Partners ecosystem fighting the erosion of biodiversity
To effectively combat biodiversity erosion, Eiffage has developed an extensive network of partners with universities, R&D bodies, professional working groups and institutional working groups in the construction industry as well as environmental NGOs.
Humanité et biodiversité
A French national non-profit organisation recognised as being of public utility and an accredited environmental protection body, Humanité et biodiversité (H&B) aims to raise awareness about environmental considerations in every branch of the economy, influence decision makers and encourage the development of biodiversity throughout the country.
Eiffage first partnered with H&B in 2012, which has enabled the Group to benefit from support when considering the challenges related to sustainable development and biodiversity in particular. The discussions primarily concern:
- Insight into public policies to protect the environment and living things
- Construction and monitoring of the biodiversity action plan
- Issues of particular relevance to the Group (land take, awareness raising, biodiversity, health and resilience)
The International Biodiversity & Property Council (IBPC)
Eiffage has partnered with the International Biodiversity & Property Council, the organisation that set up the BiodiverCity® label, which is designed to assess and rate the performance of construction projects that take biodiversity into account. Drawing on an innovative approach that combines organic features and construction, the label aims to promote the design and construction of a new kind of building system that reserves an important place for nature in the city.
IBPC proposes three different labels:
- BiodiverCity® Construction for newly built or renovated buildings
- BiodiverCity® Ready for development projects
- BiodiverCity® Life for buildings in operation
The French Bird Protection League (LPO)
With over 46,000 members and a network of local organisations operating in 80 departments throughout France, the LPO is the country’s leading wildlife protection agency. It oversees over 30,000 hectares of natural space and works to improve conditions for all species of wildlife.
In early 2020, Eiffage renewed the partnership it first established with the LPO in 2018. The partnership involves both sponsorship and service provision. The LPO lends Eiffage operational support regarding biodiversity on certain projects, for example by offering advice and expertise on how to integrate biodiversity in built-up environments and ecological management of green spaces, drawing up wildlife inventories, conducting targeted monitoring of wildlife and recommending alternative management approaches.
Eiffage is also a member of the LPO’s Building and Biodiversity Urban Planning U2B Club. This think tank provides organisations from the public and private sector with a forum for discussion and sharing best practice in order to develop concrete, innovative solutions to stimulate biodiversity in urban areas.
European Centre of Excellence in Biomimicry (CEEBIOS)
In 2013, the Eiffage Group partnered with the European Centre of Excellence in Biomimicry (CEEBIOS) in Senlis, northern France. The partnership offers an unprecedented opportunity to foster responsible innovation, drawing inspiration from the living world and harnessing the solutions and inventions developed to respond to the challenges thrown up in relation to sustainable development. By looking to biological systems as a model, it is possible to reconcile industrial activities and economic growth with the need to protect the environment, resources and biodiversity. By becoming a member of CEEBIOS, Eiffage is able to pursue new approaches to industrial ecology, the circular economy and the perma-economy, taking inspiration from nature and the way it works. An experimental French standard, developed by CEEBIOS in collaboration with the French Ministry for the Ecological Transition, combines biomimicry with eco-design. Central to the approach is the idea that everything is part of a cycle, and nothing goes to waste.
Since 2019, CEEBIOS has supported a number of Eiffage projects from the tender stage. For employees seeking support, CEEBIOS provides expertise in the following areas:
- Adaptation to biomimicry
- One-on-one working sessions with architects
- Themed workshops (energy, materials, water)
- Creativity and synthesis sessions
- Intention and innovation notes
- Participation on steering committees
L’Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, co-founder of the Bioterre master’s degree
The Bioterre master’s degree is a high-level qualification developed in 2009 by Eiffage in partnership with Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. It covers the managerial, economic, technical and legal challenges related to the living world within design-build-operate projects for urban development and major infrastructure.
This multi-disciplinary curriculum is taught by speakers from renowned institutions, such as the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the French Natural History Museum (MNHN). It is designed to meet the Group’s professional learning requirements, in particular through its work-study component. Since it was developed, 50 Eiffage employees from all areas of the Group have been awarded the Bioterre master’s degree, six of whom have subsequently received promotion. Of these graduates, 31 still work for Eiffage. Seven students taking the Bioterre course as part of their initial training were recruited after having completed an internship or a work-study placement at Eiffage.
Eiffage works with Orée, a non-profit organisation that encourages business to adopt environmentally friendly conduct within a network of partners committed to championing an environmental focus that has been driving benefit for regional economies for many years. By taking part in working groups on “Biodiversity and the economy”, “the circular economy” and “CSR reporting and regional integration”, Eiffage helps to spread knowledge and identify concrete solutions and recommendations.