Circular Economy

In OECD countries, the built environment is responsible for around 30% of raw materials use and up to 40% of solid waste generation.* One of the most effective ways to reduce the impact of constructions is committing to developing a circular economy. This is an economy that designs out waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use and regenerates natural systems. It creates a closed loop in which raw materials, components and products lose as little of their value as possible.

*Source: Earth Trends 2007 using data from UNECP SBCI 2006


At ISOVER, we believe that it is important to make this transition to a more resilient circular model that uses less energy and fewer resources. This means producing without waste and delivering on a firm commitment to reuse raw materials.

 

Choosing natural materials to reduce waste production

 

 
Sustainable solutions

 
The materials we use to build all our insulation solutions are inherently eco-friendly. ISOVER glass wool, stone wool and ULTIMATE solutions are made from almost 100% natural raw materials, such as sand and volcanic rock, which are abundantly available and continuously renewed by natural processes. They are totally recyclable and include significant volumes of production and post-production waste in their manufacture.



 

Made from volcanic rock, it comprises 70% natural raw materials including basalt, diabase and similar igneous rocks. Our stone wool is made of up to 50% recycled content and has a positive energy and CO2 balance after just 3 months.
  Today, more than 75% of our glass wool production waste is recycled (100% in some plants), which reduces landfilling and the need for new raw materials.
 
 

Circular Economy : Giving our products a new lease of life

 
In line with our commitment to create a circular economy across the group, we have developed dedicated take-back services to collect, sort and process end-of-life waste. This waste is used to manufacture new glass wool products or other items like bricks.
 
In 2018, as a response to new environmental regulations and the recent French circular economy roadmap, ISOVER France launched ISOVER Recycling, the first closed-loop service for reusing construction and demolition glass-wool waste.
 
Other Saint-Gobain companies in countries such as Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden, also offer glass wool recycling services for pre-consumer waste. In 1993, ISOVER Switzerland introduced a system to collect and recycle ISOVER glass wool scrap from building sites. Contractors return waste in specially designed bags, free of charge, via building material retailers.
 
In addition to this, we continue to increase the share of recycled material in our products, untapping a source of raw material and increasing the cullet already coming from other recycling channels.
 

Did you know?
 

The OXYMELT process has been used at the ISOVER plant in Orange, France since 1997.  Waste is melted with oxygen enriched air to obtain a mineral wool that can be used as a vitreous raw material in the glass melting process. Some OEM customers use this installation to recycle their ISOVER glass waste.


 

Questions our commitment to developing a circular economy? Want to know about our recycling? Don’t’ hesitate to get in touch.