Bouygues Construction’s earthworks and civil works activities are those most concerned by land management and use. R&D programmes on soil treatment and the reuse of soil on site are used to reduce impacts caused by pollution and digging. Research and trials relating to soil reinforcement, especially on river banks (in partnership with BASF), have also been carried out.
Widespread soil decontamination reduces waste and avoids using new replacement materials.
An increasing number of major infrastructure projects include biodiversity requirements that define measures to be taken to avoid damage to local wildlife and plants.
Bouygues Construction has started several initiatives on responsible land use, most notably under the auspices of its property development subsidiary, Sodearif, which takes part in the multi-disciplinary property development forum Urban Land Institute (ULI), whose mission is “to provide leadership in the intelligent and responsible use of land whilst protecting biodiversity”.
Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France has developed two products that address the challenge, using high-rise buildings to increase density: a university hall of residence and Totem (a mixed-use tower block containing offices and other types of premises). Operating unit Brézillon won the Rhéa 2 competition set by the “Plan Urbanisme Construction Architecture” for its project rehabilitating 19th century apartment buildings through elevation techniques (creating timber lofts).
Bouygues Immobilier conducts field surveys ahead of operations to determine soil type and ensure the absence of the following:
- the storage of chemical or radioactive substances,
- pollution that could result from current or past operations or from a nearby installation subject to authorisation,
- dumped or buried waste or any substance that could be hazardous or detrimental to human health or the environment.
The presence of any form of soil or subsoil pollution can lead to the cancellation of land purchase contracts. An exemption may only be granted upon prior authorisation of the vetting committee.
Bouygues Telecom, in partnership with other operators, plays an active part in network-sharing programmes in sparsely populated areas.
This makes it possible to pool usage of increasingly high-performance equipment, optimise the number of base stations and share costs. It also provides for optimum quality and long-term competition on services. Another advantage is limiting the impact of base stations on the land.
Colas chiefly operates on existing road surfaces, which it either maintains or modifies. New infrastructure accounts for a relatively small share of sales (estimated at less than 10%), and Colas often does not have control over land because it is provided by the customer, even in the context of concessions or PPPs.
As such, Colas has no direct impact on land use, since ownership of the land remains in the hands of the project owner. All quarries and gravel pits are rehabilitated at the end of their productive life and many are redeveloped as work progresses, before production ceases.
(Updated: January 2016)