Arranged by the Construction Products Association (CPA), the visit is one of a series of site tours designed to strengthen links between government and industry members.
Accompanied by Michael Ankers OBE, chief executive of the CPA, Janice Munday was received by Peter Hindle, MBE, general delegate for Saint-Gobain in the UK, Ireland and South Africa and Pierre Lucien-Brun, managing director of Saint-Gobain Glass UK.
The visitors were given a guided tour of the float plant, providing an insight into the processes involved in glass manufacture. They also took part in a briefing session to discuss some of the key issues affecting the manufacturing and construction industries, including the skills shortage, the requirement for improved energy efficiency in existing buildings, the impact of regulations and taxes on UK businesses and the need to ensure the UK remains an attractive prospect for investment by manufacturing companies.
Peter Hindle, MBE, comments: “Developing products and solutions for a more sustainable future is at the heart of Saint-Gobain’s strategy but if we are to successfully meet the challenges facing our society in terms of energy, housing and the environment, fostering a deeper understanding between government and industry is essential.
“The visit provided the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with an insight into the scale of Saint-Gobain’s operations around the world and, in particular, the extent and nature of its investments in the UK. It also enabled us to share our experiences in terms of the UK market and put forward our views on the issues that matter most to us, including the need for a reduced rate of VAT on energy saving products and measures.”