Leading the way in sustainability in South Africa, interior building solutions group, Saint-Gobain Gyproc, driven by its commitment to creating a sustainable habitat for future generations, is said to be the first local manufacturer to complete a unique critical lifecycle assessment (LCA) on its products.
Leading the way in sustainability in South Africa, interior building solutions group, Saint-Gobain Gyproc, driven by its commitment to creating a sustainable habitat for future generations, is said to be the first local manufacturer to complete a unique critical lifecycle assessment (LCA) on their products.
This LCA methodology has been developed as a benchmark for best group practice, an evaluation tool that measures the environmental impact of a product in every stage of its lifecycle, from raw material stage through five stages to the end of its lifecycle.
Stage 1: Production
At the raw material stage, Saint-Gobain Gyproc explores ways to protect and sustain the environment. The company is involved in key conservation projects that aim to make a contribution to the natural environment that sustains their business.
“Lifecycle assessments enable us to eco-innovate and design new products that are planet-friendly and responsible,” explains Evan Lockhart Barker, general manager of marketing at Saint-Gobain Gyproc.
Stage 2: Responsible manufacturing
Saint-Gobain Gyproc products are produced with great respect to the environment. “Our aim was to reduce our total energy consumption by 6% at the end of 2012, measured from 2010. To achieve this, world-class manufacturing principles were implemented at four of our five manufacturing sites with the highest total energy usage. By recycling solid waste at our Brakpan manufacturing plant, we have also reduced our contribution to landfills by 10%,” adds Evan. In addition, 52% of the energy used in the manufacturing process of Saint-Gobain Gyproc products comes from natural gas, which is a third of the carbon footprint of electricity.
Stage 3: Limited impact transport
As a preferred choice for interior and lightweight building systems, Saint-Gobain Gyproc is always researching better ways to bring its products closer to customers. When products are transported to the extensive network of distribution centres, the impact of the journey on the environment is evaluated, with specific consideration of factors including energy consumption and air pollution. This has led to a 20% drop in fuel consumption, with trucks using only 0,013 litres of fuel per ton of boards transported.
Stage 4: Responsible construction
Saint-Gobain Gyproc is a founding member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), an independent non-profit, membership-based organisation and the official certification body of buildings under the Green Star SA Environmental Rating System.
All products are installed and used to build smartly and differently, with superior results. Saint-Gobain Gyproc boards have played a key role in some of South Africa’s best examples of responsible construction, which have resulted in conserving energy, optimising acoustics and decreasing total construction time frames.
Stage 5: End of life
“We are very aware of the impact of our products on the planet, and are committed to a responsible product destruction process. Our products are designed to create safe, healthy urban habitats that enable comfortable living. We strive towards international standards of sustainability, exploring more and more ways to build differently by thinking differently,” explains Evan.
Saint-Gobain Gyproc brings its products closer to its consumers, and aims to be the preferred partner with customers by making it easy to do business in supplying product and system solutions that are innovative, energy-efficient and sustainable, incorporating both current and new methodologies in building systems to the South African and sub-Saharan markets.
Saint-Gobain has embraced the opportunity to demonstrate the integration, versatility, quality and efficiency of its products at Stand 47, a case study project in the building of an energy-efficient home, currently being built to demonstrate that housing in South Africa can be successfully executed using predominately energy-efficient materials. Stand 47 is situated at Monaghan Farm, a 520-hectare eco-estate and working farm near Lanseria Airport near Johannesburg.
Tel: (011) 345 5300
For more information on Saint-Gobain’s LCA, visit www.gyproc.co.za, and for more information on Stand 47, visit www.stand47.co.za.