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.
Reducing raw material consumption
Despite the fact that our materials are inherently environmental friendly (ISOVER glass wool, stone wool and ULTIMATE™ solutions are made from almost 100% natural raw materials, such as sand and volcanic rock), we strive to reduce the use of natural ressources by increasing the amount of recycled content in our products.
In addition to that, all our materials are totally recyclable and include significant volumes of production and post-production waste in their manufacture.
Recycled and recyclable
Stone wool is 100% recyclable.
Our stone wool is made of up to 50% recycled content and has a positive energy and CO2 balance after just 3 months.
Glass wool is 100% recyclable.
Our glass wool incorporate up to 80% of recycled glass, which reduces landfilling and the need for new raw materials. Originating from different sources like glazing, vials and neon tubes, this recycled glass improves the quality of final product and reduces the amount of energy required to fuse the glass.
Today, more than 75% of our glass wool production waste is recycled (100% in some plants).
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.