Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions which are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of all. They can be found everywhere in our living places and our daily life: in buildings, transportation, infrastructure and in many industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance and safety while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and climate change.

Company details

18, avenue d`Alsace , Courbevoie , 92400 France

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Business Type:
Manufacturer
Industry Type:
Water and Wastewater
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:
1665
Employees:
Over 1000
Turnover:
more than 1,000,000,000 €

The worldwide leader for Habitat, which accounts for more than 70% of its sales – mainly for new residential construction and renovation – Saint-Gobain is also very active on industrial markets. The Group provides its expertise in the areas of innovation and co-development through a wide range of high-performance materials for demanding applications in diverse segments, such as the automotive, aeronautical, health, defense, security, and even the food & beverage industries.

We are constantly innovating to make living spaces more comfortable, cost-efficient and sustainable worldwide. Saint-Gobain solutions span from self-cleaning windows and photovoltaic glass to smart insulation systems, water supply systems and building materials distribution.

We offer solutions to the major challenges of energy efficiency and environmental protection. No matter what new needs emerge in the habitat and construction markets, the future is made of Saint-Gobain.

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For 350 years, Saint-Gobain has consistently demonstrated its ability to invent products that improve quality of life.

As one of the top 100 industrial groups in the world and one of the 100 most innovative companies, Saint-Gobain continues to deploy its technological know-how, often in partnership with the most prestigious universities and laboratories.

Our Businesses
Saint-Gobain is the European or worldwide leader in all of its businesses.

Innovative Materials
Comprising the Flat Glass and High-Performance Materials Activities, the Innovative Materials Sector offers a unique portfolio of materials and processes for the habitat, transport, health and industrial markets.

With a rich history stretching back 350 years, Saint-Gobain has based its development on a set of values that are expressed on a daily basis.

Principles of Conduct and Action
A common set of fundamental values forged by 350 years of history unites all of Saint-Gobain’s employees. A requirement for belonging to the Group, the Principles of Conduct guide employees in their daily work. The Principles of Action guide the actions of all corporate leaders and employees in the performance of their duties.

Five Principles of Conduct: 

  1. Professional commitment
  2. Respect for others
  3. Integrity
  4. Loyalty
  5. Solidarity

Four Principles of Action:

  1. Respect for the law
  2. Caring for the environment
  3. Worker health and safety
  4. Employee rights

International Commitments

In 2003, Saint-Gobain joined the United Nations Global Compact in line with its Principles of Conduct and Action. Furthering its commitment to the Global Compact, Saint-Gobain subsequently endorsed the UN’s:

In 2008, on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Group signed the declaration of management support for human rights, an initiative organized by the United Nations.

Setting the Example
The Group expects exemplary conduct and practices from its teams, both in-house and outside the company. To ensure that the Principles of Conduct and Action and their related obligations are met, Saint-Gobain launched a Group Compliance Program for all its businesses in 2009.

The Compliance Program includes four main components:

  • Responsible development
  • The Competition Law plan
  • Internal audit and internal control
  • A compliance alerts system.

The program is carried out through a compliance network made up of 80 corporate and line executives and coordinated by the Corporate Secretary.

Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions which are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of all.

  • Mproving Our Habitat and Our Everyday Life

Sustainable construction
Saint-Gobain has made the strategic decision to become the reference in sustainable habitat and construction markets. Taking a long-term view, the Group develops products and services for its customers that facilitate sustainable construction. In this way, it designs innovative, high-performance solutions that improve habitat and everyday life.

An international challenge
Investing in habitat solutions is one of the major challenges facing both the most mature economies and fast-growing economies. Governments around the world are adopting policies designed to improve housing and working conditions and to reduce energy consumption in the building sector in the face of accelerating global warming and diminishing natural resources.

Source: “Building Design and Construction: Forging Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Development”, United Nations Environment Program-Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiatives (UNEP-SBCI).

A market in motion
At the same time, faster technological innovation in the construction industry is helping to drive significant advances in the architectural quality and environmental performance of buildings.

The development of building techniques and the significant expansion of the Internet have led to a growing demand among craftspeople for ever-more efficient and innovative distribution solutions.

These underlying trends create substantial opportunities for Saint-Gobain to develop high value-added construction and renovation solutions for professional customers to ensure that buildings are energy efficient, comfortable, healthy and esthetically superior, while at the same time protecting natural resources.

Habitat solutions represent over 80% of our end markets

Leading-edge High-Performance Materials
The High-Performance Materials Activity delivers high value-added solutions for very different, complex applications in construction, as well as in industry.

Its in-depth expertise in a range of technologies allows the Group to get the most out of the complementary nature of its three families of materials (ceramic materials, high-performance polymers and glass fiber yarn).

