British Glass                            SBE0032

Written evidence from British Glass

British Glass is the representative body for the UK glass manufacturing industry. For the purposes of this inquiry, our responses relate specifically to our flat glass (windows/glazing) manufacturing members. Glass is an infinitely recyclable material, with no loss of quality and the perfect circular economy product. It has a crucial role to play as we look to live more sustainably and move towards net zero emissions by 2050.


The UK has three flat glass manufacturers: Guardian Glass, Pilkington and Saint-Gobain Glass, all based in the north of England. Together, they support more than a thousand jobs and efficiently produce high-quality, British-made glass for the domestic and international glazing markets. British Glass – with its flat glass manufacturing members – has set out an ambitious, two-part strategy on flat glass.


  1. The role of glazing in improving the energy efficiency of buildings and reducing carbon emissions.
  2. Improving the rate of flat glass recycling, which is at present significantly worse than the container glass sector (bottles, jars etc.)


To what extent have the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations on decarbonising the structural fabric of new homes been met?


How can materials be employed to reduce the carbon impact of new buildings, including efficient heating and cooling, and which materials are most effective at reducing embodied carbon?


What role can nature-based materials can play in achieving the Government’s net zero ambition?


What role can the planning system, permitted development and building regulations play in delivering a sustainable built environment? How can these policies incentivise developers to use low carbon materials and sustainable design?


What methods account for embodied carbon in buildings and how can this be consistently applied across the sector?


Should the embodied carbon impact of alternative building materials take into account the carbon cost of manufacture and delivery to site, enabling customers to assess the relative impact of imported versus domestically sourced materials?


How well is green infrastructure being incorporated into building design and developments to achieve climate resilience and other benefits?


How should we take into account the use of materials to minimise carbon footprint, such as use of water harvesting from the roof, grey water circulation, porous surfaces for hardstanding, energy generation systems such as solar panels?


How should re-use and refurbishment of buildings be balanced with new developments?


What can the Government do to incentivise more repair, maintenance and retrofit of existing buildings?

May 2021