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. Leaders in Sustainable Housing Improving our habitat and our everyday life Sustainable construction “Saint-Gobain's strategic positioning in habitat and construction markets means we must be irreproachable when it comes to environmental issues and sustainable development.” Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO 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. Find out more, read the interview with Pierre-André de Chalendar on the Group’s 2013 performance and outlook Acoustic and visual comfort: Ecophon has launched Soundlight Comfort Ceiling, an acoustic ceiling system with integrated LED lighting co-developed with Philips. 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 Find out more on the Habitat Markets section 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. Learn more on Research and Innovation section A Group attuned to the markets The Saint-Gobain Multi-Comfort house features all of the Group’s innovative solutions for a sustainable, healthy and esthetic habitat. No longer just a single-family home concept, Multi-Comfort solutions are now available for apartments and office buildings. 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 Find out more, read The Reasons for our commitments.