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Reducing the ecological burden of buildings

Studies indicate that buildings are responsibly for 25% of CO2 emissions in the industrial countries. With our products we make an essential contribution to the reduction of energy consumption of heating and air conditioning systems. Here, insulation is the key to success. A few examples:


  • The consumption of energy for the production and the transport of glass wool is one hundred times less than the amount of energy which it will save as an insulating material in a building.

  • If we compare a pane of glass from the 1990s with a pane of glass today, we will find that 20 years of research and development have caused a six-fold improvement in energy performance.

  • The development of switchable glass has additionally ensured that you can save a great deal of energy in summer, because at the touch of a button the shaded glass reduces solar radiation and thus lowers the energy consumption of air-conditioners.

  • In addition, there are optimal synergy effects, because many innovations can be used by different skilled trades. Thus, for example, an innovative acoustic foil, which was developed in the area of automotive glass, is today used as a thin layer foil in the area of dry construction.

  • Saint-Gobain also invests very heavily in the development of LED technology. And does so with good reason: LED lamps consume five times less energy than normal lamp bulbs, the service life is 100 times longer and the light spectrum resembles normal daylight, which in its turn increases the feeling of comfort for people.

  • All our building materials must pass a strict test. An expertise assesses every product and subsequently evaluates its compatibility for man and nature. In this connection, attention is paid to the entire life of a product, from the production right through to demolition or the recycling. Our internal process satisfies all the familiar international standards.

Optimizing the water cycle

With our products for drinking water and sewage, we guarantee the water cycle worldwide in more than 100 metropolises and over 1,000 large towns. The extremely stable ductile cast iron pipes ensure that nothing penetrates into the drinking water that does not belong there and that the dirty sewage does not reach the environment.

Saint-Gobain’s water policy, published in 2011, applies to all Group sites worldwide. It confirms the Group’s commitment to reducing the quantitative and qualitative impact of its activities on water resources as much as possible, both in terms of withdrawals and discharges.

The objective for 2025 is to reduce industrial effluent by 80% until then (base 2010).
 

Developing efficient and energy-saving vehicles

Two trends in the development of auto glass contribute to the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions: weight optimization through thinner glass and the use of high-tech thin layer foils for various functions.

The ClimaCoat pane from Sekurit has an invisible thin layer foil which under tension has a heating function, as a result in winter the window becomes completely free of ice within just a few minutes. In summer, the same foil ensures that the vehicle heats up less, the foil reflects solar radiation.

A similar foil is used as an acoustic foil, this ensures that less rolling, engine and ambient noises penetrate into the vehicle.

These are innovations which not only save energy and resources, but also simultaneously provide additional comfort.

Sharpening general sensibility to environmental topics

In almost all countries in which Saint-Gobain is active, we have partnerships for the protection of the environment. In Germany too, Saint-Gobain has joined the “Green Building” initiative. Through these partnerships others can also benefit from Saint-Gobain’s expertise on environmental topics.

You will find further information about the most important projects here:
Green Building Initiative: www.thegbi.org
Isolons la Terre (France): www.isolonslaterre.fr
Founding Energy Efficiency Label (France): www.effinergie.org/web
Isoterra (Belgium): www.isoterra.be
Spaar het Klimaat (Netherlands): www.spaarhetklimaat.nl/
Isolando (Italy): www.isolando.com
 

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