Bouygues has identified the risks and opportunities stemming from climate change and dwindling fossil fuel resources and has framed an energy/carbon strategy. In order to measure the impacts of its activities and implement priority reduction measures, in 2012 Bouygues published its first consolidated analysis of greenhouse gas emissions.
An energy/carbon strategy committee was set up in 2007 as a forum for sharing best practices on ways of reducing CO2 emissions and drawing up sales arguments for low-carbon products.
To understand the future impacts of climate change on the conditions in which it operates, the Bouygues group has been a partner and active member of The Shift Project, a multidisciplinary network of experts and economic agents with acknowledged energy and climate-change skills, since its inception in 2011. This think-tank carries out economic and scientific research and drafts summary reports.
In 2013, a working group from The Shift Project drew up a report on building thermal renovation and submitted a range of proposals to the French government, including the creation of a thermal renovation “passport”.
Through its energy-carbon strategy, Bouygues Construction participates in the management of risks relating to climate change and offers new products and services to customers. R&D programmes are under way to develop new insulation materials and technologies. Lastly, Bouygues Construction takes climatic issues into account in its offerings, and factors in the findings of scientific research into climate change, in order to ensure the long-term viability of buildings and their facilities.
Total emissions for Bouygues Construction in 2013 were 3.02 million tonnes of CO2 eq. This figure, encompassing Scopes 1, 2 and 3.a, corresponds to the sum of emissions resulting from:
- the operation of Bouygues Construction’s headquarters and regional offices (5% of emissions), relating to energy, goods and services, freight, travel and fixed assets;
- the projects of Bouygues Construction entities. For each project added to the CarbonEco® measurement application, the total calculated for CO2 emissions (relating to energy, inputs, freight, site crew travel, fixed assets and waste) is prorated to the duration of the project. To generate sales of €1 million, Bouygues Construction emitted 285 tonnes of CO2 eq. (vs. 318 in 2012).
To strengthen its commitment and give structure to its various initiatives, Bouygues Construction implements its policy around three avenues:
- Reducing carbon emissions linked to internal operations
Although internal processes are responsible for a far lower proportion of total CO2 emissions (5%), Bouygues Construction is keen to foster initiatives that:
- reduce the impact of staff travel. Initiatives include the corporate travel plan at Challenger (the head office of Bouygues Construction), electric vehicles, and analysis of new working methods such as working from home, mobile working and telecentres;
- shrinking the energy footprint of headquarters and regional offices. Innovative technology is in place at Challenger, in Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines, leading to a ten-fold reduction in the site’s energy consumption, and at subsidiary head offices (Norpac, Quille and Bouygues Energies & Services). This technology aims to reduce energy use and optimise on resources, leading to a reduced carbon footprint for the buildings concerned.
- Reducing carbon emissions related to the construction of structures
This item accounts for 95% of CO2 emissions at Bouygues Construction, making it a priority for action. Current R&D programmes are looking into optimising grey energy (by reducing the amount of carbon in materials used through solutions such as low-carbon concrete and timber structures) and increasing the use of renewable energy in buildings. For example, the Autonomous Building for Citizens (ABC) project aims for full energy independence in a building through better building envelopes and renewable energy sources. A prototype is planned for Grenoble, in partnership with the municipal authority.
- Reducing emissions relating from use of products and services and operations nationwide
Fostering renovation projects, promoting more efficient construction projects and inter-connecting buildings and urban districts (through micro grids and smart grids) are all steps towards a low-carbon society. To measure its carbon footprint and offer eco-friendly alternatives to customers, Bouygues Construction has developed CarbonEco®. More than 100 people have been trained to use this in-house application. The CarbonEco® database contains more than 2,000 score cards, 902 of which had an impact in the 2013 measurement.
In order to tailor projects to the effects of climate change, Bouygues Immobilier factors bioclimatic architecture into its large-scale developments (research into the best location, choice of efficient insulating materials and the use of renewable energy sources).Bouygues Immobilier’s energy-carbon strategy aims to limit the company’s impacts.
Carbon balance audits are carried out for residential and office property developments. So that the energy-carbon strategy has a material effect after buildings have been handed over and to give customers the means for optimising consumption and emissions on a daily basis, Bouygues Immobilier has developed an application, SI@GO, that tracks energy use in office buildings after delivery. An energy-tracking system, with results displayed locally and via the internet, is being tested in two residential developments.
The first fully-fledged carbon audit (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) was carried out in 2009. Since then, on the basis of the results, Bouygues Immobilier has implemented action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In designing eco-neighbourhoods, for example, the company has entered into partnership with the Carbone 4 consultancy to offer eco-friendly alternatives, concerning aspects such as materials and soft mobility, in order to reduce the carbon footprint.
Lastly, in 2012 Bouygues Immobilier opted to anticipate upcoming regulations by publishing its corporate carbon balance audit, with an extended scope covering all emissions relating to operations. In connection with this, Bouygues Immobilier introduced action plans along with targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with regard to staff travel and computer installations, which together represent over 50% of total emissions. Bouygues Immobilier is targeting a 10% reduction in these corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 2015, and has brought forward its next Scope 3 carbon balance audit by one year to 2014.
Annually since 2007, Bouygues Telecom has updated its audit of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by its operations (Scope 3 every three years) and has published this since 2011. Reductions mainly target energy efficiency on sites and optimised staff travel, which involves all-electric car-sharing, working from home and video conferencing.
Furthermore, Bouygues Telecom has set up an emergency response procedure in case of severe damage to network infrastructure from weather-related events. At the same time, the operator has for many years been testing solutions for using renewable energy sources such as solar panels and fuel cells to power base stations. Eight such sites have been established to date.
Given the profile of Colas' businesses, tailoring the infrastructure that it builds or maintains to climate change depends on customers’ standards and specifications. Working in a wide range of geographical locations, Colas is familiar with the operating and dimensioning constraints imposed by harsh climates.
Colas based the calculation of its carbon footprint on Scope 3.a under ISO 14064 and the GHG Protocol guidelines. The scope of calculation covers all of the upstream activities of its business lines. The impact of road traffic on infrastructure maintained or built by the company is high, unquantifiable and beyond Colas’ control. As a result, Scope 3.b has not been applied.
Colas has defined two priorities:
• controlling the energy consumption required for its activities and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions thus generated. Energy efficiency improvements are being sought by taking action to limit fuel consumption and burner consumption at asphalt mixing plants.
• reducing the energy and greenhouse gas content of products and technologies proposed to customers. To help reduce its own carbon footprint and that of its customers, Colas is drawing on innovation and R&D to make more environment-friendly products:
- warm asphalt and asphalt mixes: by reducing the temperature significantly, these products save 10-30% on energy while reducing bitumen-fume emissions by 70-90%;
- in-place recycling of pavement. This technique reduces greenhouse gas emissions by saving on input materials and reducing the need for haulage;
- Végéroute® products: these products, developed by Colas laboratories, use plant-based instead of oil-based components;
- recovery of pavement for use in production of asphalt mixes: bitumen is reclaimed from used pavement by recycling coatings, thereby reducing consumption of crude oil (from which bitumen is made). In 2013, in addition to aggregates, Colas group-wide recovered some 230,000 tonnes of bitumen, equivalent to the annual bitumen output of a medium-sized refinery.
- the development of EcologicieL®, the first tool for offering low-carbon alternatives in roadbuilding. It played an important role in designing Seve®, an eco-comparison tool used by the entire road industry in France. Accredited for public procurement, it ensures a level playing-field for customers selecting eco-friendly alternatives; the eco-friendly alternatives proposed by Colas in 2013 represented 6,000 tonnes of CO2 not emitted. To date, the recycling of bitumen recovered from demolitions and road planing is the largest source of CO2 savings, avoiding the emission of 93,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2013. In most countries, except France, eco-friendly alternatives are not permitted at the tendering stage. Colas endeavours to promote this outside France, but is encountering obstacles in the current economic climate faced by project owners.
At TF1, greenhouse gas emissions are restricted by a plan for reducing power consumption
(targeting a 1% reduction annually), environmental criteria in guidelines for computer hardware and broadcasting-related purchases, and by the travel plan that has been in force since 2010.
(Updated: January 2016)
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