ESDW 2020: concrete examples of ENGIE’s commitments to climate and the environment

By ENGIE - 07 October 2020 - 12:40

In combating climate change and protecting the environment, the energy sector has a key role to play. Whether it’s a question of supplying sustainable energy or promoting new, more frugal, digital and decentralised consumption patterns, ENGIE and its businesses are committed. A common goal: offering innovative solutions to reduce CO2 emissions and preserve the environment.


Environmental protection at the heart of our model


By developing a low-carbon energy mix and energy efficiency activities, the Group has placed the energy transition and combating climate change at the heart of its strategic ambition. Sustainable Development Week gives ENGIE an opportunity to showcase concrete and innovative projects in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energies and sustainable mobility.

Storengy UK’s Vanguard project

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Storengy UK’s Vanguard project, hydrogen at the service of green mobility


ESDW is an opportunity for ENGIE’s businesses to share information on large-scale projects with high environmental value, such as Storengy UK’s Vanguard project. The Vanguard project is the first green hydrogen refuelling station in the north-west of the UK. Storengy UK will ensure project delivery, operations and maintenance, under its commitment to be a leading sustainable energy storage and solutions provider.


The project is now in the construction phase with a target Commercial Operational Date of Q1-2021. Vanguard will provide a central hydrogen fuelling station for a local authority (Cheshire East Council) and Storengy UK’s fleet of vehicles. A large solar PV array will be installed to fuel an electrolyser. This will produce green hydrogen, which is to be supplied to a refuelling station. Three vehicles, including two “dual-fuel” refuse trucks owned by Cheshire East Council and one vehicle owned by Storengy UK, will be converted to run on hydrogen to give them green transport capability.

graph storengy

Permission was granted in early June 2020 and the partnership agreement with Cheshire East Council was signed in mid-June. We are one step closer to a low-carbon solution for Cheshire East Council’s refuse trucks.

The benefits of the project are multiple:


  • An innovative step towards Cheshire East Council’s target to be net zero by 2025
  • CO2 emissions reduced by nearly 30 tonnes a year, leading to increased engine efficiency
  • Diesel use reduced by more than 10,000 litres a year
  • The 1st project to claim renewable transport fuel certificates for H2 in the UK
  • Air quality benefits for the local community - the trucks are in use 5 days a week


Renewable projects from ENGIE Benelux

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ENGIE Benelux presents large-scale renewable projects to reduce CO2 emissions


In terms of strong environmental commitments, ENGIE Benelux is increasing the number of projects aimed at limiting CO2 emissions. ENGIE was thus selected to install LED lamps in all sorting offices used by leading Belgian postal operator Bpost. ENGIE’s proposed solution will allow Bpost to save 51% on its electricity consumption for the lighting of its sorting offices, resulting in an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 1000 tonnes.


ENGIE also recently installed solar panels at the Charleroi, Liège, Antwerp and Ghent sorting offices, with a total power of 3.2 MW.


In collaboration with ENGIE and the port of Zeebrugge, the International Car Operators (ICO) terminal will accommodate the largest onshore wind farm in Flanders, with a capacity of 44 MW. ENGIE has also installed the largest electric vehicle charging network in the country, with 308 charging stations.


Similarly, the SeaMade project, a partnership between Otary, ENGIE Electrabel and Eneco Wind Belgium, is in the process of building 58 wind turbines* with a total capacity of 487 MW, which will be connected through two offshore transformer platforms to the Elia modular offshore grid. SeaMade is making a significant contribution to Belgium’s goal of developing renewable energy production capacity. From the end of 2020, SeaMade will supply renewable energy to 485,000 households, thus avoiding more than 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.


*As of 14 September 2020, 35 out of 58 turbines had been installed. 29 turbines are already producing electricity.

ENGIE, a player committed to the protection of biodiversity


Through the various renewable energy production processes (hydropower, biomass, wind, solar) and the footprint of its industrial sites (gas storage, solar), ENGIE has strong interactions with biodiversity. ENGIE thus seeks to control the impact of its activity on the environment and living things and has made strong commitments to preserve them.

Remediation of the Hénâ slag heap

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Remediation of the Hénâ slag heap in the service of biodiversity


The Hénâ slag heap project demonstrates ENGIE’s firm intention to be a model of industrial, social and environmental responsibility. This project, carried out jointly with the Benelux BU and the Generation Europe BU in Belgium, aims to remediate the former industrial site to create a new area for biodiversity.


Located in Les Awirs in the municipality of Flémalle, the Hénâ site originally consisted of two main valleys cut by the Hénâ and Fagnes streams. The Hénâ slag heap is made up of the ash from burning coal at the Les Awirs power plant, which closed for good on 31 August 2020. ENGIE Electrabel, historic operator of the power plant, decided on complete remediation of the site to form a new area dedicated to biodiversity and recreational activities, in close cooperation with local stakeholders consisting of local authorities, residents’ representatives, and environmental protection associations. More than 2.33 million tonnes of ash covered the two valleys. The ash removal work began in 2016 and by May 2020, more than 500,000 tonnes of ash had already been removed, i.e. 20% of the total. ENGIE Electrabel released a total budget of more than €50m for disposal of the ash, and to upgrade and remediate this former industrial area. The work is planned to go on for 15 years.


Aware of its social and environmental responsibilities, ENGIE Electrabel is paying attention to air quality throughout the duration of the work and the ashes are being fully recycled thanks to an agreement signed with the cement industry.


With this large-scale project, ENGIE Electrabel is demonstrating that the company is keeping to its long-term CSR policy commitments over the full cycle of its activities: development, construction, operation, decommissioning and total remediation.


Terril du Hénâ


ENGIE E&C and forest protection

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ENGIE Entreprises & Collectivités committed to forest protection


ENGIE Entreprises & Collectivités facilitates and brings about the zero-carbon transition for companies, local authorities and joint-ownership buildings, both through its renewable energy solutions and through its support services to consume less and better. ENGIE Entreprises & Collectivités helps its 45,000 clients make energy a vector of sustainable performance, competitiveness, and social and environmental responsibility.


ESDW is an opportunity for ENGIE E&C to highlight its strong environmental commitment both internally and externally. ENGIE E&C has therefore chosen to implement a CSR project that its employees voted for: the planting of an endangered variety of apple tree, which is very beneficial for the development of biodiversity. The trees will benefit birds and bees, thus helping to develop the local flora and fauna. On 1 October, with two associations committed to helping people with disabilities and to professional integration, and in partnership with the CNRS, nearly 400 apple trees will be planted in Saclay (Essonne - France).


A webinar will also be organised on 8 October to promote this approach among ENGIE employees and clients, reminding them of the fundamental role of forests and CO2 capture.

Protecting the environment and taking action for the climate are the two spearheads of ENGIE’s strategy. To read our articles published during ESDW 2020, click on the links below: