Environmental Challenges
 
 
Saint-Gobain Glass is committed to the use of innovative materials and the development of products as well as technologies for a more sustainable future, contributing to the world-wide drive for sustainability, within the glass industry.
Globally, the company invests more than £350 million annually in research and development to support this.
 
High performance glazing has been developed to improve the energy performance of buildings by reducing energy consumption and lowering CO2 emissions. Over their lifetime, our products can help save hundreds of times more energy than was originally used in their manufacture. Products such as the low-E glass SGG PLANITHERM can provide thermal insulation which is three times more energy efficient than that of standard double glazing.
 
The Saint-Gobain Glass range of products fulfils the criteria of the Government’s Building Regulations, which set standards for energy conservation and reductions in CO2 emissions. This includes reducing the heating and cooling requirements of buildings and working towards government targets. The correct window specification using Saint-Gobain Glass products can ease the pressure placed upon heating and cooling systems. 
 
 
 
Reducing our ecological footprint is a core concern and Saint-Gobain Glass is the first glass manufacturer to have subjected its products to a full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), in accordance with international standards.
 
 
 
 
Waste Minimisation and Management
Our goal is to prevent pollution, minimise waste and achieve continual improvement in environmental performance. Reduction in CO2 emissions and waste is a priority focus of our environmental policy at Saint-Gobain Glass UK. An effective way to reduce this is by feeding recycled materials back into the production process. 
 
In 2008 we set ourselves the challenge of achieving a recycling ratio of 40% by 2011. By the end of 2011, we had exceeded this with a peak of 75% achieved, averaging out at 60% over the year.
 
A key performance indicator is waste relative to total employees. In the period between 2001 and 2011, we reduced the amount of waste per year by 94%.
 
Saint-Gobain Glass UK has a tree planting scheme for waste reduction. For every ten tonnes of expected waste not produced, a new tree is planted. To date, over 100 trees have been planted since 2006.
 
The company works hard to understand its impact on the environment. Saint-Gobain’s industrial operations generate relatively few technological risks, mostly involving the processing of inorganic materials and require practically no environmentally hazardous substances. We monitor our carbon emissions as well as those of Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and Sulphur Oxides (SOx).
 
At Saint-Gobain Glass UK, we are committed to reducing the waste we produce and having already implemented ISO 9001, we successfully achieved the Environmental Management accreditation ISO 14001 in 2006.
 
Cullet Return Scheme
Saint-Gobain Glass UK has created an innovative cullet return scheme among our customers. 
 
The process is simple; we ask the customers to fill the bags that we provide them with their cullet, which we then collect. The service is free to join, we provide all of the equipment free of charge and we offer full technical support should our customers need it. This diverts waste glass away from landfill, leads to fewer empty lorries on the road and uses less energy as well as fewer raw materials in the manufacturing process. All of this, in turn, produces less CO2. 
 
The scheme enables us to utilise 30% recycled material in the manufacture of our float glass- more than any other float glass producer.
 
 
Global Responsibility
The right policies and legislation are essential in order to drive Europe towards a low energy, low carbon economy. If Europe meets its target of a 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020, this would amount to an annual reduction of some 780 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. In order for this to happen, EU and national policy makers need to prioritise energy efficiency and commit to concrete actions to promote the uptake of energy saving technologies, including energy efficient glazing products.
 
Members of the SGGUK senior management team, in collaboration with the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF), are actively involved in lobbying at European level to ensure that energy efficiency in buildings, including the use of energy efficient window glass, remains high on the agenda.
 
 
More stringent Building Regulations and environmental standards are the future for the construction industry. In the residential market, Window Energy Ratings have proven to be very effective in promoting the relative window energy efficiency of windows in the eyes of consumers and policy makers alike.