During the Climate Action Summit, that took place recently conveyed by the General Secretary of the United Nations, Saint-Gobain, jointly with a number of other corporations is signing the pledge of the Global Compact “Business ambition for 1.5°C”, committing itself to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050 in line with 1.5°C scenarios.
Why is Saint-Gobain taking this commitment and why now?
The next decade is critical. The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned of severe consequences of a failure to prevent global warming exceeding 1.5°C. The impact of climate change is becoming more and more tangible. To limit temperature increase to 1.5°C, emissions need to drop to net-zero by the middle of the century. By taking this commitment, Saint-Gobain is willing to take its own responsibility in terms of attenuation and to signal our commitment to a zero-emissions future to our peers, employees, investors, policy makers, customers, suppliers, civil society organizations and other stakeholder.
What does “net-zero emissions” mean?
The definition adopted within the pledge is the following “Reaching net-zero emissions for companies involves achieving a balance between emissions and removals for all GHG’s within the company’s value chain over a specific period of time”. Various works are on-going at international level to make this definition more precise. Saint-Gobain will contribute to those discussions and align itself to the outcome of those discussions
What difference between net-zero emissions and 1.5° C?
To limit temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, emissions need to drop to net-zero by the middle of the century. We will work on interim targets (2030, 2040) and steps taking into account the specificities of our processes and our investment cycles. Those targets will be also defined to make sure that they are aligned with 1.5°C scenarios and following the methodologies developed by the relevant international organizations.
What can you do to reduce your emissions to net-zero?
Main emissions from Saint-Gobain are coming from the fossil energy used in our processes and from some raw materials with high carbon content. Significant emissions are also coming from the transport of our raw materials or finished goods. Levers to act are the following:
What did you already do? How to accelerate?
Saint-Gobain is already committed to reduce its CO2 emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 20% between 2010 and 2025 (in intensity). By the end of 2018, we are in line with this target, with a reduction of nearly 12%. In absolute terms, taking into account the evolution of the portfolio of Saint-Gobain since 2010, it is a reduction by one third.
Beyond Saint-Gobain, what impact on our value chain?
Saint-Gobain is one major player within the value chain of building and construction. Building and construction accounts for 40% of the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. 70% of those emissions are related to the energy consumed for heating, cooling, sanitary water…., 30% of those emissions are related to the “embodied carbon” within the materials used for construction, transportation, …. To bring the built environment towards a net-zero roadmap, the following actions are critical:
Beyond the pledge of the Global Compact, within the frame of the Climate Summit, Saint-Gobain is supporting:
Saint-Gobain is very active in the various organizations that are helping governments, cities and all stakeholders to develop the right frame for a sustainable built environment.