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GlobalABC events & regional roundtables

COP26 #BuildingsPavilion - Towards net-zero: Rallying around a common purpose across the built environment value chain (Saint-Gobain)


Buildings Pavilion - Boardroom (Hall 4)

COP26 #BuildingsPavilion

Watch the recording of the event :

Place: Buildings Pavilion - Boardroom (Hall 4) - 16 places available

Time: 13:00 - 14:30 GMT


Saint-Gobain has been convening peers and leaders across the built environment value chain these last few months to discuss the net-zero transition agenda for the coming decade. During three roundtables, priorities, challenges and calls to action were voiced by built environment leaders. Drawing on COP26 as a pivotal moment for climate action, the event hosted by Saint-Gobain during COP26 invited leaders from across the buildings and construction value chain to stand together for accelerable and scalable actions for a net-zero built environment, featuring also an intervention by Sonal Jain, Built environment and infrastructure COP26 Champion.

Key takeways: Buildings contribute to 40% of carbon emissions, so the sector’s decarbonization is critical to a green transition. Buildings need to be designed for sustainability. For this to happen, the support of the whole value chain is needed. Collaboration is essential for meaningful action, especially up and down the value chain. This is challenging as the industry is fragmented. Craftsmen in particular in the value chain are very important – they are the last in the chain and need sustainability training and elevating their knowledge Action needs to start now. Decarbonization efforts in the built environment have inertia, as they require collaboration and because buildings take time to build and are operational for decades.

What is needed and how to advance faster in this ambitious agenda?

Digital advancements are helping catalyze action and given the green transition more agility, and could speed up consensus and standardization of how sustainable building practices. Working with a common language and standards is a prerequisite for alignment, with regards to green finance, regulation or carbon pricing. Banking systems and regulators standardized reporting will be a big help - currently investors, rating agencies, sustainability agencies don’t share a common language. A common language and measurement process will also make life cycle assessments more meaningful. Government action is needed to support and reward companies already making an effort to decarbonize, e.g. setting carbon price, providing green energy infrastructure – and to encourage and incentivize those who are slower in taking action. France for example mandates building energy performance diagnosis. Even though this is not a flawless tool, this is an example of incentives for green buildings. Knowing that not all regions have the same considerations or baseline infrastructure and may need to consider different challenges and opportunities, whereas there are things more agile players can already do to advance towards net-zero. Even though the industry doesn’t want to wait for government action, strong signals are needed: an indication of energy limit by 2050, trend of use and price of carbon…

In any case, continually setting new challenges - as companies and as an industry - will help the sector achieve decarbonization.

During COP26, Saint-Gobain has been impressed by the number of business coalitions that have been very active across several private sectors, including of course the special focus on “Buildings & Cities”, which took place for the 2nd time and has proven to be very powerful for CO2 emission reduction. Each of the panelists’ diverse perspectives and insights contributed to rich discussions from which everyone leaves with a broadened perspective of opportunities and challenges to align on net-zero goals as a built-environment ecosystem. Now it is necessary to leverage the momentum from COP26 to strengthen engagement, commitment and radical collaboration in the next decade of critical climate action. Saint-Gobain looks forward to continuing the dialogue and finding new and concrete opportunities to work together with all stakeholders of the value chain.


For the transformation of the built environment ecosystem to succeed, industry leaders will need to raise ambition and bring regulators and investors along their transformation journey. Drawing on COP26 as a pivotal moment for climate action, Saint-Gobain invites leaders from across the buildings and construction value chain to stand together for accelerable and scalable actions for a net-zero built environment.

An invitation-only roundtable including a firestarter, panel discussion, and participant discussion. Speakers and participants are invited to join in person if they have Blue Zone access and are attending COP26; otherwise they will be welcomed virtually.


  • Pierre-André de Chalendar, CEO, Saint-Gobain (host) 
  • Sonal Jain, Built environment and infratructure COP26 Champion  (speaker) 
  • Lars Völkel, Executive Vice President, Wood Products Division, Stora Enso (speaker) 
  • Claire Pedini, Senior Vice-President forHuman Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility, Saint-Gobain (speaker) 
  • Sheela Patel, Founder Director, Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) (remote speaker) 
  • Diane Hoskins, co-CEO, Gensler (remote speaker) 
  • Peter Oosterveer, CEO, Arcadis (speaker)