3 An efficient and responsible Group Achieve excellence in operations www.saint-gobain.com SAINT-GOBAIN UNIVERSAL REGISTRATION DOCUMENT 2021 104 Meeting customer expectations 3.4 An innovation process focused on 3.4.1 safety and performance Saint-Gobain regularly develops its innovation methods and processes to meet new market expectations, particularly the development of ever more sustainable solutions (products, systems and services). The innovation approach, made up of iterations, creativity, agility and openness to the outside world (university, partners, etc.), puts the customer at the heart of the project from the identification of needs to the validation of prototypes. The methods used concern local projects and international projects (via pilot countries). The marketing teams are involved in the characterization of needs (functional analysis) and formalize functional specifications. These specification are the foundations for the development of the innovation that will be taken up by the R&D teams. Customers are also involved in the validation of industrialized solutions before their launch. Saint-Gobain has a procedure for monitoring innovation applied to products, which is initiated by the R&D and marketing teams. The tool is a sequenced operational roadmap for the development teams, where every step in the innovation process is reviewed by a committee set up for this purpose. This methodology allows for the identification of and prompt attention to potential problems. Close monitoring of the progress achieved and product performance means that the process of innovation is faster and more secure. The EHS checklist, introduced in 2008, is integrated into the innovation process. It enables a qualitative assessment of the substances included in product formulations and identification and reduction of environmental and health and safety impacts throughout the product life cycle. With regard to hazardous substances, the aim is to prevent the use of new hazardous substances and reduce their use in raw materials while reducing and controlling exposure levels. The innovation process incorporates normative and regulatory requirements, from the functional marketing specifications stage. Local marketing teams ensure that products comply with the legislation and standards applicable in the countries of commercialization. The process for launching new products, systems and services is checked within the framework of Internal Control (see chapter 6, section 2.5). It is regularly updated to improve the quality management system procedures and associated monitoring indicators. Technical products are launched after sales force training and reinforced support by product managers and technical trainers. In several countries, they intervene directly on the worksites when installers use a differentiating innovation for the first time, throughout the launch phases until the sales organization reaches a sufficient level of maturity. The marketing and sales community, which brings together teams in different countries and activities, shares best pratices and facilitates the integration of newly acquired brands. Concrete courses combining theory, practice and experience sharing are offered widely to the main functions involved in the innovation process, such as marketing, R&D, purchasing, production and industrial efficiency. A new training course has been launched in 2021, Deriksing a key success factor for your innovations, whose objective is to greatly increase the success and impact of innovations while reducing lead times by relying on better anticipation. Built arount the Business Model Canvas, it helps identify all types of risks and conditions for the success of innovation projects at each stage of development, including launch. Saint-Gobain University's UniCampus program (see this chapter, section 4.3.5) offers five training courses related to the innovation process. 191 people were trained in 2021, despite the health context. These training courses are intended primarily for the R&D and the marketing functions of local activities. A product compliance training module has also been integrated into the program. Finally, the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) industrial excellence program (see this chapter, section 22.214.171.124) ensures the deployment of best practices in terms of quality and product compliance at industrial sites, based on the ISO 9001 standard. At European level, the Group contributes to the work of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) in developing standards and regulatory systems. Likewise, its active participation in European interprofessional associations such as EURIMA, Eurogypsum, Glass for Europe and EMO provides input into the Group's vision of standards development in Europe, in particular through exchanges with the European Commission and its institutions such as the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) in charge of the REACH regulation. With regard to consumer information, the Group’s products comply with current regulations, such as CE marking in Europe or the requirement for chemical products to have labels and safety data sheets (SDS). Saint-Gobain also provides non-mandatory information specific to some of its products, such as: voluntary safety data declaration sheets for unclassified ■ articles or substances; the declaration of the composition of components and ■ materials via the IMDS database (International Material Data System) in the case of the automotive industry; specific labels such as the environmental and health ■ data sheet for construction products in France; voluntary certifications obtained through independent ■ national laboratories – or, failing that, international laboratories close to these markets – when innovative products or systems are not covered by international or national standards. As product compliance is a constantly evolving process, Saint-Gobain has complemented the measures already in place in 2021 with a program to strenghten the culture of product quality and compliance. The program is designed to remind countries and local teams of the key principles and processes related to product quality and compliance throughout the product life cycle, from design to production, use and finally end of life. This program includes 4 steps: awareness campaigns at all Group levels; ■ definition of a roadmap by local management teams; ■ evaluation of the effectiveness of measures in the ■ countries for each activity; definition and implementation of sustainable ■ improvement plans if necessary.