Ecophon

We’re well on our way

You hold us responsible. We owe you full transparency of our products’ environmental impact, what efforts we’re making to reduce it and where we haven’t quite hit our ambitious goals. We’ve come a long way and lead the industry in many areas both for the outdoor and the indoor environment. Scroll on to follow our journey toward a completely sustainable lifecycle.

Our promise by Francois Michel

“A sound effect on people” – our promise

Since its inception more than 50 years ago, our company has been continuously working to improve the acoustic environment in offices, schools, healthcare facilities, restaurants, theatres, factories and other premises.

Our promise of “a sound effect on people” is at the heart of our efforts to reduce our own environmental impact and to develop sustainable products, with the same passion and commitment we bring to every aspect of our business.

As a Saint-Gobain company, we adhere to set environmental policies and guidelines relating to our products, solutions and processes. All our production units are certified according to ISO 14001 which gives you peace of mind that we continually work to improve our processes.

Caring for the environment is an important part of Saint-Gobain's corporate values and extensive work is being carried out to bring our already low carbon footprint to a minimum. In full transparency, we will show you in the following sections the areas in which we are performing well, the points for which we set ourselves higher targets, and also our environmental targets for the years ahead.

Francois Michel

President Saint-Gobain Ecophon

Fine-tuning every single step

You can’t improve anything until you understand it. That’s why we do in-depth lifecycle analyses to uncover every aspect of our products’ environmental impact. Armed with that knowledge, we are pushing ourselves to do better, from sourcing raw materials to finding responsible ways to handle and use waste.

Learn more about our commitment to the environment

Bring the outdoors in

Out in the country, surrounded by the sounds of nature, it hits you. Finally, I can hear myself think. Our hearing evolved outdoors, and it’s there it works best. By creating smart acoustic solutions, we can bring the natural sound environment of nature indoors at every stage of life.

More than 70% recycled glass and a plant-based binder

That’s a pretty good start. We’re proud that we lead the industry in using responsible raw materials. Recently, we’ve made a leap forward by converting the majority of our products to a renewable plant-based binder that replaces one based on petroleum. When materials that are good for the planet can be turned into top quality products, why use anything else? 

Learn about our effort to find responsible raw materials

Getting (and staying) well

Did you know hearing is the one sense that never sleeps? That’s a good thing in a lot of ways (if a bear breaks into your house, it’s good to wake up), but poorly designed acoustics can make it tough to get much needed shut-eye. That’s crucial in hospitals as our bodies do most of their healing while we sleep. Ideal acoustics have been proven to help people recover faster and get back to their lives by improving sleep quality. Smart acoustics also lower blood pressure and stress for both patients and staff, leading to happier people all around and improved quality of care.

We want to increase our share of renewable energy

We set an ambitious goal to complete our transition to renewable electricity by 2020 - and now we are almost there. In 2012, our plants in Sweden and Denmark switched over to hydro power for most of their energy needs. But that isn’t to say our production process doesn’t have room for improvement. We still want to bring down the amount of energy that goes into the process. That’s why we constantly re-evaluate each step and find new ways to squeeze the most out of every last watt.

Learn more about our production process

Letting teachers and students shine

Succeeding in school is tough enough without having to strain your ears. Struggling to hear their teacher means students have less energy to think and remember less information later. And no child should have the odds stacked against them because they happen to sit in the wrong part of the classroom. With the right acoustic solution, every child has a better chance to fulfil their potential as the exchange between teacher and student is unclouded by noise and reverberation. The enhanced speech clarity also means teachers don’t have to wear out their voices to be heard. Good acoustics have actually been shown to boost grades. But we don’t mean to pat ourselves on the back. We just help create a good working environment that lets teachers and students connect.