As a result, Saint-Gobain can design solutions to meet its customers’ specific needs, often in industrial niches that are well suited to co-development strategies.

Ensuring A Unique Positioning
Saint-Gobain is uniquely positioned, with complementary strategic focuses in building materials and high-performance materials technologies:

  • It is the worldwide or European leader in all of its businesses, with local solutions tailored to the needs of each market.
  • It has an unrivalled portfolio of energy efficiency products and solutions.
  • Its deep understanding of building professionals' needs, acquired through daily contact with customers, makes it possible to adapt the Group’s solutions to highly specific market requirements.
  • It has outstanding potential for innovation, supported by unique industrial and distribution expertise and a commitment to materials research.
  • Its culture of operational excellence gives the Group an underlying robustness and the ability to respond quickly to changes in the economic environment.
  • Its solid set of tested values helps build lasting relations with all stakeholders, from customers and employees to suppliers, subcontractors, shareholders and the community.

A manufacturing presence in 64 countries, representing 64 springboards for growth

A Culture of Innovation

One of the 100 Most Innovative Companies in the World
Research and innovation are at the center of Saint-Gobain’s strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility policy. The Group’s ongoing initiatives in this area are paying off; in 2015, Saint-Gobain ranked among Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovator Companies for the fifth year in a row.

This is a responsibility for the Group’s teams, as well as a major source of motivation. Through their innovations, the teams play a part in reducing the environmental impacts of buildings, processes and the development of new high-performance solutions.

One in four Saint-Gobain products sold today was developed in the last five years.

A Group Attuned to the Markets
Cross-business Habitat organizations present in 38 countries connect and coordinate the different Saint-Gobain Group brands with the aim of developing a shared, cross-functional range of habitat solutions.

These organizations foster dialogue among teams involved in research and marketing and help implement inter-Activity projects. The number of cross-business innovation projects is on the rise, strengthened by Saint-Gobain’s culture of partnership and co-development with customers and external partners. The Group also keeps a close eye on new markets through Nova External Venturing, a unit dedicated to external innovation and responsible for relations with start-ups. In addition, Saint-Gobain has numerous partnerships with scientific and academic institutions.

Developing Eco-Responsible Innovations

Life cycle assessments are conducted for all of Saint-Gobain’s building industry product families in order to measure their environmental footprint. The assessments enable Saint-Gobain to reduce the environmental impacts of its products while also creating value. A culture of eco-innovation is being extended to all of the Group’s businesses, in all its markets.

The Group is also working on reducing the environmental footprint of its industrial processes. Similarly, special attention is paid to product recycling. Concerning the shipping of materials, Group researchers are using their skills to develop models for more efficient and environmentally friendly shipping processes.

Devising products that significantly reduce the environmental impact of the buildings and infrastructure that use them

Saint-Gobain is organized into three Sectors – Innovative Materials, Construction Products and Building Distribution. Each has its own growth drivers contributing in a complementary manner to overall expansion.

Inventing the Materials of the Future…
Saint-Gobain has made the strategic decision to become the reference in sustainable habitat and construction markets. The Group takes a long-term view in order to develop products and services for its customers that facilitate sustainable construction. In this way, it designs innovative, high-performance solutions that improve habitat and everyday life.

…By Leveraging Complementary Businesses

  • The Innovative Materials Sector, comprising the Flat Glass and High-Performance Materials Activities, is the source of Saint-Gobain’s technological strength. With its unique portfolio of materials and processes for the habitat and industrial markets, the Sector embodies the Group’s innovation-oriented culture and alone accounts for almost two-thirds of the Group’s total research and development commitment. The goal is to increase the proportion of high value-added, co-developed solutions in the overall mix.
  • The Construction Products Sector offers interior and exterior solutions to enhance the comfort of buildings and homes. Its diversified business base and high-profile brands, like ISOVER, PAM, Weber, Placo®, Gyproc and CertainTeed, make it the benchmark in its markets. It has the advantage of a global footprint, with an extensive presence in fast-growing markets.
  • The Building Distribution Sector has an accelerating effect on the Group’s habitat and construction market strategy, due to its keen understanding of customer needs. It shares with the Group its detailed knowledge of the newbuilding, renovation and home improvement markets and how they are changing. The Sector targets craftspeople, small and medium-sized enterprises, private project owners and large companies via a network of powerful, complementary volume and specialist trading brands. It plays a key role in helping craftspeople embrace and acquire new building renovation techniques.

Key Figures

  • 350 years of history
  • Nearly 190,000 employees
  • Operations in 64 countries
  • 2013 sales of €42 billion
  • Close to 400 patents filed each year