The United Nations declared 2010 to be the “International Year of Biodiversity” in order to alert and inform the general public about the decline of biodiversity and its consequences throughout the world. In light of these challenges, GDF SUEZ is committed to creating partnerships and implementing concrete initiatives. How well informed are you? Check your knowledge in our quiz!
Partnerships: enduring commitments to biodiversity
- France Nature Environnement (FNE): GDF SUEZ is collaborating with France Nature Environement in a three-year think tank on the preservation of natural environments and biodiversity in France. The aim of the process is to define a methodology that incorporates and promotes biodiversity into the design and management of the Group’s sites and facilities, to analyze the potential contribution of GDF SUEZ facilities to ecological continuity, and to develop tools for raising awareness of biodiversity.
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): in 2010, GDF SUEZ continued its activities with the French Committee of the IUCN as part of the 3-year partnership agreement it signed in 2008. Its 2010 activities mainly involved reinforcing awareness and educating GDF SUEZ employees about the challenges of biodiversity. Over the course of these last three years, IUCN France supported the Group in developing its biodiversity guidelines. The partnership between GDF SUEZ and the French Committee of the IUCN was renewed in 2011 for a further three years. Having finalized its guidelines for incorporating biodiversity into its activities, the Group is preparing an action plan that will define how to implement them.
- Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB): GDF SUEZ also participates in the activities of the Foundation for Research on Biodiversity through its Strategic Directions Committee – COS – and provides financial support for its flagship program “Biodiversity Modeling and Scenarios” launched in July 2010.
Concrete initiatives in the GDF SUEZ Group business lines
- Contributing to the preservation and restoration of biodiversity: SUEZ Environnement reinforced its analysis and understanding of the risks and opportunities linked to the management of ecosystems and biodiversity at its sites. A booklet entitled “SUEZ Environnement Contribution to the Preservation and Restoration of Biodiversity” was published at the end of the year. The aim is to define the challenges that the company will need to face and to highlight some examples of the concrete initiatives implemented to connect partners with experts and raise general public awareness.
- Study of how GrDF activities impact biodiversity: in 2010, GrDF constructed a methodology for incorporating biodiversity preservation into the management of its operations on natural gas networks: connections, extension work, and maintenance. This project is the subject of a scientific partnership with the French National Natural History Museum (MNHN). In late 2010, the key principles of the envisioned methodology were approved by both the “Network” business teams and the MNHN. The first phase, to identify and describe the various operations on the network, was completed. Steps taken: to quantify them in terms of the ecological sensitivity of their environments in order to define the threshold at which a specific action plan would need to be put in place, and then test the methodology on the ground. Ultimately, the GrDF “Network” design office will have a practical guide and a computer-based tool to aid in decision-making and evaluating the actions to put in place during works, to avoid, reduce or compensate for any potential impact on biodiversity.
- Management of the Fritz Plaumann forest park (Brazil): in 2010, Tractebel Energia was awarded the environmental prize “Brasil Ambiental” for its management of the Fritz Plaumann forest park. Created on the initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, this prize recognizes environmental preservation projects and ecologically responsible practices by Brazilian companies. Located in the extreme south of the country, on the Uruguay River, the Fritz Plaumann park covers 741 hectares and is a biodiversity sanctuary. It has been co-managed since 2005 by Tractebel Energia in partnership with Consórcio Ita, the environmental agency FATMA and park management team ECOPEF.