When materials aim for 0 emissions

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as much as 39% of the global carbon dioxide (CO) emissions come from building construction. Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem and we’ll tell you all about them.

The increasing needs generated by the construction sector require an "aggressive reduction of energy demand in the built environment" as a matter of "urgency", stresses the UN. To achieve this, the international organization advocates, among other things, the implementation of "strategies using materials that reduce carbon emissions over the life cycle" of buildings.

The use of low-carbon materials and decarbonized energy is therefore becoming an imperative for the sector to move towards greater sustainability. And it is at the design stage that it is easiest to reduce the embodied carbon - especially in the structure of a building, which accounts for 30 to 64 % of this type of carbon.

Innovating to reduce this footprint is one of Saint-Gobain's primary objectives. To achieve this, Saint-Gobain is increasing the proportion of recycled materials in its products through innovative and even unprecedented processes. This is demonstrated by the technical feat of the first zero-carbon flat glass production. This world premiere technique saved 1,020 tons of CO emissions and avoided the use of 2,400 tons of virgin raw materials, thanks to a process using 100 % cullet (recycled glass). Other examples include the manufacture of fiberglass with 59 % recycled content, and mortars made from recycled materials instead of cement. All these innovations are working more and more towards making our buildings more sustainable.