Challenges and Issues
The global challenges of climate change, population growth and urbanisation affect us all in different ways. We consider these as part of our materiality process and provide solutions anchored in daily life and our business activities.
As the leader in sustainable habitats and construction materials, Saint-Gobain is well positioned to help society face the big challenges of climate change, population growth and urbanisation. We do this by understanding how these global issues manifest themselves in the countries were we operate.
In the UK:
- Life expectancy has increased 11 years in a generation
- 80% of the population now lives in cities
- 25% of the population will be over 65 by 2050
- 5 million+ new homes will be needed by 2050
- 26 million existing homes need to reduce energy
- 6 million+ people live in fuel poverty
- 400,000 construction workers will reach retirement by 2020
- 120,000 construction apprentices need to be created.
In Ireland, socio-economic activity and wealth is concentrated in and around Dublin. Many buildings constructed during the economic boom fall short of new building regulations. During the economic crash, the country lost a generation of construction workers who emigrated to Australia and Canada.
As part of our materiality process, our CSR Working Group co-ordinates a variety of activities. These include detailed analysis of our business risks and impacts; development of our roadmap for sustainable development; horizon scanning workshops; and engagement with the Sustainable Development Advisory Panel and key external stakeholders.
We conduct a bi-annual CSR consultation with customers. In 2014, the key issues they wanted Saint-Gobain to tackle were:
- Industry skills and knowledge
- Customer waste disposal
- Responsible supply chain
- Product information and impacts
- Innovation for sustainable buildings.