Our aim is to preserve the environment from all potential impacts of our processes and services throughout their life cycle and to position ourselves for net zero carbon by 2050 if not before. This requires us to address our own impacts, those in our supply chain, and to work with our partners to bring new technology in our manufacturing facilities.
Richard Batley, HR and CSR Director, Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland
Climate change is one of the major threats to our generation and future generations. Everyone has a role to play in halting climate change sea level temperature rises which will have a devastating impact on our planet and people across the world. We are committed to being part of the solution and consider our role in two important distinct areas:
OUR DIRECT IMPACT:
We are a large energy user and as such a large producer of greenhouse gases. We do not believe we are ‘locked in’ to this and have clear targets to reduce our emissions. Our operational emissions come from our 45 manufacturing plants, particularly in our manufacture of glass, plasterboard, mineral and PIR insulation. Our network of 1,100 retail sites also contributes to our operational emissions. Running our large fleet of delivery vehicles, our car fleet and delivering our goods to customers also causes significant direct and indirect emissions.
ISO 50001 sets the foundations of a systematic way in which we manage energy responsibly and efficiently and tackle our carbon impact. Our focus is to continue to embed the ISO 50001 (International Energy Management System Standard) into our businesses. Almost all of our large-energy using businesses have certified under ISO 50001
We are taking action in a number of areas to reduce our carbon impact and set our course to achieve our short and long term targets.
In 2020 we are finalising our net zero carbon roadmap for our UK & Ireland businesses. As part of Saint-Gobain's global commitment to net zero carbon by 2050 we will be setting our the key actions we need to take to achieve this goal before 2050. The roadmap will build on our medium term targets. It will consider a wide range of actions including on carbon, water, waste, packaging and the circular economy. More details on how you can learn about the roadmap will be published shortly.
In order to support our carbon reduction we have switched all our electricity purchase to renewable-only sources for all UK & Ireland business operations. We are developing our on-site generation and renewables policy to consider how we can further build on this and utilise our large property and land estate to ensure further sustainability of supply in the future.
We have been developing trials of hybrid and electric vehicles for four years to ensure the best fit for the individual driver and Company. We are committed to make rapid changes to our vehicle fleet, when we believe the technology enables us to and we have comprehensive understanding of the best approach.
Volunteers are taking part in our ongoing trials, charging points are installed in all major office locations and pool cars have been switched to hybrids. We are taking steps to plan for all Company vehicles being electric or hybrid in the near future and continue with investment in low carbon HGV's and trials for electric delivery vehicles.
We're rolling out LED lighting in our stores and sites. During our initial pilot 1,800 MWh of electricity was saved with an average reduction in consumption of 37%. We've also partnered with Ignite Energy to help us understand and reduce energy use. As part of our current work we've discovered a range of issues that can help us reduce energy use - and help us understand that in some stores out of hours usage accounted for over 65% of usage.This initial pilot has resulted in a reduction of 590,484kWh of electricity and 310 tonnes of carbon.
We have made good progress in reducing waste to landfill considerably, but we still have more action to take to manage specific waste streams. We provide specific schemes for our customers to ensure that any waste product can be collected, and recycled back into our products through our UK & Ireland Plasterboard waste schemes, and our UK glass and EPS scheme. As a result of these schemes we are able to increase the proportion of recycled materials in our products. We also continue to use recycled glass in large quantities to manufacture insulation. Eliminating all waste from our operations and sites continues to be a key driver which extends also to the waste from the products our customers supply to us for onward distribution.
REDUCING BUILDING'S CARBON IMPACT
Saint-Gobain's products and services offer solutions to reducing the carbon impact of both new and existing buildings.
As a result we are using our expertise and our products in combination to provide building designers and contractors a range of products, as well as pre-manufactured solutions to support this transformation, limit climate change, while providing comfort and well-being for everyone.
We are also constantly innovating (for 8 years running Saint-Gobain has been named one of the 100 most innovative companies in the world (Clarivate Analytics)) bringing new solutions to customers involved in building renovation or designing sustainable high-performing buildings such as our Multi Comfort building standard.
We are also investing in new product formulations to use more recycled or renewable resources and reduce the consumption of virgin raw materials, to extend the durability and to help facilitate the recycling or reuse of products at the end of their lifespan.
Our off-site manufactured solutions help ensure a high-performing building fabric to reduce heating requirements and preserve energy while increasing productivity, precision and generating less waste.
Our brands Roofspace, Pasquill and Scotframe all provide building fabric solutions and combine to form our Off-Site Solutions division. Together these brands manufacture components for buildings [e.g. roof/floor/wall panels] or entire building fabrics with high-levels of built-in insulation. When combined they create quick and efficient building systems with high-performance levels including high-levels of air-tightness.
The Scotframe whole-building kits include factory quality controlled Val-U-Therm PLUS® injected polyurethane insulation that ensures that every cubic millimetre of every void in every panel is filled and sealed.
As a world leader in the manufacture of glass for buildings (as well as cars and aviation] our UK glass manufacturing plants produce glass with high-levels of recycled content [up to 30%] as a result of glass re-patriation schemes and the purchase of used glass. We are also active in developing pilot projects of renovation or deconstruction glazing take-back to increase knowledge and build new solutions for end-of-life recycling of glass.