You may have read that construction accounts for 40% of global CO2 emissions, but did you know it also represents 15% of freshwater use worldwide? The sector’s heavy impact on water, soil, and forests is wholly unsustainable. Changing this course requires a radical shift in our approach to natural resources.

  • With 685 million city dwellers set to face reduced freshwater supplies by 2050, water scarcity is emerging as one of the main challenges of our time. Fortunately, solutions abound, starting with promoting integrated water management and safeguarding water’s natural cycle by limiting land artificialization. However, efforts of this sort are inherently collective endeavors. For instance, national governments can regulate land use, while local authorities can foster better water storage and limit flood risks. The construction industry, too, can play its part by storing rainwater and ensuring water is reused on building sites, where 42% of it is still wasted.
  • At Saint-Gobain, for example, we aim to cut our natural water withdrawals by 50% by 2030, maximize the reuse of process water, and better manage wastewater to prevent discharges into nature.
  • Forests, too, are an endangered resource, with man-made deforestation, fires, and infestations on the rise. Once again, a joint effort is required. National policymakers can implement protective regulations, while local authorities can promote urban reforestation. Even consumers can help by reducing their meat consumption: in 2021, 75% of deforestation in the Amazon originated from cattle farming. And, of course, just as with water, the construction sector’s contribution is vital.
  • At Saint-Gobain, our timber purchasing policy promotes better management of this depleting resource by supporting forest certifications like FSC® and PEFC, which ensure traceability and sustainability. Additionally, 89% of our timber is sourced from Europe.
  • Shifting our approach to resources is also a matter of no longer viewing them as single-use. While the word “waste” may bring to mind household trash, excavated soils from construction are in fact the largest source of waste in Europe. Yet most of these soils end up in landfills. In construction, reusing soils can bring reduced climate impact through a decreased need for virgin materials and transportation. Thankfully, the practice is now on the rise in the industry; in fact, you may remember our partnership with Euroméditerranée to build a campus in Marseille using excavated earth. The potential for reuse of this type is enormous: in France only, 2.2 million tons of excavated soil are currently stored, ready for potential reuse.
  • Reinventing our relation to resources also means drawing on unlimited resources to cut down our use of limited ones. This can mean letting natural light into our buildings to limit our use of artificial lighting, increasing wellbeing while lowering carbon emissions. In fact, a recent study which aimed to evaluate the effect of skylight and light wells on a four-story building found that “as the lighting factor of the building increases from 3% to 6%, there is an annual decrease of 3% in CO2 emissions.” Using resources wisely is our collective duty if we want future generations to thrive in the world we’ve enjoyed. It’s on us to make it happen!

Innovation station

“No man is an island” – similarly, no organization can innovate without bringing in fresh ideas from the outside! That is exactly the purpose of NOVA by Saint-Gobain , our VC branch.

  • With 55 startups in areas as diverse as #contech, the energy transition, electrification of mobility, or the circular economy, and €100 million under management, NOVA ensures a steady stream of disruptive ideas flows into the group’s companies and business lines all over the world.
  • Behind NOVA? An elite team of 15 members spread across three continents, always on the hunt for new projects. We recently had the chance to sit down with one of them: in 90 seconds, Daphné de La Grandière , External Venture Project Manager at NOVA unveils the secret ingredients NOVA is looking for in prospective partners.

Window to the future

Navigating the emerging world of sustainable construction is no small feat. In May, we launched a new special edition of “Constructing a Sustainable Future”, our magazine created to decipher this complex topic.

  • “Constructing A Sustainable Future” guides readers through the challenges of sustainable construction, exploring innovative solutions and inspirational projects across six key themes. Alongside our annual Sustainable Construction Barometer and Sustainable Construction Talks, the magazine is a pillar of our Sustainable Construction Observatory, an initiative launched in 2023 to inform, listen, understand, and unite all stakeholders of sustainable construction.
  • In this new edition, you’ll find an interview with Irene Skoula , of C40 Cities , an in-depth exploration of lightweight construction, a look at a world without A/C, and much more!

Can you guess?

This summer, the impressive Paris Olympic and Paralympic Athletes’ Village will host 23,500 athletes and their teams. And they will be surrounded by Saint-Gobain technologies!

  • The Athletes’ Village is not just the centerpiece of the games, it is also an open-air lab for sustainable construction. And it features many Saint-Gobain solutions, from reusable interior plaster partitions by PLACO® or external thermal insulation systems by Saint-Gobain Weber France , to building materials delivered by Point.P Matériaux de construction – SGDB France by… barge!
  • Members of Saint-Gobain’s ExComm recently enjoyed an exclusive tour of the Olympic Village. Led by footballer Julie Dufour and Saint-Gobain Team mentor Luc Abalo , they got to climb to the top of the Signal Tower to admire the 200 exceptional stained-glass windows crafted with the expertise of Saint-Gobain Glass France teams.
  • “Saint-Gobain’s solutions will provide an optimal welcome for the athletes, and after the Games will offer the residents of Seine Saint-Denis an environmentally exemplary piece of city”, said our CEO Benoit BAZIN .


No vacations? Just photocopying and menial tasks? When it comes to apprenticeships, clichés abound.

  • To debunk these myths, we asked our own team members currently in apprenticeships at Saint-Gobain for their opinion. Their experience speaks volumes, so we’ll let them tell you what an apprenticeship with us is really like!
  • This video is part of a series of 30 TikToks created to offer glimpses into the life of our apprentices. Curious? Watch a salesperson at PointP share insights into his daily missions.
  • Want to join the team? We are currently seeking to fill 1,200 apprenticeship positions for the academic year 2024-2025! Head here.

Building bridges

In Romania, Saint-Gobain has partnered with OMV Petrom , Southeastern Europe’s largest integrated energy producer, to power all our local facilities with green energy!

  • From 2026 to 2031, OMV Petrom will supply 800 GWh of wind and photovoltaic energy to Saint-Gobain’s 14 Romanian locations, meeting 100% of our local needs.
  • This agreement “marks another milestone in Saint-Gobain’s journey to reduce its emissions in scope 1 and 2 by 33% by 2030 – as compared to 2017 and to reach net zero emissions by 2050”, said Ovidiu Pascutiu , CEO of Saint-Gobain Romania .

Expanding our horizon

Fancy yourself a pro skater? While the Olympic Skate events unfold at la Concorde, in Paris, come explore a brand new skate park at La Défense!

  • In July, and for a month, a 400m2 3D-printed concrete skatepark will be installed at La Défense for the Olympics, before being handed over to a nearby town afterward.
  • Shaped like a giant pinball machine, the skatepark was developed at Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix ’s facilities in Eindhoven, Netherlands, where skaters were recently invited to come test it. Watch this video or read this blog post for an insider look at where the magic happens!

Mitten announcement: All ASA Colours Available to Order!