3-7 place de l’Europe
tel : +33 1 34 65 89 89
fax : 01 34 65 85 90
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
Eiffage is one of Europe’s leading operators in construction and concessions, with more than 100,000 projects in France and around the world in 2018. 70,400 employees work in construction, real estate, urban development, civil engineering, metallic construction, roads, energy systems and concessions. The company is divided into four divisions and eight business lines:
- Construction (Eiffage Construction, Eiffage Immobilier, Eiffage Aménagement)
Their teams leverage all of their innovative abilities to bring to life the most complex projects and shape the future of urban development, property development, construction, maintenance and works and services. They work in close, long-term partnerships with all the stakeholders in the market and with clients from both the private and public sectors.
- Infrastructure (Eiffage Route, Eiffage Génie Civil, Eiffage Métal)
The Infrastructure division possesses all the requisite skills to design and build onshore and offshore infrastructure. Its teams are also specialists in engineering and erecting building shells and metal structures, as well as rolling out multi-technical solutions for all the industrial sectors.
- Energy Systems (Eiffage Énergie Systèmes)
They are inventing a future with a more human perspective by facilitating the energy transition and inventing the energy of the future. Their Energy Systems division designs, builds, operates and maintains sustainable electrical, industrial, HVAC and energy equipment and systems. Eiffage Énergie Systèmes has developed bespoke offerings for a range of markets including industry, networks and infrastructure, towns and local authorities, and the commercial sector.
- Concessions (Eiffage Concessions Motorway concessions in France)
Concession operations involve developing new partnership models to benefit users. This division specialises in operating motorway concessions and managing large infrastructure projects, public facilities, buildings and urban developments. The division finances, designs, builds, maintains and services structures. The motorway concessions in France operate motorways and toll structures under government-awarded concessions.
Company Sustainable Activity
-REDUCING THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
→ Spreading a culture of managing environmental risks
Experts and tools designed for operational staff
- Environmental matters are addressed by the Sustainable Development and Traversal Innovation Department (SDTI)
Sharing knowledge to better protect the environment with
- Enviro’tour : a large scale internal awareness programme
- A new sustainable development training programme
- Environmental certification, the first step in environmental management
- Group divisions continue to secure and renew ISO 14001 environmental management certification for all entities, and ISO 50001 energy management certification for industrial, maintenance and building energy management activities, with the aim of developing improved environmental and energy performance standards.
- New tools to support environmental management
- Two new digital tools, collectively called En Vigilance (On Alert), were provided in the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019 to replace the Geode operational environmental management tool previously used. The first allows each establishment and activity to meet regulatory monitoring requirements, and the other is used to coordinate environmental analyses and action plans.
- Investment and environmental initiatives
- These investments focus on prevention equipment, decontamination equipment and more energy-efficient noise reduction equipment. Operational spending on preventive measures such as environmental assessments and equipment purchasing has also been approved. Investments are made and followed up via ISO 14001 procedures. More specifically, the Group has been investing in its own property and industrial facilities for several years to reduce energy costs and cut associated greenhouse gas emissions.
→ Stronger and broader biodiversity strategy
Biodiversity – a central focus of the Group’s businesses
- For example: w nature spots were set up at the Stinkal site in partnership with the Caps et Marais d’Opale Regional Nature Park and the Hauts-de France regional chapter of the French National Union of Quarries Industries and Building Materials (Unicem) to restore the functions of wetlands that are home to various species of amphibians. The Industries/Quarries Environment department of the Infrastructure division works with France’s Professional Union of Ecological Engineering (UPGE) to improve consideration for the species that live on these sites while ensuring the viability of operations;
Eiffage Energia new bird conservation agreement
- In application of a decree that sets measures to protect birds from colliding with and being electrocuted by high-voltage power lines, the Spanish subsidiary Eiffage Energía signed a new bird conservation agreement with Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment to bring its high-voltage power lines into compliance with the new technical requirements. The agreement was signed in 2018 and will last two years once formally in effect. It may be extended for up to four years, totalling an estimated €2 million. The programme involves adapting the high-voltage overhead power lines equipped with bare conductors listed in the inventory of dangerous lines.
- In addition to obtaining eco-labels for Smartseille, Eiffage promotes and integrates urban biodiversity in its property developments. First and foremost is its registered office in Vélizy-Villacoublay in the outskirts of Paris. In May 2018, the site was granted the BiodiverCity® Construction label, the leading international certification awarded to property construction and renovation projects that meet standards for integrating biodiversity into the design phase. The label is overseen by the International Biodiversity and Property Council (IBPC), of which Eiffage is a member.
Biodiversity Construction label awarded to the Eiffage registered office
- The many landscaping creation and groundskeeping initiatives taken since the Pierre Berger campus opened in Vélizy-Villacoublay near Paris in 2015 have transformed the site from one of poor ecological value to one with very high potential. A richly varied environment with trees, prairies, hedgerows, flowerbeds, ditches, the campus now features 147 plant and seed species, 70% of which are local varieties, and 91 large trees. In addition, 2,500 m2 of green roofing was installed, along with an innovative system of plant covered geogrids for very steep slopes. The site’s environmental management encourages spontaneous vegetation and eco-friendly grazing, and a communal vegetable patch has also been created.
Construction plan for 19 large wildlife crossings
- The motorway investment plan approved by the French government in early November 2018 includes the construction of 19 large wildlife crossings, with 16 on the APRR network and three on the AREA network, representing a total investment of €70.4 million and €13.2 million, respectively. The crossings are planned to open in 2021 and 2022.
