Saint-Gobain and carbon neutrality

A commitment and responsibility; a source of inspiration and transformation.

Mitigating climate change means decarbonizing our economies. The goal is simple: by 2050, we must not emit any more carbon than we absorb. We must be carbon neutral. 

Saint-Gobain made this commitment on September 23, 2019 in New York, signing the UN Global Compact’s "Business Ambition for 1.5°C" pledge. Now, in November 2020, we have further committed to reducing our Scope 1 (direct emissions from our plants) and our Scope 2 (electricity-related emissions) by 33% by 2030*; and our Scope 3 (value chain emissions) by 16% over the same period. As we make progress towards our 2050 goal, we strive to make each of these interim efforts more ambitious - with commitments to reduce carbon in more areas of the business, moving from incremental improvements to significant step changes, being also able to offset during this period the potential increase of our emissions due to growth. 

Our responsibility to carbon neutrality has multiple origins. Given, for example, that the built environment - one of Saint-Gobain’s main markets - currently accounts for 40% of the energy related to greenhouse gas emissions, in an urban population that will likely double over the next 30 years, we must react on behalf of society at large.

Saint-Gobain has a history of finding solutions to complex problems, and that is what we must do today with decarbonization. Beyond the goal of carbon neutrality, we must help reduce the carbon emissions of the markets in which we operate; support the energy transition; reduce the impact of material use, in the form of both greenhouse gas emissions and resource intensity. For Saint-Gobain, aiming for carbon neutrality is bigger than our efforts as a single company. It means participating in the carbon neutrality of our markets. 

Decarbonization can only be collective. It must demonstrate an alignment of all the players involved and a common approach to progress. As a result, it is also about the deeper transformation of businesses and value chains– which means it’s also an opportunity for growth and innovation.

We seek to reinvent the manufacture of our products and industrial processes while improving the quality and performance of our solutions. The circular economy challenges us to do better with less and we are already responding. 

We know, however, that carbon neutrality alone is not enough to combat climate change. We must start decarbonizing tomorrow’s technologies, and prepare to adapt them to the future demands of a green transition. It is not yet too late– but it’s time to speed things up.

* Reduction of 30% in absolute terms compared to actual emissions in 2017, and of 33% compared to 2017 emissions as adjusted for acquisitions made between 2017 and the date on of the target's approval.