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Tue June 15 2021

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Saint-Gobain puts its sustainability commitments into practice

20 Apr 12 Procuring 26 percent of energy from renewable sources; reducing industrial sites’ production waste by six percent; completing Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessments for 12 of its buildings and increasing the amount of legally and sustainably sourced timber it sells to 91 percent: these are just some of the highlights from Saint-Gobain’s 2011 Sustainable Development Review.

The publication is the latest in a series of reports outlining the progress made by the leading international construction materials company and its UK and Ireland businesses as they tackle some of today’s most fundamental environmental, social and economic challenges.

Saint-Gobain has long been working towards the sustainable agenda, not only in the systems and solutions it produces but also in the way it operates and the expectations placed on its businesses and suppliers.  The latest review includes a new sustainability roadmap, providing an important framework for how the company will build upon progress made to date.

Development of the roadmap has been overseen by Saint-Gobain’s sustainable development steering group, which is chaired by Peter Hindle MBE, general delegate for Saint-Gobain in the UK, Ireland and South Africa.  The group is supported by three cross-business working groups, each with a specific focus; environmental challenges, social commitment and economic growth.

Each working group has confirmed three priorities within their area which they believe are vital if Saint-Gobain is to achieve its ambition to become the reference in sustainable habitat and construction solutions.

Priorities for the Environment group, which continually reviews targets and procedures as global environment and economic issues arise, include focusing on the operations of the business as well as sustainable sourcing and construction. 

The Social working group has been developing the organisation’s sustainability by concentrating on employees, health and safety and the local communities Saint-Gobain operates within.  This covers a range of interconnected topics, such as defining Saint-Gobain’s identify as an employer, enhancing employee health and wellbeing and allowing people to work more flexibly.

Finally the Economic group will continue to look at the products and solutions Saint-Gobain develops, how to continually engage with key stakeholders and ensure all UK and Irish business procure responsibly.  It will also focus on performing a product lifecycle analysis – a method to calculate the carbon embodied within all Saint-Gobain products that can be used by builders and architects when selecting products with the minimum environmental impact.

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Peter Hindle, MBE, general delegate for Saint-Gobain in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, comments: “The construction industry is an area with critical sustainable development challenges.  Providing homes and buildings that are energy efficient, healthy and comfortable fulfils an essential need.  Saint-Gobain’s strategy – which embraces energy-saving innovation and environment protection – is just one of the many ways we are ensuring we can respond to our stakeholders’ needs and offer market-leading solutions.

“We must also continue to be irreproachable in the way we operate.  There is currently a huge amount of work taking place across our business on programmes to reduce waste, increase the sustainability of our transport fleet and use less and greener energy.  In short, we are focused on putting our sustainability commitments into practice.”

Additional highlights from the 2011 Sustainable Development Review include:

A seven percent increase in the Group’s global R&D budget from €402-million in 2010 to €431-million in 2011.

One third of global sales in 2010 derived from solutions to save energy, produce energy or protect the environment.

The number of lost-time accidents per million hours worked more than halved between 2008 and 2011. 

The number of ‘Millionaire Club’ sites which have achieved a one million man-hours record or a five year period with no lost-time accidents has increased from six to 19.

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