Innovation and partnerships
In France, 2013 was marked by a wide-ranging debate on the topic of energy transition in which the Bouygues group took part by making proposals and contributing its expertise in terms of active and passive energy efficiency in buildings and the operation of buildings with performance guarantees. To meet these challenges, the Group has implemented various initiatives:
- In 2011, Alstom and Bouygues, through its subsidiaries Bouygues Immobilier and Bouygues Energies & Services, founded Embix (lien: //www.embix.fr/), a company that provides energy management services for eco-neighbourhoods.
- A Group-wide energy purchasing committee, founded in 2011, on which sit representatives of all business areas plus Alstom, is improving energy sourcing procedures. The committee promotes energy efficiency initiatives, such as energy saving certificates and energy management systems that comply with the ISO 50001 standard, and the use of renewable energy sources and demand response measures. Tangible results were achieved by the business areas in 2013, namely contract pooling, consolidation of energy bills and the roll-out of solutions with energy-saving certificates.
- The Group limits the amount of power consumed by its IT resources and develops those usages which result in a reduction in the environmental footprint. For example, the Group-wide Green IT(1) committee, set up in 2011, aims to facilitate the sharing of best practices. In 2013, the committee tracked three indicators that are available on the corporate website www.bouygues.com (“Corporate Social Responsibility”, “Green IT” section, “Interview with Henri de Chazournes”):
– the percentage of workstations that have an eco-label;
– the video conferencing utilisation rate;
– PUE (power usage effectiveness), which allows for a swift assessment of a data centre’s energy efficiency.
In addition, every Group business area is promoting electronic data interchange and the pooling of IT resources through virtualisation and cloud usage.
(1) Green IT aims to reduce the environmental footprint of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It offers a way of taking the energy requirements and energy costs of ICT equipment into consideration, including both the equipment itself and how it is used.
Bouygues Construction has made energy performance a key aspect of its sustainable construction strategy, and a rising number of its projects carry energy performance commitments (60 in 2013).
- Design: performance commitments
By promoting environmental certifications, Bouygues Construction rolls out high-performance solutions to reduce and manage energy consumption, with increasing use of renewable energy sources. In 2013, Bouygues Entreprises France-Europe launched a residential property rehabilitation offer, called Réavenir, which has three commitments – one of which is reducing collective and individual energy bills. Under the PPP contract for the future headquarters of the French Ministry of Defence, Bouygues Construction is making a 27– year pledge on energy performance applying to usage that exceeds the standards of current thermal regulations. In addition, Bouygues Construction in 2013 delivered one of the first positive-energy secondary school buildings (the Clisson school, near Nantes), which combines timber with concrete.
This energy performance strategy is also being applied on the scale of a neighbourhood or a whole town. For example, the company has taken part in the creation of IssyGrid® (in Issy-les-Moulineaux) and has developed the CityBox® (an innovation that allows for an improved energy performance of public lighting system as well as offering new services), which has been implemented in five cities in France.
- Construction: applying Ecosite scheme
One of the 11 Ecosite standards concerns worksite consumption. This standard takes account of various aspects of electricity and fuel consumption.
- Operation: controlling final energy consumption
To keep control of consumption, it is important to factor in building usage, operation and maintenance from the design stage. Many initiatives have been taken to help customers make sustainable use of the buildings handed over. Here are some examples:
- Hypervision®: a software application that tracks and manages the energy performance of buildings in use. This has been implemented in several buildings in France. Deployment outside France began last year.
- Green Office® Meudon: the first positive-energy office building in France, incorporating an energy-performance contract.
- Energy-Pass®: a cost-control application that measures heating, hot water and electricity consumption, guarantees a building’s real energy performance and raises awareness amongst users.
- Research and development
R&D programmes aim to reduce consumption in new and renovated buildings through the use of diagnostic, design and measurement tools that lay the foundation for a genuine commitment to energy performance. Bouygues Construction is working on solutions for alternative energy production (e.g. the use of renewable sources), energy pooling and energy storage at building and neighbourhood level.
Bouygues Construction also studies the usage of existing buildings. The Chair in Sustainable Construction and Innovation fosters research into occupier behaviour patterns in order to find ways of managing energy consumption more efficiently, as well as multi-criteria management models that help to optimise usage, costs and the related CO2 emissions.
Lastly, Bouygues Construction has plans to build a “heating-free building” prototype in France. This will be insulated in such a way that the premises will not require a heating installation, which goes one better than passive buildings.
