Building the future on 350 years

by Tania Wannenburg

This year Saint-Gobain looks at the future as they celebrate their 350-year anniversary.

Saint-Gobain, a world leader in the habitat and construction market, this year celebrates 350 years of providing innovative solutions in 64 countries across the globe, including South Africa.

The celebratory 350 campaign initiatives to be rolled out in South Africa are in line with the objectives of the international Saint-Gobain Initiatives Foundation, to use the company’s expertise to assist disadvantaged communities and make a difference to people and their habitats.
Two key projects include the Adopt-a-School project to improve educational habitats and the Architecture for Social Gain Awards to recognise and reward local talent in the design of educational spaces.
Adopt-a-School project
Saint-Gobain has partnered with the Adopt-a-School Foundation, a project of the Shanduka Foundation, a non-profit organisation that supports the creation and enhancement of a conducive learning and teaching environment in disadvantaged schools.
After an in-depth needs analysis was conducted at a number of schools across South Africa, three schools have been identified for assistance. Saint-Gobain will provide a kitchen, a classroom and ablution facilities in schools situated in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. These projects are due to commence in May and will be completed to coincide with the group’s global anniversary month in October.
Saint-Gobain employees will be actively involved in the projects, and will assist learners with supplies and immediate schooling needs.
Architecture for Social Gain Awards
This campaign has been conceptualised by Saint-Gobain in close association with the South African Institute of Architects, to recognise talent in the design of spaces that allow learning and development.
The three categories for entry include “Future” (concepts and proposals), “Built” (existing projects) and the Adopt-a-School proposal for structures to be built to brief. Certificates will be awarded to professional and student category winners with the top entry in each category winning a trip to Paris in October to take part in the global Saint-Gobain 350 anniversary celebrations.
Entries open on 1 April 2015. Go to www.social-gain.co.za for full details.
A 350-year history
Since its creation in 1665 in Paris, Saint-Gobain has adapted to the changes of the world and overcome many challenges it faced. Backed by its experience and corporate culture, the company has its sights set on tomorrow and knows that there are many “reasons to believe”.
“This anniversary is an opportunity and an occasion to remind everyone of the strength that is acquired through 350 years of history and ongoing innovations. Our experience means we understand and focus on the long term. So, it is with our sights set on the future and innovation that we are celebrating this anniversary. It is our optimism that we want to share with you in 2015,” says Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, chairman and chief executive officer of Saint-Gobain.

Tel: 012 657 2800
Website: www.saint-gobain.co.za

The 350 anniversary celebration themes are based on six central pillars:
1.    The world has no boundaries.
2.    Sustainable habitat is within our reach.
3.    Innovation is transforming the world.
4.    Talent is infinite.
5.    Habitat for everyone is achievable.
6.    Saint-Gobain builds on the past and plans for the future.  

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