At Saint-Gobain, our mission is to create great living places and improve daily life, while preserving the future of all. Launched in 2017, the program GLASS FOREVER is a complete sustainability approach which include all our shareholders: from customers to employees including our suppliers and our local partners.
This approach is based on 5 pillars:
- Invent sustainable habitat/mobility
- Encourage employees’ growth
- Limit our environmental impact
- Take action across the supply chain
- Support local community development
1 .INVENT SUSTAINABLE HABITAT/MOBILITY
Glass Is mainly composed of sands and it is a major challenge, for either construction or mobility market, to increase recycled content in glass production, in order to preserve these natural resources. But did you know that glass can be 100% recycled and an infinite number of times? Currently our glass is composed of 30% of cullet – our objective for the next years is to increase this figure by improving and facilitating its collection from existing buildings’ demolition and refurbishment. Some initiatives have been launched, notably in France and the United-Kingdom, where recycling schemes have been put in place, allowing usage of several tons of culets.
Furthermore, our glass has some general and specific characteristics which are strongly contributing to energy efficiency and to comfort which is a driver of productivity and well-being. Indeed, glass, according its configurations, contributes to: visual comfort (giving access to daylight), thermal comfort, acoustic comfort while maintaining a good interior air quality as it is an inert material.
2. ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES’ GROWTH
More than 15,000 collaborators are working at Building Glass Europe. As a responsible employer, it is our duty to provide a safe workplace allowing development and well-being of everyone. We consider safety of our employees as a priority and we have already divided our occupational accidents rate by more than 7 in 10 years and we will continue our efforts in this regard. In addition, we strongly value diversity in all of its many forms (gender, social etc.) as we believe a source of wealth, critical to performance, innovation but also a driver for engagement. The average seniority in Building Glass Europe is over 13 years, which is a solid sign that our people enjoy the company.
3. LIMIT OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Our carbon footprint is the result of consumed energy on our sites up to 60% and for 40% due to raw materials burning. It means that taking actions on our production sites on these two drivers is a real priority to reduce our environmental impacts. We mainly focus on energy, CO2 emissions and water consumption. Several initiatives have already been implemented as all our glass factories (also called floats) are environmentally-certified (ISO 14001). In the last 5 years, we have reduced our CO2 emissions by 5%, which is the equivalent of driving 4,000 glass trucks around the world. We will keep going our efforts notably by optimizing our industrial processes, by maintaining our investments in more efficient equipment but also by increasing recycled content of our glass (as cullet is a decarbonized material and has a lower melting temperature).
4. TAKE ACTION ACROSS THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Many actors are interacting across the supply chain and it is our responsibility to guarantee safety, traceability of our glass. Our major suppliers take that step with us by signing our responsible purchasing charter and they are assessed for their CSR practices. Beside the production phase, we aim to reduce our impact across our logistic chain by opting for alternative means of transport. For instance, 15% of our « inloaders » (special glass trailers) are used for rail and sea multimodality instead of road transport, and transloaders, capable of optimizing the return journey are under development.
5. SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Around our sites, through our activities we are interacting with a variety of stakeholders who impact us and are impacted by us. At Saint-Gobain, it is essential to move together in the same direction, to create local value. Our Foundation has to date backed 115 projects, committing €73 m to construction and renovation of sustainable housing.
From small streams to big rivers, our vision is to grow our business and to differentiate, while improving our environmental footprint and increasing our contribution to people’s wellbeing. We have defined eleven ambitious targets to guide our approach, which will be reviewed annually to ensure continuous improvement.