The world’s first low carbon glass

Saint-Gobain Glass has launched ORAÉ®, a new glass with the world’s lowest carbon footprint.

Le premier verre bas carbone au monde

The name ORAÉ® is derived from Horae which, in Greek mythology, symbolizes the change of time and seasons. Saint-Gobain Glass chose this name in the belief that its new product is a genuine game-changer, heralding a new era of sustainability by leading the market closer to decarbonization.

ORAÉ® has an estimated carbon footprint of only 7 kg CO2 eq./m2 (for a 4mm substrate), a reduction of approximately 40% compared to Saint-Gobain Glass European baseline clear glass, without compromising on the technical, quality or aesthetic performance.

How to achieve this landmark innovation?

ORAÉ® is produced in specific campaigns combining use of renewable electricity and high recycled glass content (around 70% cullet out of which 55% external cullet). This is made possible by the Saint-Gobain Glass Recycling initiatives across Europe allowing to increase the level of cullet for these campaigns, without modifying the cullet rate for regular production.

Saint-Gobain Glass is integrating the new low carbon glass substrate ORAÉ® in its portfolio of solutions, starting with COOL-LITE® XTREME solar control glass. COOL-LITE® XTREME was chosen as the first ORAÉ® application thanks to its advanced coating technology, which drastically reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by cooling, heating and lighting when using the building. COOL-LITE® XTREME ORAÉ® is a perfect match of performance and sustainability, reducing both operational and embodied carbon.

COOL-LITE® XTREME ORAÉ®

In every project for which COOL-LITE® XTREME ORAÉ® is selected, ORAÉ® substrate will be available for all panes composing the insulating glazing units.

Result of a fantastic team work, this offer is a first step towards an expanded low carbon offer. Saint-Gobain Glass is taking action to support customers further by supplying environmental data and certifications for this new glass (Environmental Product Declaration will be available by early 2023). Data will then be integrated in Calumen® Live, Saint-Gobain Glass digital configuration tool, which already estimates carbon footprint for final glazing depending on glass substrates and coatings used. Saint-Gobain Glass is also preparing its application for a Cradle to Cradle certification (assesses whether a product meets the requirements of the circular economy based on environmental, social and governance criteria), with assessment expected in the first quarter of 2023.

A significant opportunity for the construction sector

The building industry accounts for almost 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is at the heart of the decarbonization challenge.

Furthermore, according to a joint study conducted in partnership with Engineering consulting firm Arup1, façades represent up to 20% of a building's embodied carbon. By working on the overall impact of glass, we can achieve a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of buildings, while continuing to provide the essential benefits of natural light and thermal comfort for the occupants. This confirms the key role that ORAÉ® will play in promoting a sustainable industry and accelerating the development of the circular and low carbon economy.

Three major real estate partners – Bouygues Immobilier, Icade Santé and Nexity – have already committed to using COOL-LITE® XTREME ORAÉ® glass in their projects, an early demonstration of the market’s enthusiasm for this exciting new resource. Bouygues Immobilier will implement it on its office building operation “Kalifornia” (Hauts-de-Seine, France). Icade Santé will install it on the “Le Parc Polyclinic” operated by the Elsan group in Caen (Calvados, France), while Nexity will use it on the “Carré Invalides” rehabilitation project (Paris, France). These three projects are all characterized by ambitious environmental objectives.

A window to the future

COOL-LITE® XTREME ORAÉ® is a first step towards an expanded low carbon offer. It is fully in line with Saint-Gobain’s Net Zero Carbon by 2050 commitment and the Group strategy to be the worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction.

[1] See study “Carbon footprint of façades: significance of glass.” conducted by Arup in partnership with Saint-Gobain Glass in 2022.