Step 2: Improve our environmental impacts

Why do we use energy?
90% of the energy used by Saint-Gobain Glass is fossil fuel: natural gas and/or heavy fuel oil which are burned in the furnaces. The rest is electricity which is used for furnaces and processing processes (magnetron coatings, mirrors, laminated.).

What measures are taken to reduce energy consumption?
Saint-Gobain Glass strives to reduce energy consumption in its furnaces:

AssessFrom design stage.

Thanks to several centuries of glass-making experience, Saint-Gobain Glass furnaces use leading-edge technologies which optimize both yields and energy consumption. To further improve the environmental performance of today's and tomorrow's furnaces, R&D projects are conducted to develop new technologies which, for instance, will save on energy or use biomass.

To managing energy in production
The furnaces have an average life of 16 years.
The combustion is optimized so as to use the least energy possible and reduce pollutant air emissions. Using cullet also reduces furnace energy consumption by lowering the melting temperature in the furnace. In this way, between 2007 and 2010, the amount of energy consumed to melt one ton of SGG PLANILUX glass was reduced by 5.6%.
Saint-Gobain Glass pursues its efforts to reduce the quantities of energy consumed.

Glass Making FurnacesWhat measures are taken to reduce the impact on climate change?
The glassmaking furnaces of Saint-Gobain Glass are at the origin of direct CO2 emissions, due to the combustion of gas and heavy fuel oil and the decomposing of carbonated raw materials. An LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) of the manufacturing of SGG PLANILUX following the ISO 14040 standard (from raw materials to the site producing the glass sheet before processing) was conducted over the European perimeter of Saint-Gobain Glass. This shows that the CO2 emissions related to producing 1 m2 of SGG PLANILUX 4mm-thick flat glass are equal to 11 kilograms. Direct emissions in the Saint-Gobain Glass glassmaking furnace represent less than half this impact. The production of raw materials (and soda-ash especially) and transport also have a significant impact.

Reducing the impact on climate change involves furnace optimization actions, managing electric energy in manufacturing facilities and managing raw materials (production and transport). In this way, optimizing Saint-Gobain Glass furnaces (design, combustion control) has enabled a 5.6% reduction in the amount of CO2 emitted during the melting of 1 ton of glass, between 2007 and 2010. Action plans to reduce CO2 quantities are in progress in every Saint-Gobain Glass site.

Raw materielsTransport for raw materials
Saint-Gobain Glass tries to reduce the distances involved in supplying its raw materials. Accordingly, the sand usually comes from quarries located less than 200 kilometers from the SAINT-GOBAIN GLASS site (in Europe, less than 100 kilometers), while certain synthetic materials like soda ash or sodium sulfate may travel much greater distances, due to their non-availability locally.

Saint-Gobain Glass also tries to encourage the transporting of its raw materials by rail and river. Around 30% in weight of raw materials were supplied by such means of transport in 2010 in Europe.

Saint-Gobain Glass has set itself a goal to precisely quantify CO2 emissions related to the transporting of raw materials by 2013.

Transport GlassTransport for glass
In Europe, Saint-Gobain Glass products are mainly transported using "in-loaders" (on average 22 tons of glass). The supply chain departments optimize transport modes to encourage, wherever possible, river or rail freight, or even combined transport.

Saint-Gobain Glass has its own fleet in Europe of around one hundred wagons (which represent around 200 in-loaders) which are regularly used. At the same time, a new model of rail/road compatible in-loader has been developed, which should encourage combined transport. Saint-Gobain Glass already has in Europe 36 trailers equipped for this new model, and plans to continue investing in this means of transport.

Saint-Gobain Glass has set itself an objective to quantify CO2 emissions related to the transporting of its products in 2012 within the scope of Europe and in 2013 for the perimeter outside Europe.

In the meantime, Saint-Gobain Glass encourages those suppliers in charge of transporting its products to be certified ISO 14001, to use low CO2 -emitting traction vehicles, and to train their drivers on responsible driving: safety and eco-driving, to reduce the quantities of fuel consumed and therefore CO2 emissions. Transport service providers are regularly audited, as well as garages, car-wash stations, thanks to a supplier audit which also makes it possible to evaluate environmental subjects. Drivers are regularly audited on road safety aspects.

Office buildings
Care LogoBecause energy-efficient buildings play an extremely important role in any strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we have pledged to achieve a fourfold reduction in overall energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in our office buildings by 2040 as part of the Company Actions for the Reduction of Energy by 4, or Care4 project.

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