3 An efficient and responsible Group Achieve excellence in operations www.saint-gobain.com SAINT-GOBAIN UNIVERSAL REGISTRATION DOCUMENT 2021 102 Today, 15 countries throughout the world use plaster waste from worksites to manufacture their plasterboard. Over 292,000 tons of waste plasterboard from sites were recovered and recycled in this way worldwide in 2021, representing the equivalent of the annual output of two medium-sized factories. Weber, which manufactures industrial mortars, has rolled out an ambitious global action plan to gradually reduce dependence on sand and portland cement. Initiatives are being developed in all regions of the world to seek more sustainable substitutes, such as the use of used foundry sand, the use of slag, or the use of waste tires. These initiatives sometimes help to develop industrial synergies within the Group. Logistics have been optimized for glass products to promote the recovery of cullet (glass debris) across the entire value chain where Saint-Gobain is present and especially between glass processing sites (manufacturing of windshields or windows, for example) and glass furnaces. Other Group products can already tolerate the replacement of virgin raw materials with recycled materials from other consumption circuits, such as glass wool and cast iron pipe. For many years, glass wool has included cullet in its composition. In 2021, external cullet accounted for over 57% of all materials loaded into the furnaces (and more than 80% in countries such as Japan, South Korea or Argentina). Similarly, the production of cast iron pipes and other piping elements (connectors, manholes) uses a “second fusion” process which is carried out by fusing scrap and recovery cast iron. The annual quantities depend on their availability on the market. The approach applied to products also applies to the packaging that accompanies them. Action plans are rolled out at the central level and relayed to the national level to increase the recyclability and recycled content of the packaging used. Initiatives are underway in Brazil to replace the dual-material bags (paper/plastic) used for mortars and coated with all-paper bags, with an internal treatment to protect the product from humidity. Generate minimum production waste and recycle it internally The industrial sites are working to reduce the quantities of waste generated in accordance with the three Rs hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Incineration and landfilling should be limited as much as possible. The priority waste management actions initially relate to a reduction in the quantities of production waste generated. Operational excellence carried out in the WCM program (see this chapter, section 126.96.36.199), particularly in terms of quality and productivity, is the first approach to reduce waste and optimize the use of resources. The sites then seek to reuse production waste in their own industrial process: residues, enabling the annual prevention of nearly 10,000 tons of waste initially intended for landfill and reducing the need for new sand by more than 1,000 tons, by modifying its production processes and developing external channels; in India, the Perundurai plant, which manufactures ■ refractory blocks, obtained an “Emeraude” award in 2021 for the project carried out on its foundry sand in Egypt, the Sadat plaster plant, which had more than ■ 12,000 tons of waste sent to landfill each year, succeeded in recycling all of its industrial waste in 2019, thereby improving its “material yield”. This performance was achieved by examining all the stages of the process, by considering all production waste, by reducing them step by step, by improving the efficiency of the process, by favoring internal recycling solutions, and by researching the most appropriate external recycling sectors when internal recycling was not possible; a glass plant in China has initiated a new process to ■ recycle fine dust from processing by the electrofiltration of its smoke. Inspired by the pharmaceutical industry, it makes it possible to adjust the glass composition according to the amount and chemical analysis of the dust put back into the furnaces. This process brings about a reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill and optimizes glass compositions; in Japan, a glass wool plant has developed a process to ■ recycle 100% of production waste in a closed loop, paving the way for other glass wool furnaces in the world; lastly, a disruptive technology has been in place for ■ several years at a stone wool production site in Romania, enabling all of its production waste to be recycled in the industrial process. External recovery of waste from its processes Even for industrial processes favorable to the incorporation of recycled materials, optimizations are possible. Saint-Gobain’s plasterboard manufacturing plant in Vietnam has introduced a process to separate the paper from the plasterboard during a waste reprocessing phase. The plaster is reincorporated into the process when the paper is recycled in the manufacture of cardboard via an external recovery network. Production waste generated during the production of bitumen membranes in the United States are recovered externally for use in addition to bitumen in road construction or renovation. Some of the waste generated during the production of mineral wools is reprocessed before being recovered externally as a secondary raw material for the roofing industry or for certain manufacturers that manufacture acoustic ceilings. The Group is also involved in the creation of recycling networks with the help of external local partners. Progress in the reduction and recycling of production waste made at certain Group sites shows that “zero non-recovered waste” is an achievable ambition.