At Bouygues Immobilier, in the area of energy consumption:
- Positive-energy certification: in anticipation of 2020 Responsible Building regulations in France, Bouygues Immobilier’s goal is to design buildings whose net energy consumption is zero, through the production of power from renewable sources and exemplary levels of energy efficiency. In the commercial property segment, Green Office® Meudon completed its first year of positive-energy operation at the end of 2012. Bouygues Immobilier has a target according to which, by 2015, 20% of its total delivered surface area with regard to commercial property will be Green Office®;
- Rehabilitation: in 2009, Bouygues Immobilier launched the Rehagreen® scheme for commercial property. Based on a comprehensive multi-criteria assessment of the building, this scheme rehabilitates existing buildings and, at the same time, improves their environmental performance. Bouygues Immobilier has pledged to ensure that 30% of the surface area of its commercial property handovers is covered by Rehagreen®;
- Energy efficiency:
- Energy consumption is a core issue in the design of new sustainable neighbourhoods. The full range of operational technologies is used to optimise energy performance;
- Bouygues Immobilier has introduced Energy Performance Contracts (EPC), which guarantee a building’s energy-efficiency credentials in the long term. These contracts commit the operator and tenant to a specific amount of charges, calculated according to the building’s energy balance. Initially used by local authorities to manage the energy consumption of public buildings, EPCs are now being extended to the private sector. Bouygues Immobilier has made them part of its Green Office® programmes.
- Smart grids mark the next step towards greater urban energy efficiency. Intelligent urban networks or smart grids involve the use of cutting-edge information technology to manage and optimise electricity production and distribution at district level. Located in the Seine Ouest business district in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, IssyGrid® is France’s first district smart grid.
An energy-efficiency policy has been in place for several years at Bouygues Telecom based on three principles:
- curbing energy consumption by administrative sites, base stations and data centres;
- implementation of energy management systems. Three sites to date have been awarded ISO 50001 certification for their energy management systems;
- energy optimisation of products. Bouygues Telecom is a partner in IssyGrid® (near Paris), for which it supplies equipment used for managing home power consumption. In July 2013, Bouygues Telecom unveiled B.Domo, an application that will be part of the home-automation suite of services in a new building in Cachan, near Paris. B.Domo tracks power consumption in real time and can be used for controlling heating remotely.
In 2012, Colas launched a programme called cLEANergie to measure and generate energy savings throughout its group of companies. Research carried out in this context revealed that three-quarters of Colas’ direct energy use is divided more or less evenly between burners at asphalt plants and consumption by plant and vehicles. In 2013, Colas introduced an upgrade to its data collection systems.
This data collection will be effective as from 2014, with steady improvements in reliability planned for 2015, at which point data will also be auditable. An initial estimate for the consumption budget is around €600m.
Colas systematically measures fuel use by burners at asphalt mixing plants in around 500 installations. Besides eco-friendly alternatives, the following techniques are used to achieve indirect energy savings:
- warm asphalt mixes, which save some 15% in production-related energy relative to hot mixes. Warm asphalt mixes made by Colas accounted for 17% of total output in 2013, up by 4% versus 2012;
- use of recycled materials, especially reclaimed asphalt (planed materials from old road pavement), which saves on bitumen, aggregates and haulage as well as generating production gains. This leads to energy savings, if the entire lifecycle is taken into account;
- in-place recycling of pavement, which also saves on energy as well as materials and haulage costs
Colas is also working in two other areas:
- measurement tools: electricity accounts for only a small proportion of the total energy footprint. Energy efficiency also implies measuring fossil fuel consumption. While it is relatively simple to monitor burner consumption at asphalt plants, it is much more complicated to monitor the consumption of the 65,000-plus items of plant and vehicles used on 1,700 production sites and works centres. With this in mind, Colas is fitting plant and vehicles with consumption-monitoring systems. The number fitted out rose two-fold between 2012 and 2013, from 2,000 to over 4,000;
- involving employees: Colas has set a target for vehicle drivers and plant operators to reduce fuel consumption by 20% through eco-driving techniques and by encouraging drivers not to leave engines idling. An eco-driving module is included in all continuous training programmes offered to drivers. In addition, drivers of trucks and plant operators attend specific courses.
Colas also uses rail or waterway transport for its own needs. However, since the real scope for any transfer between transport modes is limited, its priority is to improve the environmental performance of each one, applying a policy of technical innovation that favours a balanced, multi-modal approach. The volume of materials transported by rail or on waterways avoids placing 370,000 30t trucks into circulation. The cLEANergie programme also has a great deal of support at work sites and production sites, with a growing range of initiatives and efficiency indicators.
(Updated: June 2016)