In 2008, the Saint-Gobain Foundation was born. Over the past 10 years, it has supported 148 projects led by 115 non-profit organizations, of which 4 are in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2008, the Group General Management and its CEO Pierre-André de Chalendar created a structure to support local communities and inclusive social development in fields related to Saint-Gobain’s areas of expertise:
Sustainable construction and renovation of social housing – They provide financial support for construction or refurbishment projects to create healthy, attractive, warm, affordable and eco-responsible living places.
Professional integration of young adults – They enable organisations to train and supervise young adults into or back into employment by learning a trade or profession. And so, the Saint-Gobain Foundation was born.
Many of the projects they support have a common goal of living together (day centers, intergenerational solidarity, etc.). As a link between the non-profit sector and the company, the Saint-Gobain Foundation is also committed to the local communities in the regions where the Group operates.
In Sub-Saharan Africa
In sub-Saharan Africa, the Saint-Gobain Foundation has already supported four projects in three different countries: They funded and provided technical expertise for the renovation of the Kinbu Primary School in Accra, Ghana.
They funded the foundations and walls of four classrooms for the Nagum Primary School in Kenya.
In 2012, they partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build 40 homes in Diepsloot, a township northwest of Johannesburg in South Africa.
They also partnered with the Adopt-a-School Foundation in South Africa and assisted three schools that desperately needed additional facilities:
– Sonwabo Primary School in Gugulethu (Western Cape)
– Inyonemhlophe Secondary School in Isipingo (KwaZulu-Natal)
– Mvelaphanda Primary School in Tembisa (Gauteng)
Along with these industrial developments, Saint-Gobain also has a sales presence in 13 sub-Saharan countries, with offices in South Africa (head office), Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast. In total, Saint-Gobain in sub-Saharan Africa employs about 2 000 people (2016).
The central team is based in Johannesburg (South Africa) head office of the Saint-Gobain Delegation for sub-Saharan Africa.
Saint-Gobain has therefore a local presence in key sub-Saharan markets.
The local teams have extensive knowledge of the markets, their unique differences and the reality on the ground (specific construction methods, climatic and cultural requirements, product supply circuits, etc.).
They provide a deeper understanding of current and future needs in order to develop solutions tailored to the requirements of distributors, local specifiers and end users.