The construction activities of the Bouygues group operate biodiversity protection policies for the areas surrounding their structures as well as for their quarries and gravel pits. The media and telecoms businesses contribute by raising awareness of this issue among staff, customers and viewers.
With the creation of the Biositiv structure in 2012, the Group now has an internal advisory unit that can help each business area develop a biodiversity strategy.
The new Beaugrenelle shopping centre, which was inaugurated in 2013 in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, is – with its green roof, plants, beehives and shared gardens – symbolic of this determination to foster biodiversity in the heart of the city.
Bouygues Construction aims to offer solutions that encompass the protection of biodiversity at every stage of the construction project, whether infrastructure or building projects. To assert these commitments, Bouygues Construction has drafted a biodiversity charter and showcased its flagship projects at the Biodiversity Round Table, in June 2013, in which Bouygues Construction was a partner.
To deal with these challenges, Bouygues Construction has defined a three-prong strategy:
- Increase technical expertise and innovation
- By recruiting professional ecologists (six overall, divided into two teams: biodiversity in infrastructure and urban biodiversity) and training the sustainable construction managers in technical departments;
- By conducting R&D on biodiversity in infrastructures and urban biodiversity. In this respect, a sociological survey on the perception of biodiversity in urban settings was carried out in 2013.
- Offer customers new products and services
- In major infrastructure projects, a new service package was developed together with Biositiv, a unit set up in 2012, as the result of a partnership between two subsidiaries (DTP Terrassement and Bouygues Travaux Publics) and Noé Conservation. This provides infrastructure project teams full support on the issue of biodiversity both at the tendering stage and during construction. Biositiv, along with the commitment of its stakeholders, received recognition under the National Biodiversity Strategy in 2012. This new approach was implemented on the large-scale Nimes-Montpellier railway bypass project, where it led to the protection of close to 150 species in the project area.
- In property developments, taking biodiversity into account primarily responds to a societal concern, relating to the protection of nature in urban settings. Biodiversity is also a constituent of the environmental credentials of any property development, as measured by environmental certifications. The three major certifications – Leed®, Breeam® and HQE® – today all have criteria on biodiversity.
Following work by Elan (the consultancy unit of Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France) to create a reference base for measuring the impact of property developments on biodiversity, Bouygues Construction was a centrepiece in the launch in 2013 of the International Biodiversity & Property Council (CIBI), a non-profit body comprising sector stakeholders (such as investors, property investment companies, design offices, builders, equipment and vegetation suppliers, and environmental protection charities). CIBI exists to promote urban biodiversity through the award of BiodiverCity®, a new quality label that exhibits the biodiversity performance of property developments. This new label was trialled at Challenger.
- In services, for the last two years Bouygues Energies & Services has operated a sustainable lighting partnership with Noé Conservation to reduce light pollution, which disrupts the life-cycles of many species of animal and can alter their behaviour. This partnership in 2013 led to the launch of the Sustainable Lighting Charter for local authorities. It was implemented with regard to several operations, e.g. street lighting systems in Paris and Longjumeau.
- Getting involved in collective action for protecting biodiversity
Bouygues Construction has forged ties with various non-profit organisations and selectively takes part in projects by contributing its building experience. Examples include working with NatureParif and Lille Catholic University (for built-up areas) and the bird protection society, Noé Conservation (for urban biodiversity) and Orée.
Alongside the Surfrider Foundation Europe, the Bouygues Telecom Foundation and its volunteers have for the past seven years taken part in Initiatives Océanes (the Oceans Initiative), a major eco-citizenship campaign to help protect oceans from waste
by cleaning up beaches, lakes and rivers both in France and worldwide. As a partner of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation (FNH) since 2005, the Bouygues Telecom Foundation supports action under the latter’s Biodiversity programme.
Analysis of Colas' direct impact on biodiversity from its operations has resulted in a focus on quarries and gravel pits. Initiatives may take two forms:
- implementing and tracking efforts to promote and facilitate the existence and habitats of protected animal or plant species on site;
- installing beehives on site.
All these actions must be carried out in partnership with local stakeholders such as beekeepers, conservationists, nature reserves and NGOs. In 2013, 41% of sales before inter-company eliminations were covered by an initiative protecting biodiversity.
At the moment, more than 90 protected species are present on extraction sites operated by the Colas group of companies, in addition to 30 or so sites hosting beehives. The increase in this indicator shows that real progress has been made.
Trials are being carried out whereby Colas work crews are called on to tackle invasive vegetation. An increasing number of subsidiaries worldwide are looking into this issue from various angles.
Recognition of biodiversity issues at TF1 consists primarily of raising awareness among the general public.
Aside from the programme Ushuaïa, which has been on French screens for 20 years, the various channels and websites operated by TF1 raise awareness among viewers all year long about the environment and biodiversity, in many different types of programmes. In 2013, together with the Endowment Fund for Biodiversity, TF1 took part in the Atlas de la biodiversité (Biodiversity Atlas) initiative by jointly organising the award ceremony at the TF1 headquarters.
(Updated: January 2016)
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