Since the early twentieth century, the French glass industry has experienced a technical and industrial revolution. Nowadays, glass groups cover the whole spectrum of this industry. Importing ideas and new technology from the United States, Eugène Gentil introduced a diversification policy at Saint-Gobain. The group’s adventure in fibreglass started in the thirties and rapidly reached a vast scale. The war put a stop to this initial impetus and encouraged Saint-Gobain to develop its own process.
By the time the war was over, the situation had changed. Cut off from sources of technology during the war, the Saint-Gobain group had been forced to develop its production tool alone. The research laboratory set to work and the TEL, a new process based on an original fibre production principle, was soon created. It was a technical and commercial success: licences were granted worldwide. A new glorious era opened for Isover.
In the late seventies, ISOVER “surfed” on the wave of its success; Its production capacity was constantly improving. It looked as if the forthcoming decade would be just as brilliant. And yet… Technological excellence was not enough to sell products. Because it did not realise this early enough, ISOVER was to experience a turbulent decade It was a time for questioning which saw the emergency of new strategies, closer to its customers’ needs.
The last decade of the twentieth century opened with major challenges: borders opened up to the East and environment protection became a major concern. The commitments of the Kyoto protocol and the new oil crisis changed the status quo: insulation became one of the major measures to reduce non-renewal energy consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions. Saint-Gobain ISOVER embraced this new crusade for the twenty-first century.