Water consumption

In 2013, the Group took steps to calculate its “water footprint” and introduced a new indicator, “Total water consumption”. This figure corresponds to the consumption of each business area, except Colas. Each business area provides the total volume of water used by units operated by entities (e.g. headquarters and worksite living quarters) and worksites, both in France and abroad. In each business area, water management is tailored to local contexts. Due to the high number of projects in place (close to 110,000), their features (temporary and small-scale) and the nature of water consumption (immaterial and governed by technical norms), Colas has no plans to instigate measuring on a global scale.

Bouygues Construction

Bouygues Construction’s activities have a dual impact on water resources:

  • Water used on worksites during the building phase

One of the 11 Ecosite standards addresses the issue of resource management, including water. Recommended actions in this respect include reporting leaks, controlled watering and water-supply control boxes.

  • Controlling customers’ water consumption, in both the design phase (decision) and operation (outcomes).

Environmental certifications on buildings built by Bouygues Construction (awarded to 58% of the order intake) systematically contain water consumption targets. Innovations introduced in these structures aim to reduce the amount of water needed for operation, to manage water consumption and to recover rainwater.

An initial background assessment on water consumption and supply, depending on water-stress levels, will be conducted in 2014.

Bouygues Immobilier

Water management is a major concern for Bouygues Immobilier when designing and building its programmes.

Residential and commercial programmes with HQE® certification must deal with this issue. Some programmes make provision for recovery and storage of rainwater, which is then used to irrigate grounds and/or green roofs, as in the Ginko eco-neighbourhood in Bordeaux.


The issue of water use varies in importance from one part of the world to another and is covered by ISO 14001 criteria. In the drought-prone regions where Colas operates (southern Africa, Algeria, Australia, California, Chile, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Morocco, New Caledonia and Tunisia), a survey was conducted with regard to the subsidiaries concerned. The initial estimate of water consumption in these regions stands at some 0.5m litres annually. In each case, pressure on local water resources is therefore very low (under 1%).

Action plans are being implemented for limiting all kinds of wastage in sensitive areas and for promoting recirculation and recycling. Colas is furthermore implementing a strict policy for protecting surface and ground water from pollution arising at production sites or due to maintenance. This policy meets the demanding criteria set forth by Colas checklists. As a result, close to 30% of sales before inter-company eliminations, relating to materials production worldwide, complies with these requirements in their entirety. Technology marketed by Dust-A-Side, a South African company specialising in the maintenance of mining trails, with operations from Chile to Australia, makes it possible to save 80% more water than using conventional dust-control and trail-maintenance techniques.

(Updated: January 2016)