Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Croydon Gold Application Case Study

Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Croydon Gold Application Case Study

Company Introduction

Saint-Gobain is present in 70 countries with more than 167 000 employees. Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions which are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of all. They can be found everywhere in our living places and our daily life: in buildings, transportation, infrastructure and in many industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance and safety while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and climate change.

Our purpose, to make the world a better home, reflects who we are and sets the course for our future. Over 350 years of history, our collective strength and leadership empowers us to address major challenges facing humanity, including climate change, resource protection and inclusion.

We operate both internationally and locally and are fully integrated within our local communities to support their vitality and help build a fairer and more sustainable world. Our purpose calls on us to innovate openly, with the profound ambition to act every day to make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place to live.

This is achieved by supplying products and services to the construction industry. In the UK, Saint-Gobain Building Distribution has multiple brands such as British Gypsum, Minster Insulation, Frazer & Jewson Civils plus many others all providing materials into the construction industry.

SGBD Croydon supply Drylining, Insulation & specialised Civils products into mainstream construction projects. Ashley Cole, Site Transport Manager, explains: I joined the management team in January 2021 having previously worked as a Driver for 20+ years. SGBD Croydon have now a fully compliant Euro 6 fleet, operating as efficiently as sales demands permit. All loads are professionally planned using a delivery management system, to ensure the most efficient route is used, keeping fuel and emissions to the minimum.

Transport fines and charges managed by the Central Transport function and allocated back to the relevant branch, where any remedial action can be taken if the management team feel it necessary.

Fleet Engineer Rob Waters advises:

Saint-Gobain Building Distribution have been operating with FORS for some years now, following early communication with Transport for London. We now have 31 Bronze and 15 Silver Branches

Section 3 – What was your experience of the initial FORS Bronze audit?

Unfortunately, I was not working for SGBD when we had our first audit, but the 10 or so audits I have been involved with have been well managed a good experience.

Section 4 – What was your main reason(s) for you progressing (either from Bronze to Silver and then Silver to Gold or straight from Bronze to Gold)?

SGBD Croydon has been Silver for 3 years now, and we have found the driver training to be particularly good and beneficial. Our sales have increased (see fig 1) in supplying materials to major construction projects, and we can now see further benefits both in sales and marketing as FORS Gold is recognised as a significant statement of our Safety & Environmental commitment. However, due to the pandemic, sales in 2020 slowed.

Fig 1

2018 2019 2020
Collect  £        1,911,084  £   1,666,983  £   1,553,135
Delivered  £        5,434,640  £   7,722,550  £   5,787,370
Direct  £           741,606  £      237,019  £      792,706
 £      8,087,330  £ 9,626,552  £ 8,133,211

Chloe Watson, South East Regional Logistics Manager “I have seen a greater awareness from the drivers regarding vulnerable road users, following the Safe Urban Driving and online Training”

Dan Dunstan, South West & Midlands Regional Logistics Manager “My sites in Birmingham have greatly benefited from now holding a FORS Manual/folder on site with all the company policies and procedures easily accessible for drivers and managers”.

Section 6 – What improvements have you made?

These shall include:

  • Performance data – Use data provided for FORS requirements S2 and G2. See example below for table (data can be presented in different table format if you prefer)

NOTE: Data missing from the table below is due to a major issue in the 12 months up to April 21 with our Vehicle Tracking Platform, plus vehicles not used during initial weeks of lockdown in 2020



MPG Incidents per 100,000 Kms CO2 NOx PM10 Number of PCNs Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels
Apr 2019 to Apr 2020 10 153.83 172.34 7.0 10 0%
Apr 2020 to Apr 2021 26 128.30 194.02 1.6 26 0%
Percentage improvement       0% 0%
  • Driver health and fitness review – provide details of how your company is actively implementing appropriate measures in place to minimise the risk of incidents as a result of underlying health problems or diagnosis of a conditionSaint-Gobain operate a Sickness & Absent Policy to ensure all drivers are fit for work. The policy is included in the Gold Submission. Our Fleet Management System records all incidents and drivers are given a Road Risk Rating, which we use to manage the desired improvement.
  • Recruitment of drivers – provide information about your strategy to engage in industry initiatives to encourage new drivers into the industry and how your strategy has helpedSaint-Gobain’s Brands work with an external company (HGMS) to manage the initial recruitment process. Saint-Gobain also offers a “Licence Transition” for anyone wishing to attain an HGV licence, all documents relating to this will be included in the submission.
  • Noise assessment – elaborate on measures taken to reduce noise pollution during driving, parking, loading or unloading, servicing or vehicle washing which is relevant to the vehicle type, load and sectorSaint-Gobain Croydon only deliver to construction sites, but do operate a Noise Reduction Policy whether for driving, loading or unloading. Policy document is included in the submission. The Noise Reduction Policy has been as a direct result of our involvement with FORS. It has driven us to consider our operations and how we can reduce noise in all activities. Our vehicles are all serviced by main dealers, and vehicle washing is not yet available at the branch.
  • Modal shift and alternative vehicles – how have you attempted to move part or all of your consignment from road to an alternative transport mode or used electric or alternatively-fuelled/powered vehicles within your fleet – The delivery model for construction materials is limited, primarily via a conventional truck with a crane or Moffatt. Due to the limitations and availability of Full Electric HGV’s, Saint-Gobain have not yet developed a full electric truck. We are however, testing electric vans in other areas of the UK. As all deliveries are considered “Local” alternative transport i.s. rail, is not possible.

Section 7 – What are your plans for the future?

SGBD only purchase Euro 6 as a minimum, and are testing Electric Vehicles, plus Hydrated Vegetable Oil as alternative fuel sources. The Group company car scheme only permits Hybrid or full electric cars whether supplied or self-funded. We have considered the full electric Brick Grab Truck, but so far this has not been seen as a practical solution

 Section 8 – What evidence do you have of positively promoting FORS at requirement G7?

SGBD have currently four Practioner’ s, and I will be taking this training to support this Gold application (Ashley Cole)

Internally, our FORS communications plan is sent to all brands and branches, and our sales teams across the brands, actively promote our accreditation to achieve increased sales.

Initially, Chloe Watson, Ashley Cole and Rob Waters have posted on Linkedin.

Section 9 –What FORS Gold accreditation means for your organisation/to you?

FORS Gold will provide SGBD with a Platform to promote our values and company mission. It will also make a clear statement to our existing and potential customers, that SGBD has a Safety and Quality culture.

Section 11 – FORS members’ feedback questionnaire

Please could you take the time to complete a short questionnaire and provide feedback about FORS. Please note all answers you provide will be strictly confidential and will only be used by FORS to help us to improve the scheme. To access the survey, please click the link here: