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Lafarge Canada Inc. becomes Urban Forest Leader

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Lafarge Canada Inc. has announced that it is joining the Comité des leaders de la forêt urabine (Urban Forest Leaders Committee), created in 2018 by Soverdi and the Alliance forêt urbaine. The company thus joins establishments like CN, the Port of Montréal, Hyrdo-Québec, and, more recently, TD Bank, to plant some 50 000 new trees and other plants by 2022. Those thousands of plants are being introduced to improve the health of the population and make a concrete environmental gesture.

The company announced that it was joining the committee at the unveiling of the explanatory sign on the revitalisation of the Lafarge quarry embankment. Implemented with Soverdi, an urban greening leader, and the support of members of the Alliance forêt urbaine, the revitalisation of the embankment is part of the Plan d’action forêt urbaine (action plan for uban forests) that aims to increase the canopy cover rate on the island of Montreal from 20% to 25% by 2025.

As an urban forest leader, Lafarge Canada has committed to plating 2000 trees over four years, and to make a sustained effort within its network to invite its partners to make their companies greener. The announcement of the company joining the committee was made at Carlos d’Alcantara Park in early June.

“We had already started greening the edges of the quarry by planting more than 2000 trees since 2015 and we want to continue that initiative by committing ourselves even further,” said Nicolas Paradis, General Manager for greater Montreal. “Planting trees around our facilities improves the quality of life in our neighbourhood, by creating a visual barrier that muffles sounds, all the while minimising the heat island phenomenon.”

Spreading nature throughout the city

Although Montreal is a green city, its vegetation is not evenly spread throughout its territory. A lack of forest cover is directly linked to poor or industrial areas and many studies show its impact on health and life expectancy. In order for urban forest benefits to be felt evenly throughout different neighbourhoods, it has been stated that measures must be taken that extend beyond traditional tree planting sites, such as streets and public parks.

Knowing that 34% of the surface of the Montreal territory is publicly owned, the city cannot effectively fight heat islands and lessen the effects of climate change by itself. It has been noted that the involvement of private landowners in Montreal, whose businesses own 66% of the surface area f the City of Montreal, is crucial to making greening projects a reality.

“In the current climate, the value of combining private and public sector efforts to preserve and develop urban forests is now well established,” said Jean-Philippe Détolle, Executive Director of Large Parks and Biodiversity. “This new membership in the Comité des leaders de la forêt urbaine is an opportunity to highlight the growing involvement of private stakeholders. These are crucial collaborators to reach the ambitious goals of expanding the canopy cover that our administration has been relentlessly pursuing.”

Six months after the launch of the project in 2018, several thousand trees have been planted, and two new members have joined the committee. It is thought that this shows a trend for major Montreal stakeholders to have a real involvement in the greening of Montreal and a desire to give back to the community.

“The commitment of major private sector stakeholders comes after years of work and will allow us to take our greening plans to a whole other level,” said Malin Anagrius, General Manager of Soverdi and spokeswoman of the Alliance forêt urbaine. “The Leaders’ Committee is all about committed Montreal companies that make real, large-scale commitments that will impact the city and improve the landscape for all citizens.”

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