Acoustic test: in the classroom

Acoustic test: in the classroom

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Lightening the load

Glass wool happens to be the lightest acoustic panel material out there. That means trucks burn less fuel moving them than any other type of panel. How much less? Compared to wet felt panels, moving glass wool takes roughly 17% less fuel. For heavier materials, the fuel and CO2 reductions are even greater. We’re not content to just produce the lightest material, but are working on new ways to pack more panels per trip. We also have a plan to start using trucks powered by renewable fuels.

Learn all about how our acoustic solutions are transported

Take back a month’s worth of productivity

We’ve all been there. You need to focus so you can meet a deadline, but surrounding noise keeps jostling the thoughts out of your head. With the rising popularity of open-plan offices, it’s estimated workers now lose as much as 24 days of productivity a year because of unwanted noise. Smartly designed acoustics enhance communication by absorbing sound instead of reflecting it. That ensures you hear what you’re supposed to – clearly and uncluttered. The effect reverberates beyond the office as happier workers carry the good vibrations out to the world.

Even Green Building Councils choose Ecophon

 “When the Ecophon panels were included in the design, I thought; Wow, what a great extra! But honestly they have added so much more to the quality of the space both from an acoustic as well as an aesthetic perspective than I would have expected. I would not consider excluding them in any future design and would highly recommend them for any project wanting to create a high quality working environment.”

Donné Putter, Architect at Green Building Council South Africa

Better air, better you

People are paying more attention to the indoor environment than ever before. This trend is evidenced by increasingly stringent regulations on the products used in construction and the widespread use of green building certification schemes and labels. 

Ecophon's products don't just contribute to a good acoustic environment but are also better for the indoor air quality. And considering that we spend most of our time indoors these days, it’s worth paying attention to indoor air quality. It impacts our health.

When it comes to construction products one of the most studied indoor pollutants is formaldehyde, CH2O. Since we replaced the old oil based binder in our glass wool with a plant based binder, our emission values have improved even further. Our products comply with some of the stringent regulations and certifications on the market. French VOC A + is currently the highest level of certification for formaldehyde emissions with a limit of 10 μg/m3.

Why indoor air quality is so important

Having fun shouldn’t give you a headache

Many of the places we go to unwind after work leave our heads spinning. When you fill a huge space with lots of people, sound waves can get chaotic. Indoor swimming halls are a perfect example as ceramic tiles reflect sound instead of absorbing it. That sends decibel levels spiralling along with echoes that muddle who said what. Whether you’re at the pool trying to find your little one or on the basketball court calling to a teammate, smart acoustic design can tame those waves to make sound part of the fun. And what’s the point of leisure if it isn’t fun?

Acoustic test: on the court

Acoustic test: on the court

Towards a better environment

Towards a better environment

From waste to new applications

We take responsibility for the whole lifecycle of our products.We are therefore developing a return programme for all our products using 3rd generation glass wool, where we will accept the return of these panels and turn them into EcoDrain™.

Learn more about how Ecophon takes care of waste

Helping people connect throughout life

For a lot of people, following conversations is a struggle. It happens to most of us as we enter our golden years and our hearing isn’t what it used to be. Good acoustics is extra important when you’re at a disadvantage as it helps you feel connected and involved. A great example is retirement homes where speech clarity helps residents feel less isolated. That clarity also helps students connect in multi-cultural schools and hearing impaired people contribute more at work. When people are able to communicate more, we all win.

All the little bits add up to a lot     

Over the past several years, our efforts to improve our products’ impact at every stage has helped us reduce emissions, find new materials, and create healthier indoor environments and implement recycling of used panels. Those efforts have earned our products a wide range of certifications that make the bureaucratic side of things simpler. They also let occupants know the spaces they inhabit were built responsibly.

Learn more about our certifications

Got questions? We’d love to chat

If you want to know more about the specifics of our environmental efforts, the green experts below can fill you in on all the details. To learn more about how we design acoustic environments that help people thrive, our yellow experts know it all. You can also learn more at www.ecophon.com/acoustic-solutions.

Contacts with green or yellow “halos”