Our goal is to be part of the solution to a problem affecting the entire world
Leca's 75-year history has grown thanks to the environmentally friendly, sustainable and durable material, lightweight aggregate. Leca® LWA is made from domestic clay, which can be used almost limitlessly in construction. There is no concern about the availability of raw materials, because there is enough clay obtained from nature for millennia. However, we are not ready as a company, and we are not stopping here.
Curbing climate change and adapting to it requires change within the construction industry. The change is not easy, and not all the steps are clear yet, but the joint journey must start today. Everyone must do their part to ensure a sustainable future for all of us.
The Next Step
By investing in environmentally friendly forms of energy in our operations, we can reduce the use of fossil fuels. In accordance with life cycle thinking, our product is long-lasting, durable, safe and, above all, reusable in many ways.
Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)
We are proud to take the Next Step within the lightweight aggregate sector with our LECA Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) are available now
The Next Step Starts Today
The Saint-Gobain group has set itself the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, but Leca, a member of the group, and the group's other Nordic operations have decided to reach the goal by 2035. The units operating in the Nordic countries also switched to using green electricity in 2018, which reduces our carbon dioxide emissions in the Nordic countries by an estimated 40,000 tons annually.
In addition to sustainable energy use, we support biodiversity by landscaping the clay catchment basins as recreation areas after clay digging is stopped. Nature has, for example, taken over the former clay extraction areas of the Leca LWA factory in Kuusankoski, Kouvola. Now the green shores of the pond are nesting and resting places for numerous bird species.
Leca® Lightweight Aggregate Expanded Clay (LWA) is mainly known for its functional benefits, with a long history which dates back to more than 75 years, Leca® LWA is actually more modern than ever – and a highly resource efficient material within infrastructure, housing and water management development projects.
Leca® (LWA ) has been around since the 1940’s and although the product has been developed further since then, it is basically still the same product: expanded clay. This special and purposeful material is highly suitable for many building requirements due to its numerous and unique properties, we like to call it All-in-One, Everywhere. But Leca® LWA has some very positive and beneficial 'side effects' regarding environmental issues including resource efficiency and a sustainable long lasting lifetime.
Environmental and sustainable issues which were probably not the main focus 75 years ago, is certainly a concern today in the modern world.
Our Next Step in Sustainable Logistics and Delivery
Leca® LWA can arrive to you in different forms. It can be delivered in bulk, big-bags or small bags.
We can even provide special blowing vehicles for fast & easy application into locations where other aggregate cannot reach. Leca® LWA, being a lightweight aggregate, allows for an increase in the volume / load capacity of trucks, meaning fewer trucks on the road, in city centers and in the most sensitive rural areas. In other words, less CO2 emissions, reduced transport costs, less wear and tear on road infrastructures and time savings in carrying out works
One of our projects is to improve our logistical processes, for both raw materials and for finished goods. Our supply chain emissions in 2017, represented 8% of our total CO2 emissions.*
For example, transportation by vessel leaves less environmental impact than road freight, hence we are looking into how to change our European supply routes. Type of vessel and truck will also be within our scope and we want to work with our transport partners to give the market the best and most sustainable service as possible.
Our Next Step in Manufacturing
Our main raw material is abundant clay, usually fresh clay from our own clay pits. Extracting clay does not require much energy. In addition, the clay pits are continuously restored in order to preserve the natural site and its biodiversity.
The fresh clay enters into the production line, where a mechanical pre-treatment take place. Following this stage, some additives are added and the clay goes into the rotary kiln. It is in the rotary kiln where the expansion of the clay occurs at a temperature of around 1.150ºC. This process allows us to produce the Leca® LWA, from 1 m3 of clay to 5 m3 of Leca® LWA.
After the kiln process, the material is cooled with air and is sieved for the final applications. At this stage the aggregate is ready to be delivery to you. To decrease our CO2 emissions we are substituting the fossil fuels with bio based combustibles. In the local countries where fossil fuel energy is still a fundamental part of the grid we will invest in solar solutions.
All LECA production sites are certified with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and our Leca® LWA products are certified according with the final use ISO 13055-1, ISO 13055-2, ISO 14063 and ISO 15732.
Resourcefulness from Cradle to Grave
To make this simple, we transform 1m3 of freshly dug clay into 5m3 of lightweight expanded clay aggregate construction material. Through this highly resourceful return of 1:5, we feel that our production positively impacts the full life circle of a natural resource, from cradle to grave. By combining the All-in-One features such as being durable, strong, lightweight, water absorbent and recyclable, Leca® LWA actually benefits the environment, limiting resource requirements and improving our living and working conditions.
We believe that Leca® LWA has a positive effect on every stage of the product lifecycle from Production, Transport, Construction, Living to Recycling. This strong lightweight and inert aggregate can be used everywhere, and can be re-used / re-cycled - and can even be returned back to the Earth. We like to call it 'Borrowed from Nature'.
This is not just another nice story on sustainability, we are actually doing this!