Our environmental policy has a double focus
Today 50% of our R&D budget is devoted to sustainable products, solutions and manufacturing. Based on this, we have developed a holistic approach to fully assess our environmental footprint. Life Cycle Analysis, measurement of carbon footprint and the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM programme for products are the three ways used to assess our integrated environmental approach.
The divisions and plant managements are committed to the environmental policy. At company or division level, specific programmes are defined to act as guidelines for the country organisations and plants. AGC Glass Europe has selected six objectives that must be achieved by 2030 using 2020 as the baseline year. These objectives target reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water consumption and waste, and drive the development of new products with better environmental performance during their entire life cycle, including recycling at the end of life.
New products with better environmental performance
We have made significant progress in research and development for new insulating glazing i.e. the vacuum insulating glass. And we have introduced several new coatings and coated products with even better thermal and solar control performance. In the Automotive sector we are constantly developing even better sun reflecting coatings and reducing the weight of windshields in order to make lighter cars with lower CO2 emissions.
And last but not least, we are making big progress in reducing the environmental impact of product transport and packaging. Over the past few years we have made much greater use of multimodal transport by ship or rail which turns out more environmental-friendly than road. This year multimodal transport has contributed to taking about 2,100 trucks off the road. AGC Glass Europe improved its reuse and recycling of glass packaging, reduced the use of packaging, and uses sustainable wood in packaging (of glass shipped in breakbulk).
This all demonstrates that we can and will do more.
Manufacturing with the best available technologies from the environmental point of view
In our manufacturing processes we have made important progress in environmental performance. We are constantly improving our flat glass production activities by creating solutions for reducing atmospheric emissions and specific energy consumption, of which examples can be found in “Energy efficient technologies”. EU directives such as the IPPC Directive (2008/1/EC) replaced by the IE Directive (2010/75/EU) and the Emissions Trading Directive (2009/29/EC) challenge us to innovate in our manufacturing processes, a challenge we fully incorporate in our strategy.
Assessing our global environmental footprint
Assessing our global environmental footprint goes through:
- Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) in order to quantify the environmental impact of our products or functional units;
- The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM programme for our products that gives the direction for a sustainable product design. Our range of float glass, magnetron coated glass, laminated glass, decorative glass, insulating glass, and recently our patterned glass, has been certified by adopting the philosophy and ethics of C2C. AGC Glass Europe is the glass industry leader in this area;
- The calculation of our carbon footprint, in order to define our performance related to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our activity and the emissions avoided thanks to the performance of our products. This calculation is now done every year (compared to once every three years in the past) to better monitor the progress made in our Green House Gases emissions roadmap and the ratio of CO2 emitted versus CO2 avoided.
The latest calculation shows that for each tonne of CO2 emitted by AGC, nearly 9 tonnes are avoided thanks to the use of our products.
These three tools provide AGC customers (architects & designers) with environmental evidence that for example helps them gain credits in green rating systems for buildings, such as LEED and BREEAM, which are the most widely used globally.
As such the AGC Glass Building, AGC Glass Europe’s new headquarters in Belgium which opened in 2013, is literally a showcase for the glass solutions offered by the group in terms of design, thermal insulation, solar control and above all sustainability. It obtained the prestigious international BREEAM certification (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) with a rating of “Excellent.”
Contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. They consist of 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved through 2030. They are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. AGC Group as a global player has declared its commitment to the SDGs in 2017. At AGC Glass Europe we have now identified 10 environment-related goals and 18 targets where we play an active role through our processes and products.
To me it seems obvious that environmental compliance is not just about obeying the law, it is also about assuming our corporate social responsibility, and about corporate survival. It is about “Look Beyond” and the commitment to provide the community with innovative and affordable solutions for combating climate change and protecting the environment in everyday life.
In this Sustainability Report we provide more details of the environmental performance of our products and manufacturing processes, as well as our Environmental Management System. We consider it very important for our environmental policy to enjoy the support of our stakeholders (employees, neighbours, authorities and others). That is why we invite you to send your questions or opinions on our report to firstname.lastname@example.org
In this spirit of openness, collaboration and information sharing, we will continue to “Look Beyond” together to contribute to sustainable development to help ensure a bright future for our planet.”