Together with our for our customers, we design, manufacture and distribute materials and solutions that have a positive impact on everyone's life and promote well-being, quality of life and performance, whil caring for the planet. This is the profound ambition of our purpose: Making the World a Better Home.
Design, manufacture and distribute materials and solutions which are key ingredients in the well-being of each of us and the future of all
In all our operations, we strive to combine comfort, performance, health and the respect of the environment. For homes, offices, transportation, infrastructure, healthcare or industry, we develop solutions for a sustainable future. Our collective strength allows us to contribute to meeting the major challenges of our time. The world will be home to 10 billion people by 2050 —all needing housing, transport and healthcare, while preserving the planet. To achieve this, we must continue our innovation efforts and develop sustainable solutions for the construction and industrial markets. We must make a difference now, as housing, and its quality, performance and impact on health and the environment, have assumed particular importance in the current context. Buildings are naturally at the center of stimulus plans in Europe and the United States, with unprecedented resources being devoted to improving energy efficiency. The living spaces we help to create are designed sustainably, in order to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and the impact on resources.
Striving to build everyone’s future also means providing increasingly reliable solutions that improve the performance of construction professionals, who are constantly seeking to enhance their productivity. For example, we support contractors by providing them with solutions to streamline the management of their estimates and invoices, local services via distribution sites in the center of towns and cities, as well as training in new techniques.
We are also developing emerging areas of construction: prefabrication to accelerate construction phases and mitigate labor shortages while reducing the production of waste; 3D printing, which is opening up new creative, efficient and sustainable architectural possibilities; and digital construction, which encourages collaborative work on virtual models and reduces lead times and costs throughout a building’s life cycle. Finally, securing everyone’s future means strengthening the performance of our industrial customers by offering them high-tech solutions and working closely with them through partnership and co-development initiatives.
To be the leader in sustainable construction, improving everyday life through high-performance solutions
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated changes already under way: the desire for more sustainable development, the digitalization of services and communications and a movement to relocate economies and value chains. Our leadership position, our culture of collaboration and innovation are all assets to transform our markets and design sustainable solutions for this changing world.
All private and public players have a role to play. As far as Saint-Gobain is concerned, we have a clear vision: to be the leader in sustainable construction, improving everyday life through high-performance solutions.
This vision commits us to increasing our positive contribution to society. At our level, this means reconciling a profitable growth model with the urgent need for sustainable development. We see our social and environmental responsibility not as a constraint, but as a real source of long-term value creation. As pioneers in this field, we have defined the highest standards in the markets in which we operate, with an expectation of exemplary behavior and continuous improvement. Saint-Gobain brought forward its objectives in 2020, unveiling a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This roadmap includes interim targets for reducing our CO2 emissions by 2030 and is broken down into ambitious action plans, by country and globally.
Our ability to create value is also based on our intimate knowledge of local markets, combined with the international strength of our Group. Saint-Gobain has redesigned its structure to allow significant independence of decision-making at a local level, enabling a high level of responsiveness to market demands. This proximity is fostered by solid and centralized expertise at a global level in areas such as R&D and industrial performance.
Another factor driving the Group’s performance and profitability is the emphasis on synergies, whether in support functions —with the establishment of pooled customer services and shared logistics, for example— or the development of cross-selling to better meet customer demand. Finally, we cultivate a solution-based approach. We act as partners to our customers, supporting them in their quest for performance and tailored solutions to complex challenges.
This approach is based on combinations of products capable of forming systems, as well as on bundled services and the joint development of new solutions. The combination of these strengths is what makes our business model stand out. It gives us a unique role, at the heart of the transformation of our markets.
Creating value through proximité to customers, innovation and agile investment
AN ORGANIZATION CLOSE TO CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS
Leveraging its intimate knowledge of local markets, Saint-Gobain has, over the last two years, reinvented its organization by giving a high level of decision-making autonomy to the local level thanks to a simplified structure that is closer to its markets, which makes it possible to make the most of the Group’s unique advantages. At the global level, the strength of an international Group makes it possible to build up collective expertise to support its local activities in research and development, marketing, technological and industrial performance, and performance in distribution.
AN EVER RICHER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Saint-Gobain customers are involved in millions of interactions with the Group each year. Increasingly, these contacts are initiated via websites or on social media. The health crisis accelerated this trend, increasing the importance of e-commerce and online client relationships. Customer experience is essential in all of these respects. To improve customer satisfaction and better meet their needs, Saint-Gobain takes a three-fold approach:
- firstly, by designing e-commerce sites with increasingly advanced features (stock information, click & collect, product scanning using smartphones, as well as virtual reality to generate models);
- secondly, by analyzing data to constantly adapt systems to the way they are used;
- and finally, by developing logistics to personalize the purchasing process and reduce delivery times, to as little as one hour in some cities.
|Digital, a transformation driver|
|As well as being a real lever for commercial efficiency, customer satisfaction and loyalty, digital transformation also has a major impact on how we work within the Group. It opens up new career paths, with easier access to training, and fosters a new managerial culture. Digital is also transforming the way that Saint-Gobain's factories are organized and helping to develop Industry 4.0 with a range of technologies supporting the commitment to carbon neutrality, such as the use of sensors and algorithms on production lines to reduce emissions.|
EFFICIENT ALLOCATION OF THE GROUP’S RESOURCES TO SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES
In order to seize every growth opportunity, Saint-Gobain pursues a policy of targeted investments in the most promising markets, both in high-growth segments such as biopharmaceuticals and in the Group’s core markets, such as gypsum or insulation. This investment approach targets the highest-growth countries, with positions taken in Asia and Eastern Europe in 2020, for example. At the same time, Saint-Gobain is also pursuing an acquisition strategy which aims to be a leader in its local markets, increase its global presence as well as expand in niche technologies.
INNOVATION – A LONG TERM DIFFERENTIATION LEVER
Innovation is at the heart of Saint-Gobain’s strategy. This approach is what drives the entire Group, leading it to continuously improve its solutions, processes and services in a spirit of openness and attentiveness to customer needs. Saint-Gobain’s eight cross-functional Research & Development centers offer the entire Group a vast range of skills in materials and process sciences. Projects are selected according to needs expressed by business lines and countries, to meet customer expectations as closely as possible. They are also resolutely focused on exploring new ways of contributing to carbon neutrality and preserving resources. Saint-Gobain develops relationships and partnerships with scientific and academic institutions around the world, as well as with startups. In order to better collaborate with them and connect them to the Group’s resources and experience, Saint-Gobain created the NOVA structure in 2006, which has already concluded 150 partnerships on strategic and multi-disciplinary themes such as the digital customer experience, circular economy and life sciences.