Training, awareness and employee engagement
- Bioterre master’s degree
- 3 internal sustainability training courses
- MOOC on ecological engineering
- Employee engagement
Innovative approach in core construction business and participation in fundamental and applied science relating to biodiversity
Creation of natural regeneration zones at motorway rest areas
- Areas occupied by a single species of tree, often planted the same year, are more fragile and vulnerable to disease and storms. That is why APRR has created regeneration plots in the undergrowth at rest areas along the A6 and A71 motorways. Such plots are bordered by chestnut trees and human presence is minimised to allow the young plants to grow naturally. Information boards presenting the “Letting nature flourish” programme have been posted for users.
Knowledge sharing and involvement with progress circles
- The Group develops its network of partners through:
→ official partnerships: Humanité et Biodiversité, LPO, IBPC, Ceebios, BBOP;
→ discussions on strategy and techniques: AFB, France’s Natural History Museum, FRB, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, UPGE;
→ support measures: replacement of diseased plane trees along the Canal du Midi with France’s navigation authority (VNF) in 2018, sponsorship programmes to support wildlife protection centres, such as the Athenas Centre for the Eurasian lynx and other organisations that care for tortoises, such as the Hermann’s tortoise in southern France;
→ participation in non-profit and inter-company focus groups: Orée (French business and environmental management platform), CILB, CDC Biodiversité and the Biodiversity Economics Mission (MEB), Medef (French employer’s association), the French national federation of public works (FNTP), association of French construction companies (EGF-BTP), French Building Federation (FFB), etc.
- A clear international thrust is being put into motion for the years to come:
→ Eiffage actively participates in the BBOP on ecological offsetting issues, Mitigation Hierarchy programme (avoid, reduce, offset sequence to mitigate environmental impacts), Net Positive Impact target, and development of biodiversity indicators (work under way at CDC Biodiversité and its Club B4B+).
→ Promotion of the BiodiverCity® label outside France with the IBPC, environmental labels for buildings (HQE®, BREEAM®, LEED®, etc.) that do not factor in many biodiversity concerns.
→ Preserving resources and contributing to the circular economy
Support programs and internal competition
- Eiffage supports and implements initiatives aimed at reducing its global environmental footprint. First and foremost, employees endeavour to reduce the use of raw materials as much as possible, and use them sustainably once they are extracted. They also encourage reuse and recycling programmes internally or in partnership with local structures.
- To develop this policy, Eiffage organised a Best of the Circular Economy in-house competition in 2018 to survey existing innovative practices and pool them together. More than 20 initiatives were identified in the competition, such as the RéaVie platform, which saved 30 tonnes of material and equipment from going to waste, and the Worksite flea market website, created by Eiffage’s civil engineers to develop the reuse of leftover materials from completed worksites. In collaboration with Cerema, Eiffage Route teams in northern France developed concrete blocks made entirely of recycled materials and incineration ash.
Using paper mill ash to build roads
- Several Eiffage Route worksites in eastern France reuse incinerator ash from the Norske Skog paper mill operating out of Golbey as a material to build roads. As such, this waste from incinerators is given a second life while reducing the extraction of new materials. This project required extensive regulatory guidance as it had to be ascertained that the ash was not harmful to the environment. The French Regional Department of the Environment, Planning and Housing (Dréal) and the retirement insurance and health fund (Carsat) also had to grant their authorisation to establish safe handling and operating procedures for Eiffage Route employees. Any specific environmental and water use requirements are checked before each worksite is launched.
Quarries are developing recovery of inert construction waste
- The 80 Eiffage Route quarries increasingly offer a service to recover inert construction and civil engineering waste, carefully applying waste acceptance procedures. Materials are either recycled or, if they cannot be reused, go towards rehabilitating sites or are sent to permanent waste storage facilities. Waste recovery also optimises the rotation of lorries, as they arrive loaded with worksite waste and leave with new materials. As such, the lifecycle of these materials is effectively closed.
Reuse of defective products to reduce waste
- Bags and boxes of Micalfat, a crack-bridging binder used to repair roads, are often disposed of if they cannot be sold due to defects in appearance or quality. Eiffage Route Centre Est produces a special material to melt 500 kg of the products a day and re inject it into the storage vat for reconditioning. This reduces disposal to only a few bags and boxes. This solution features three key advantages: waste is eliminated internally, defective products are recycled, and old, unsold products are recovered.
- KEY FIGURES AND TARGETS
- Eiffage must reduce its GHG emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) by 33% in 2030 compared to 2017 levels, in order to remain on the 2°C trajectory, with annual growth projections of 2.4%
- 8,500 tonnes of waste processed annually by their Noé waste sorting and recovery platform in Bordeaux
- 1,950 additional car-pooling spaces planned by 2021 by APRR and AREA
- 100% of old bitumen road surfaces can be recycled using Recytal-ARM
- 19 new wildlife crossings planned on the APRR and AREA networks
- ISO 14001 (Eiffage Infrastructures)
- ISO 50001 (Eiffage Infrastructures)
Sustainable Development Goals
How company covers SDGs
Between 2019 and April 2020:
- 57% increase in total production of solar power in France and Internationally
- 9% increase in total production of wind power in France and Internationally
- 15% increase in production of solar power in France only
- 7% increase in production of wind power in France only
Eiffage company appears committed to sustainability. Although they barely mention clear targets and the progress achieved, they do have interesting initiatives to be a more sustainable company. They do not clearly link their sustainable measures to the SDGs. They do not hold primary certificates, and they do not hold any awards and are not listed any of the sustainability listings. We are expecting a better communication from them in the months to come, otherwise they might be accused of greenwashing. For now, they achieve the rating B.