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.
New products with better environmental performance
We have made significant progress in research and development for new photovoltaic products, amongst them SunEwat glazing, that generates power using photovoltaic technology. And we have introduced several new coatings and coated products with even better thermal and solar control performance, amongst them Stopray Ultra, a triple silver-coated product. 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 6,370 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, every three years, in order to define our performance related to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our activity and the savings we make thanks to the performance of our products.
The latest calculation shows that for each tonne of CO2 emitted by AGC, nearly 10 tonnes are saved 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.”
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 “Look beyond together, to make the world a brighter place.”