ENGIE has been committed to the act4nature initiative since 2018. What does this new stage in its commitment involve?
Hervé Casterman: Our action for biodiversity actually began way before, because ENGIE has been committed to the issue since 2009; first, setting guidelines and then making an initial commitment to France’s National Biodiversity Strategy in 2011. In 2018, on the strength of this experience, our company was one of the 65 signatories of act4nature, an Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE) initiative. We immediately signed up to the programme’s ten common commitments, which we completed with our own individual commitments with fixed and measurable goals, results of which were recorded in 2020. Today, the Group is going one step further through its twofold commitment to act4nature international (EpE) and Entreprises Engagées pour la Nature-act4nature France (French Ministry of the Ecological Transition). Both initiatives share the same ten common commitments and encourage their signatories to add individual commitments. With this new step, ENGIE is expanding its commitment by setting out a new 2020-2030 roadmap with goals that apply to all the Group’s activities in France and abroad, with updates planned in 2025.
"With this new step, ENGIE is expanding its commitment by setting out a new 2020-2030 roadmap with goals that apply to all the Group’s activities in France and abroad, with updates planned in 2025."
What impact can our activities have on biodiversity?
HC: Our activities are in constant interaction with natural ecosystems, particularly when it comes to developing renewable energy sources. We also benefit from nature’s resources, and must protect them so that everyone can continue to benefit. In the United States, for example, greening is a standard element in the design of ground-based solar parks, providing a favourable ecosystem for pollinators, birds and wildlife, and preventing soil erosion. Through this constant interaction, work on our industrial plants is likely to modify ecosystems. For example, our plants’ footprints may cause interruptions in ecological continuity. Other potential impacts include greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution caused by certain activities. These impacts are measured and must be first avoided, then reduced, or otherwise offset, in that order. For example, on our hydroelectric plants in France we protect ecological continuity in watercourses by enabling the passage of fish through fish ways, eel ramps and even the first ever fish lift in France!