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Building better for the planet


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Share of the construction sector in worldwide green-house gases emissions


Share of the construction sector in worldwide raw material consumption

  • Construction sector is a key contributor to energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions worldwide
  • Also a key contributor to resources extraction and waste generation
  • Footprint of buildings should be reduced during the whole lifecycle (construction, operation, deconstruction)
  • At Saint-Gobain: as a building materials manufacturer, we are deeply engaged in this transition, to ensure we work with our customers to build better for the planet
  • To us, making buildings that are better for the planet can be done in 2 ways: reducing the use of energy and carbon emissions, and improving circularity 

Optimizing energy use & reducing carbon emissions

  • Buildings have a key role to play in decarbonation strategies
  • Carbon emissions must be reduced at all stages of the lifecycle, and reduction strategies taken into account from the design stage
  • The 3 main levers to act are: 
    • Increase energy efficiency: buildings should be energy efficient through their highly performing envelope, to reduce the energy need (for heating, cooling etc) as much as possible
    • Reduce embodied carbon emissions: embodied carbon is carbon embedded in the materials used in the building. Chose low-carbon materials, especially for the building structure. 
    • Increase use of renewable energy: supply the remaining energy need with renewable and decarbonized sources, locally produced if possible. 

Reducing resources consumption & increasing circularity

  • Integrate buildings in a circular economy
  • Construction sector is facing shortage of raw materials (ex: sand)
  • 4 main drivers: 
    • Reduce use of non-renewable resources: for new construction (less resource-intensive materials, new technologies and new approaches to design) and renovation (using the existing building stock better). Choose products with high recycled content, durable and reparable
    • Reduce freshwater consumption: both embodied water (products manufactured with low volumes of water, dry construction techniques on worksites) and operational water (grey water recycling, efficient equipment)
    • Increase lifetime and use rate: design flexible and resilient buildings, that can be adapted to changes
    • Reduce amount of non-valorized construction & demolition waste: improve sorting and recycling of waste on construction sites, include reuse or upcycling of components in buildings projects

How we contribute

Saint-Gobain solutions are available to make buildings better for the planet:

  • Our solutions contributing to increased energy efficiency: providing glazing to let the sun in or block it out, insulation to reduce heat loss and summer heat gain, insulation for water pipes and ventilation ducts, smart membranes to improve air tightness and moisture management, render to insulate and provide weather defense

  • Our actions to reduce embodied carbon in our products: local sourcing, renewable energy to power industrial processes, increasing the recycled content, developing solutions using alternative materials, ..

  • Our offer to reduce resource use: bespoke or cut-to-length services, recycling services, products with recycled content, offsite manufacturing

  • To increase building flexibility: modular or offsite solutions, lightweight construction