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world’s largest cement firm focus on solar
January 13, 2021

As priorities shift, world’s largest cement firm inks $3.4 billion deal to focus on solar, green roofs

Cement maker LafargeHolcim has agreed to buy specialist roofing company Firestone Building Products for $3.4 billion, in the latest example of shifting priorities within the building industry.

In a statement issued last week, LafargeHolcim — which is the world’s biggest cement manufacturer —said FSBP played “an instrumental role” in mitigating energy loss via the roofs of buildings. It’s agreed to purchase the company, which specializes in insulated, solar, “cool” and green roofs, from tire and rubber business Bridgestone Americas.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday, LafargeHolcim CEO Jan Jenisch referenced FSBP’s strengths in “new sustainable solutions.” He described the move as a “perfect fit” for his company’s goal “to be the most sustainable and most innovative building materials supplier in the future.”

The environmental impact of the construction industry is significant, and according to a 2018 report from Chatham House, over 4 billion metric tons of cement are produced annually. This, the policy institute said, accounts for around 8% of global CO2 emissions.

As concerns about the environment grow, there is a renewed focus on the sustainability of buildings and major companies in the sector are looking to bolster their options when it comes to products, systems and technologies.

The purchase of FSBP supplements LafargeHolcim’s other products, including its ECOPact concrete, which the company claims can have “30% to 100% less carbon emissions compared to standard (CEM I) concrete.”

According to the company, the acquisition of FSBP will add three research and development labs, 1,800 distribution points and 15 manufacturing facilities to its network. Looking ahead, LafargeHolcim said it wanted to “swiftly globalize the business.”

When it comes to green construction, using a structure’s roof to boost its sustainability credentials is well established.

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