AfriSam was the first cement producer to develop an environmental policy, long before environmental and green building issues became widespread,” he notes.
AfriSam’s proactive approach led the way in reducing dust emissions, using less coal, improving efficiencies in its use of energy and introducing ground-breaking technology which has resulted in pioneering products for the construction industry. Since 1990, AfriSam has successfully reduced its carbon footprint by more than 34%.
One of the most recent successes of AfriSam’s significant investment in research and development has been the manufacture of Eco Building Cement, which is produced at less than half the world average carbon footprint for cement production, without compromising on the SABS quality standards demanded for cement in this strength class.
AfriSam is also adding its weight and expertise to the evolving drive for sustainability in architecture and construction by developing or supporting such programmes as the AfriSam-SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) Awards for Sustainable Architecture and the Construction World Best Projects Awards.
“We are seeing a return to an understanding of the need for a human dimension in architecture,” Bouguenon says, “a move away from massive, overpowering structures towards environmentally responsible design. The drive towards sustainability is an endeavour to integrate human activities with natural systems in a holistic manner. “
Through its partnership with SAIA, AfriSam is promoting public awareness and debate on the issue of sustainability in architecture. “Similarly, with the Construction World Best Projects Awards, we want to put human and environmental needs and considerations back into design and construction,” says Bouguenon.
“We are serious about leading the way in developing eco-friendly products, promoting green building initiatives and making a sustainable difference,” he adds. “Market response has confirmed that there is a strong demand for such developments.”