In industrialised nations, buildings alone account for around 40% of energy consumption and 38% of greenhouse gas emissions. As the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, Saint-Gobain is rising to the challenge of creating the sustainable buildings of the future that are more energy efficient and environmental friendly than ever before.
Saint-Gobain has a responsibility to develop climate friendly solutions for use in the construction of homes and other habitat solutions.
As the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, Saint-Gobain has a special responsibility to encourage sustainable construction in the face of such pressing issues as accelerated urbanisation, a growing global population, declining natural resources and climate change. At the same time, it is the ambition of Saint-Gobain to continuously enhance our standing as the reference in the sustainable habitat market.
This means developing construction and renovation solutions to ensure that buildings are energy efficient, comfortable, healthy and aesthetically superior, while at the same time protecting natural resources.
The Group participates in discussions on energy efficiency in buildings and develops innovative solutions with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of building by taking all life-cycle stages into account, both in new building and in renovation projects. Today, buildings account for 40% of energy consumption. Reducing this figure would certainly be a huge step forward in the battle to reduce the impact the built environment has on the climate.
Spending less energy producing materials
Saint-Gobain’s own manufacturing and distribution operations have an impact on the environment too. Therefore, the group has taken action to reduce these impacts to the minimum, both in its plants and across its transport network.
For instance, Saint-Gobain Gyproc www.gyproc.com is part of the world's first industrial symbiosis, situated in Denmark, where 17 industrial exchange steam, industrial gypsum, gas etc. That way, less energy is wasted. Also in Denmark Saint-Gobain Weber www.e-weber.com uses bio energy. This leads to lower emissions of carbon into the atmosphere and reduces climate impact. Furthermore, many of the industry leading insulating products from ISOVER www.isover.com can be highly compressed – in fact up to 80%. Hence we send fewer trucks on the road.
Life Cycle Assessments
Using Life Cycle Assessments, LCA, to measure the environmental footprint of all products, Saint-Gobain takes steps to create value while at the same time reducing any environmental impact observed. That is the dual aim of our eco-innovation policy, which must deliver real added value to its customers in the form of products and solutions that reduce the environmental impact of infrastructure throughout its life cycle. An eco-innovative product or solution is one that helps reduce the consumption of resources, especially energy and water, in infrastructure and/or one that has a lesser environmental impact across its entire life cycle.
The LCA is documented in a third-party verified declaration, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). Several other tools, standards, declarations, and certifications exist to help companies reach their goals with regards to the environment and emissions. At Saint-Gobain, we use or comply with all of the requirements that are specified in the European market: ISO, CE, BREEAM, LEED and DGNB. You can read about these standards in the following pages.
In addition, working environment plays a major role for Saint-Gobain, and we continually strive to develop products that are easier to handle. For example, the latest plasterboard from Gyproc www.gyproc.com are 25% lighter than conventional plasterboard. This reduces the risk of back and shoulder injuries.