Saint-Gobain is committed to providing customers with real added value by developing and distributing innovative products that have little environmental impact across their full life cycle. In order to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with any product throughout its entire life cycle we use the tool Life Cycle Assessment, LCA.
Metrics are needed to ensure improvement. LCA’s are the main tools used by Saint-Gobain to evaluate the environmental footprint of our products. Rigorous and comprehensive, LCA’s is the most widely used method today in the sustainable construction market. It is a way in which to chart a products impact from sourcing the raw materials to end of life.
The general procedures of LCA are described in the ISO 14000 environmental management standards. This method enables Saint-Gobain to understand where the main environmental impacts of a product, material or a complete solution must be confronted. The outcomes of all LCA processes are then used as a basis for developing the priorities that Saint-Gobain requires in order to constantly improve services, materials and products.
The life cycle of a product can be divided into four stages:
1. Product stage (raw materials supply, transport, manufacturing)
2. Construction stage (distribution, transport, construction (new build and renovation), installation)
3. Use stage (use of the installed products, maintenance, repair, replacement, refurbishment, operation of the building)
4. End-of-life stage (deconstruction, demolition, transport, recovery, recycling or disposal as waste)