Saint-Gobain steps up global renewables profile

By Dominic Ellis
News of UK and Ireland car fleet moving to electric follows 12-year PPA deal with Invenergy in US and Renov'up program in France...

Saint-Gobain is stepping up its renewables profile after taking delivery of 100 Volkswagen 1D.3 all-electric cars in the UK and Ireland, and pledging to move its entire 3,000-car fleet to electric and hybrid by the end of 2023.

Mike Chaldecott, CEO of Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland, said: "For every business the change required is immense, but we are absolutely committed to being successful in making our own operations net zero, and supporting customers in many different ways with their own sustainability journeys."

Ian Berrill, Transport & Supply Chain Solutions Director, added the agreement with VW is just one step we will be taking on our journey to reduce carbon and will install charging points at colleagues' homes.

Saint-Gobain in the US recently entered into a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Invenergy, a leading privately held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, for 120MW of the 250MW Blooming Grove Wind Farm capacity in McLean County, Illinois, which recently started operations. 

The agreement is a key milestone in supporting the Group’s target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The associated Renewable Energy Certificate System (RECS) represents 40 percent of the Group’s CO2 emissions from electricity in the US, resulting in a 21 percent reduction of Saint-Gobain's overall carbon footprint (scope 1 and 2) in the US. 

With this agreement and other ongoing projects, the share of renewable electricity within Saint-Gobain’s worldwide electricity consumption will double in 2021, from 18.9% in 2020. 

The company is also developing its Renov'up program in France, to accelerate innovation with energy renovation of buildings. Selected applicants will be able to test their solutions and be given support to develop them in three phases, the first of which is open until May.

Further measures to support its transition include the formation of a Net Zero Carbon Colleague Assembly, made up of more than 40 colleagues who will each engage and challenge the business to meet their commitments and help inform investment decisions made by the business to reduce emissions.

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