Sustainability

Sustainability

Sustainability

Sustainability is part of our purpose – Making the World a Better Home – and is at the heart of our strategy.

Care for the environment and the search for an increasingly responsible action are the pillars that guide us to respond to the greatest challenges faced by humanity: climate change, protection of natural resources, health care and well-being. being, and inclusion.

Faced with these challenges of climate change and the risks associated with the average increase in temperature, Saint-Gobain, which has committed itself to achieving zero net carbon emissions by 2050, aims to promote the emergence of a low-carbon economy in the countries where it operates. In concrete terms, the aim is to help our customers reduce their CO₂ emissions through the use of their products and solutions or by reducing the carbon impact of their production. We work to decarbonise construction and industry, minimizing our footprint and maximizing our contribution.

Sustainability: a long-term commitment

It is not new that the Group is concerned with implementing measures aimed at Sustainability. In 2003, for example, we became signatories to the UN Global Compact and, in 2015, we started to commit to the organization's Sustainable Development Goals.

That same year, some objectives were defined to be met by 2025, such as a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, an 80% reduction in water discharge rates and 50% less unrecovered waste.

Based on these objectives and the results obtained over time, other goals were established to chart the path towards carbon neutrality.

2050

Mitigating climate change means decarbonizing our economies. The objective is simple: by 2050, we must not emit more CO2 than we absorb. Our ambition to achieve carbon neutrality is also a very concrete manifestation of our purpose, to make the world a better place.

Saint-Gobain made this commitment on September 23, 2019, in New York, by signing the UN Global Compact's "Business Ambition for 1.5°C" commitment. As we move towards our 2050 target, we work to make each of these interim efforts increasingly ambitious – such as with commitments to reduce carbon in more areas of the business and moving from incremental improvements to significant changes.

This path is guided by five strategic domains that guide priorities, projects and action plans, namely:

1. Act more sustainably;
2. Offer more sustainable solutions;
3. Make our supply chain and operations more sustainable;
4. Communicate and educate about sustainability;
5. Promote more sustainable markets.

From these domains, we work with the development of action plans aimed at meeting the goals established by 2030, which will open the way to the main objective in 2050. According to the 2017 indexes, the goals are:

  • 33% decrease in CO2 emissions from Scopes 1 and 2;
  • 16% decrease in CO2 emissions from Scope 3.

With this, we want to offer our audiences the best sustainable and low-CO2 emission solutions on the market, as well as allow our customers to decarbonize their processes. 

To achieve the targets, Saint-Gobain will dedicate a targeted investment and R&D budget of around €100 million per year until 2030 globally. This approach will be the basis for the decisions the Group will take to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Furthermore, as a result of our global investments in innovative projects driven by this objective, it has already been possible to reduce 1.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions worldwide.

Lightweight and sustainable construction

Within this scenario, we also want to be globally recognized as leaders in lightweight and sustainable construction by 2025.

For this, by combining sustainability and innovation, we want to expand the activities of our businesses that offer solutions in this sector. Thus, we began a process of transforming the markets where we are present through positive impacts such as the one you can see below:

Our methodology: key milestones on our carbon neutral journey

Today, here at Saint-Gobain, we are looking for a series of methods to reduce direct emissions in our locations (Scope 1), reduce indirect emissions mainly linked to the use of electricity (Scope 2) and also emissions from our chain of value (Scope 3).

These methods include:

  • Product design and new material composition, making industrial processes more energy efficient and shifting our energy use towards low carbon and renewable sources; 
  • Working together with raw material and logistics and transport suppliers to reduce their emissions;
  • Study and implementation of carbon capture and removal solutions for residual emissions.

These methods are adaptable and can be adjusted as new technologies, solutions and challenges arise. We use a scenario-based approach, analyzing different technical options and developing economic circumstances to be ready, by 2030, to make the key investment and development decisions to achieve our 2050 targets.

We see our targets in stages – the first being reductions in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025, and then further milestones for broader and even more ambitious reductions by 2030.

Other environmental impacts

Our ambition is to guarantee the preservation of the environment and offer our customers the highest added value with the minimum environmental impact. Therefore, we established two objectives: zero environmental accidents and the maximum reduction of the impact of our activities on the environment through our actions on five major fronts:

1. Sustainable management of resources by minimizing production waste, increasing reuse and integrating as much recycled content as possible into our products;

2. Reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in our industrial processes, infrastructure and transport, through our industrial excellence programs (WCM), involving all operators, sharing best practices, etc.;

3. Reducing water withdrawals to move towards "zero discharge" of industrial water, starting with water scarce areas and ensuring we do not impact local populations' access to clean water;

4. Preservation, restoration, strengthening and improvement of biodiversity in all our locations;

5. Anticipation and coping with risk factors related to accidents and environmental problems.

Our EHS policy, as well as our water and biodiversity management policies, aim to limit the negative impact of our operations and products on the environment, avoiding generating new negative impacts on other natural environments and/or other stakeholders.

Eventually, as our Group is committed to the climate and aware that the issue requires the cooperation of governments, companies and civil society, we support the recommendations of the Financial Disclosure Task Force (TCFD) and adhere to the Science Based Targets (SBT) since 2018. We are positioning ourselves as accelerators of sustainable construction through our participation in the Green Building Councils (GBC), a network of stakeholders that works to create sustainable buildings that limit the sector's impact on the environment.

Our contributions to the SDGs

As part of our commitment to sustainable development and the goals established by 2030, we are also working to increasingly contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations (UN).