The key to success in 2024: our Corporate Social Responsibility
Committed teams, action to conserve resources, and decarbonization are still at the heart of our strategy for 2024. Claire Pedini, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility, shares her vision for a new year that will maximize our positive impact while reducing our footprint.
How can we make 2024 another successful year?
"Corporate Social Responsibility remains at the heart of the Group’s actions and strategy, and this is how we achieve a meaningful alignment between our vision – to be the worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction – and our Purpose – “Making the World a Better Home”. Few companies have such a consistent approach, and it will once again be a lever for success in 2024. We will continue to maximize our positive impact for our customers and everyone in our value chain, and minimize our footprint."
Which particular ambitions will stand out this year?
"Our social commitment is the first lever, in my opinion. Having committed, motivated, focused employees is essential to a company’s success. To measure it, an internal engagement survey among our employees around the world is conducted every year. 87% of employees responded to the latest survey carried out last October. This very good participation score can be explained in particular by the pride and desire to work for the Group. 89% of respondents are indeed proud to work for Saint-Gobain and 85% recommend the Group as a nice place to work.
These results demonstrate a very good level of satisfaction, a level that we naturally want to continue to improve."
What point will you emphasize in terms of societal commitment in 2024?
"One subject in particular is close to my heart: gender diversity. This is a performance issue for the company. The target is to have 30% women among executives in 2025. We have made good progress: in 2010 we were at 16% and today we are at 28%. But to close the gap, we need to double our efforts. Gender diversity is an integral part of our values – diversity of education, age, disability, experience, etc. – and it is what allows us to cultivate our spirit of openness and innovation."
And on the environmental front?
"Reducing CO2 emissions is our main objective. The second priority is water management, a particularly rare resource. Drinking water represents only 2.5% of the water on Earth. Today, more than 2 billion human beings live in countries experiencing water stress. By 2030, Saint-Gobain has committed to withdrawing half as much water as in 2017. By the end of 2022, our withdrawals had already decreased by 20%. As for areas with extremely high water stress risk, the sites present there will have to achieve zero water discharge by 2030. We invest 15 million euros each year to reduce our water consumption, making Saint-Gobain one of the industry leaders in terms of water management, according to the Climate Disclosure Project's 2021 Water Ranking.
Concerning our objective of reducing our CO2 emissions, we are making good progress on Scopes 1 & 2, with, in 2022, a reduction of 27% compared to 2017, in line with the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050. The Group's CSR ambition is based on actions that maximize its positive contribution to environmental and climate issues, by providing its customers with solutions to generate carbon benefits.
Finally, we must continue to develop solutions committed to the circular economy in as many countries as possible, by offering our customers solutions that are easily recyclable or with high recycled content. And we ourselves use supplies from circularity in our production, in particular cullet for glazing and insulation or gypsum for plasterboard. This allows us both to reduce the use of natural resources, but also to reduce our energy consumption."
What is your message for 2024?
"In my view, the social and environmental pillars of CSR are inseparable. The motivation of our teams, and the appeal of the Group as a whole, depend on respecting our commitments in this area."
Claire Pedini, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility of Saint-Gobain Group.