Currently concentrating 50% of the world’s population, rising to 70% by 2050, cities have become the principal ecosystem of humanity. Particularly demanding in terms of energy and natural resources, they hold a significant share of responsibility for our ecological footprint and are at the origin of 70% of global CO2 emissions relating to final energy consumption.
This means that cities have a key part to play in implementing the energy transition. Because local development policies and innovations are experienced concretely in neighbourhoods, WWF France is working alongside players in the public and private sectors for the development of sustainable neighbourhoods. The challenge is double: it consists in reducing the ecological footprint of the neighbourhoods at the same time as improving the quality of life of their residents.
The renewal of the partnership between WWF France and Bouygues Construction focuses on the aims of reducing the ecological footprint of cities and innovating to introduce new models of urban development.
As a responsible and committed construction company, Bouygues Construction places sustainable development at the heart of its strategy. On a day-to-day basis, it forms an integral part of its operational processes, its actions and its commercial offers. Two of the most important topics in this policy are the responsible purchasing of wood and research into sustainable cities.
“Reinventing cities”: implementing the energy transition at local level
For the past three years, Bouygues Construction has been a partner of the Reinventing Cities initiative. The first phase of the partnership enabled us to show concretely the possibilities of an ambitious social and environmental approach through four pilot neighbourhood projects: the Mathurins Hill in Bagneux; the Les Noés eco-village in Val-de-Reuil; the Digital Stage development at Thiais-Pont de Rungis; and the Garden City Block in Paris (the first zero-carbon neighbourhood project in Paris, a winner in the capital’s “Reinventing Paris” call for projects).
The approach is based on a systemic, integrated policy that breaks down into ten principles of sustainability and ensures that the end-user at the heart of the project’s concerns.
The aim now of the second phase of the partnership is to roll out this approach on a larger scale by incorporating WWF France’s targets and indicators as part of Bouygues Construction’s internal project evaluation tools. This will help us to guarantee that a maximum number of Bouygues Construction’s neighbourhood projects will prove themselves exemplary, both in terms of the environment and of quality of use, and thus raise the level of general ambition in the Group’s approach to project development. The collaboration between WWF France and Bouygues Construction also aims to improved practices in areas that have become essential, such as the circular economy, adaptation to climate change, new forms of mobility and responsible digital technology.
Responsible trade in timber
As part of its efforts to bring down its carbon footprint, the Bouygues Construction Group is increasingly required to procure timber products for its construction sites. The partnership seeks to ensure that these purchases do not represent a risk for the world’s forests, the people who depend on them and the biodiversity they shelter. This entails guaranteeing the eradication of timber at high risk of illegality and improving responsible procurement, chiefly by increasing the quantities of certified timber purchased, first and foremost FSC-certified timber.
By the volumes it purchases and by its positioning as a leader in sustainable construction, Bouygues Construction has a major part to play in supporting the responsible development of the timber sector.
“Humanity currently consumes more than one-and-a-half times what the planet is able to provide us with in terms of resources, and 50% of it is concentrated in cities. This makes it urgent for us to offer city-dwellers a living environment that both guarantees them a good quality of life and preserves the planet. After working with Bouygues Construction for three years on developing concrete solutions for more sustainable neighbourhoods, we are now setting goals for generalising our environmental approach to urban projects and making these solutions widely available in the regions.”
“Our new agreement gives a further boost to the ongoing collaboration between WWF France and Bouygues Construction teams, which has already been in effect for three years. It is constructive and ambitious, and will allow us to make even more improvements in designing and constructing sustainable neighbourhoods so that we are more able to meet the expectations of communities and the populations living or working in these neighbourhoods.”
About Bouygues Construction:
Bouygues Construction is a global player in construction, with operations in more than 80 countries. It designs, builds and operates projects in the sectors of building, infrastructure and industry. As a responsible and committed leader in sustainable construction, Bouygues Construction sees innovation as its primary source of added value: this is “shared innovation” that benefits its customers at the same time as improving its productivity and the working conditions of its 50,100 employees. In 2016, Bouygues Construction generated sales of €11.8 billion.
About WWF France:
WWF is one of the very first independent environmental-protection organisations in the world. With an active network in more than 100 countries and the support of 6 million members worldwide, the WWF works to halt the destruction of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future where people live in harmony with nature by protecting global biological diversity, ensuring sustainable use of renewable natural resources and encouraging the reduction of pollution and waste.
Since 1973, WWF France has worked every day to ensure future generations enjoy a living planet. With the support of its volunteers and its 220,000 donors, WWF France organises concrete actions to save natural ecosystems and their species, ensure the promotion of sustainable lifestyles, train decision- makers, help businesses reduce their environmental footprint and educate the young. But for change to be accepted, it must take place in a manner that respects each individual. That is why the philosophy of the WWF is based on dialogue and action.
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