WWF France and Bouygues Construction renew their partnership for sustainable cities and for responsible timber supply
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.”
Isabelle Autissier, Chair of WWF France
“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.”
Philippe Bonnave, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bouygues Construction