2009-2012: from Countdown 2010 to getting employees on board
Since 2009, Eiffage has worked in close collaboration with non-profits such as Humanité et Biodiversité. Eiffage was also involved in “Countdown 2010”, which was set up by the IUCN and spanned countries, regions and civil society to support governments to minimise the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
These partnerships have consolidated a corporate culture that accords due and proper respect of the living world, based on assessing the impact of Group operations on natural environments and ecosystem services. They have helped to integrate the importance of protecting living things into the Group’s construction and concession operations. During this time, Eiffage has published two internal charters – ‘Biodiversity’ and ‘Water & Aquatic Environment’ – that apply to the entire Group.
2012-2018: Eiffage’s commitment within the French National Biodiversity Strategy
Eiffage signed up to the French National Biodiversity Strategy, which makes the country’s commitment to the 1994 Convention on Biological Diversity a reality. A special biodiversity action plan was drawn up and officially approved, initially in 2012, and subsequently in 2015 and 2018 by the French Minister for the Ecological Transition.
In 2013 and 2014, Eiffage published two reference documents, one of which in collaboration with the Phosphore laboratory: “Of Cities and People”, which focuses on sustainable urban development, and “Towards Ecological Civil Engineering” with an afterword written by Hubert Reeves and which takes a look back over Eiffage’s responsible commitment through real-life examples of the way in which the Group took biodiversity into account in three of its major projects – the A65 motorway, the high-speed rail line between Brittany and Pays de la Loire (BPL HSL) and the new coastal road on Reunion Island.
2018-2020: Act4nature and the Biodiversity action plan
Eiffage Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Benoît de Ruffray, attended the “Act4nature” launch event on 17 July. The initiative forms a global network of businesses, scientific institutions, NGOs and the French Biodiversity Agency to consider the direct and indirect impacts of business on nature and any positive action possible.
The Group was involved in the “Businesses Committed to Nature – Act4nature France” run by the French Biodiversity Agency, which supports companies to develop and draw value from their efforts to protect biodiversity. Eiffage joined 58 other major corporations from all sectors of the economy, including Suez, RTE, Icade, EDF, Compagnie des Alpes and Nestlé.
Businesses Committed to Nature – Act4nature France: a foundation of shared commitments
The companies that sign up to the “Act4Nature” initiative pledge to protect, value and restore biodiversity by undertaking firm commitments to integrate environmental considerations in their strategy, impact assessments, Avoid, Mitigate, Offset approach, as well as their efforts to raise awareness and train their employees.
By submitting its biodiversity action plan to the French Biodiversity Agency, Eiffage has formally set out its biodiversity road map and its two-year commitments as part of the “Businesses Committed to Nature – Act4nature France” process. In doing so, the Group has reiterated its objectives to:
- control and even reduce the environmental footprint of its construction and operation activities by better assessing the impacts and strictly applying the Avoid, Mitigate, Offset approach;
- develop a range of environmentally friendly products and services that help reduce its environmental footprint;
- mobilise its innovative capabilities to rise to these challenges, in particular by working with specialist research organisations.
The teams at Eiffage adapt their design and construction models, integrate new expertise in biodiversity and share their feedback with experts, specialist bodies and organisations. Having received training on these matters, labourers and works supervisors are keenly aware of the importance of protecting living species. The Group strives to extend and apply this awareness in its professional practices and ways of working.
Eiffage has positioned the commitment to protect biodiversity as an operational priority.
Our low-carbon strategy is based on two main objectives: reducing internal emissions in all the Group’s business lines and developing new low-carbon products and services or extending those currently provided by the different divisions.