When thinking about glass in the UK, and particularly glass in the home, the company name that automatically springs to most of our minds is “Pilkington”. However, there is a much bigger player in the market who is currently celebrating 350-years of trading.
The French company Saint-Gobain are one of the largest glass and building materials suppliers in the world. They have contributed to a long list of technological advancements in architecture, science, transport, the arts, the home and as they like to state “general life”. They take credit for the famous Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles and the glass floor that many of us can say we have stood on – in the Eiffel Tower. It is said that 1 in 2 vehicles in Europe will have been fitted with their safety glass and yet despite this their name is still unlikely to be familiar to the general public here.
Saint-Gobain’s Low-e Glass range “Planitherm” is one of Europe’s best selling sealed units. It uses thermal glass coating technology to improve energy efficiency in the home and provides window fitters or double glazing installers (as we are often referred to) with an array of glass options for windows, conservatory roofs and internal glazing.
So what better way to showcase their amazing company history, ideas for the future and 350 years trading with an interactive exhibition entitled “future sensations“. The exhibition is free to the general public and has already travelled to Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Philidelphia and ends in Paris where it is currently on display until 31st October.
Saint-Gobain originated from its name sake villiage in Northern France. Now Saint-Gobain operates in a reported 64 countries and employs over 180,000 staff. For a company that has such strong links with its past, it celebrates by focusing on the future. It has never lost sight of innovation and is always trying to focus on general life and ways in which it can help improve it. The brand is committed to making our homes and work places more comfortable by reducing noise, increasing safety and thermal efficiency without loosing sight of design. The size and scale of such a company is realistically well beyond most small businesses attainability. But the ethos and drive to evolve through time, and be a major contributor to revolutionary technology is nothing short of inspiring! I wonder how many of us would like to aim for our company to still be trading after we are long gone.