A megatrend is a large, over-arching direction that shapes the business world for a decade or more. There have been many mega trends that have impacted business such as the quality movement, laptop computing, and social media. The latest mega trend is in the area of our built environment – sustainability. This megatrend is fuelling the growth of a new market segment, for Sustainable Buildings. Sustainable Buildings meet the challenges of the three sustainability pillars (Environmental, Social & Economic). They are buildings designed, built or renovated in a sustainable way that improve comfort, health and well-being, minimize the consumption of natural resources, reduce environmental impact and improve are cost-effective - this is the market segment that Saint-Gobain refer to as SUSTAINABLE HABITAT. Saint-Gobain strive to promote sustainable buildings aligned with our vision of creating great places to live that impact people’s daily life, and we develop innovative solutions to build and renovate energy-efficient, comfortable, healthy and aesthetically superior buildings, while preserving natural resources.
Accelerated urbanization and an ageing housing stock such as we have in the UK should mean a greater effort is made when it comes to constructing new buildings and renovating older ones. At the same time, it has become urgent to limit energy consumption and raw material usage in the face of climate change and declining natural resources. Yet, the construction sector alone represents around 40% of energy consumption and 38% of greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries, and in the UK, the construction sector produces three times more waste than UK households – half of which is not recycled.
The building industry as a whole is moving towards more sustainable construction. Organizations such as the World Green Building Council (WGBC) are helping to accelerate the pace, in both mature and emerging countries, with the UK Green Building Council leading on building sustainably, including for the improvement of peoples’ health and wellbeing here in the UK.
We strive to develop innovative solutions enabling our customers to build and renovate sustainable buildings. A solution for us is deemed “sustainable” if it enhances users’ comfort, health and well-being and helps to improve the environment while being cost efficient. Together, our marketing, R&D and building science teams work every day on inventing tomorrow’s solutions.
Our Activities have managed over the years to reduce the environmental footprint of their solutions and the impacts associated with their use. In order to help further, we deploy our Eco-Innovation policy within the Group which has led to the development of many innovations reducing the impact on our environment.
Our aim is also to contribute to a resource efficient economy. To do this, we continue to develop waste collection and recycling services and increase the recycled content of our products. We also assess the environmental performance of our solutions over their whole life cycle and communicate the results in third party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). Lastly, because we believe that it is also a leader’s role to help the sector as a whole move forward, we provide training and information to the market on the specificities of Sustainable Habitat solutions.