SAINT-GOBAIN GROUP

Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, designs, manufactures and distributes building materials, providing innovative solutions to meet a growing demand in emerging economies for energy efficiency and environmental protection.

During its 350 years of history, the Group has consistently demonstrated its ability to invent products that improve quality of life, focusing its activities on human wellbeing and environmental protection.

Established in France in 1665, Saint-Gobain today is one of the first 100 industrial groups worldwide, specialized in solutions for the sustainable habitat, thanks to the partnership with prestigious Universities and research laboratories. Thanks to its commitment in R&D, 1 out of 5 product sold today by Saint-Gobain did not exist five years ago.

By 2015, the Group has the target to achieve 32% of its turnover by selling systems and solutions for the sustainable building, comfort, energy saving and environmental protection.


INNOVATION

Since its foundation, Saint-Gobain has consistently demonstrated its ability to invent products that improve the quality of life and today it keeps on deploying its technological know-how, often in partnership with the most prestigious universities and laboratories.

To give an idea of our commitment to innovation, 20% of Saint-Gobain products did not exist five years ago. Saint-Gobain is among the 100 most innovative companies in the world. The Top 100 Global Innovators program identifies the companies and research structures that are the most active in terms of innovation.

In Italy, Saint-Gobain has 6 research centers, where about 20 people work for the innovation of the construction products.


HISTORY

Saint-Gobain has a long and proud heritage. It was established in France in 1665, as Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs, by Louis XIV, the Sun King, to compete against Venice's supremacy in European glassmaking at a time when mirrors were highly fashionable.

Saint-Gobain, which has innovation at its core, found a way to produce glass on a larger scale which, at the time, was very impressive. This technique was the flat glass casting (1668), which led to extraordinary results.

In 1684 Saint-Gobain won a large and symbolic order to create 357 magnificent mirrors, that still adorn the Hall of Mirrors in the Royal Palace of Versailles, to the South of Paris. Saint-Gobain's heritage remains an important and proud aspect of the Group today.

Saint-Gobain started its internationalization outside France in 1857, when it opened its first sites in Germany and immediately after in Italy, in 1889.