Launched in 2017, the program GLASS FOREVER is a complete sustainability approach which includes all our stakeholders: from customers to employees including our suppliers and our local partners, based on five pillars: Invent Sustainable Habitat & Mobility, Encourage Employees’ Growth, Limit your Environmental Footprint, Take Action across Supply Chain, Support Local Community.
Invent Sustainable Habitat & Mobility
Glass is mainly composed of sand and it is a major challenge for the construction market to increase the recycled content in glass production, in order to preserve these natural resources. Did you know that glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled an infinite number of times?
Currently our glass is composed of 30% cullet – our objective for the coming 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 the United Kingdom and France, where glass recycling schemes have been put in place. Furthermore, our glass has some general and specific characteristics which strongly contribute to energy efficiency and to comfort which is a driver of productivity and wellbeing. Indeed, glass, according its configurations, contributes to multi-comfort.
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 the development and wellbeing of everyone.
We consider the safety of our employees as a priority. 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 it is 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.
Limit your environmental footprint
Our carbon footprint is the result of consumed energy on our sites (up to 60%) and due to burning raw materials (40%). 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 continue our efforts notably by optimising our industrial processes, by maintaining our investments in more efficient equipment but also by increasing recycled content of our glass (as cullet is a decarbonised material and has a lower melting temperature).
Take action across 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 optimising the return journey are under development.
Support local community
Across 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 €73m 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.