Created in 2010 and chaired by the group’s senior management, this committee brings together in-house representatives and some twenty external figures, recognised in the various fields of sustainable development affected by our activities: transport, town planning, consultation, and the environment. It meets twice a year with a view to preparing and enhancing Egis’s policies for sustainable development and corporate responsibility bringing different viewpoints on the development strategy, on solutions and dilemmas that the group encounters during projects.
The theme of the first meeting of 2019 was “mobility/transport”, starting with a discussion on the driverless vehicle and how to support its development, and a second on the role and tools available to cities as public transport authorities (Autorités Organisatrices de Mobilité or AOM in French).
Supporting the development of the driverless vehicle
With its substantial expertise in mobility and road infrastructure operations, Egis presented members of the SD Committee with several possible approaches to supporting the development of driverless vehicles. Many car manufacturers have now joined the race to automate their vehicles, and some have already accrued tens of thousands of kilometres in the test phase. In France, local authorities are also conducting trials to assess how well the public gets on board with this new type of vehicle, to identify the best ways to incorporate it into their transport system, and to confirm its economic, social and environmental value. The members of the SD Committee emphasised that the link between driverless vehicles and sustainable development remains complex, due to a possible rebound effect and an increased impact on the road network. With this in mind, the optimal and most sustainable service appears to be the driverless electric shuttle. But given the computing power currently required, it is still very difficult to develop both driverless and electric vehicles today. Participants also discussed the technological solutions that need to come into play, the role of AOMs, feedback from trials carried out, and the link between infrastructure and vehicles.
The integration of new transport modes by major cities
While the draft law governing transport and mobility, currently under discussion in French Parliament, aims to better regulate new modes of transport and mobility practices, Egis presented to SD Committee members its vision of becoming an adviser to cities and metropolitan areas for the management and integration of these new solutions. In recent years, major cities across the world have witnessed the emergence of new private transportation services (bike and scooter-sharing, free-floating scooters, ride-sharing, etc.) in addition to the existing transport network. The speeches given by SD Committee members focused on Egis’s role within these cities and the value-added services the Group can develop with them. Discussions also addressed the attention paid to users, the consultation tools to put in place, the dynamics between key players, and the issue of collecting and sharing mobility data.
In the second meeting of 2018, the « Hoodia » solution , 1st 2018 Ideathon Award dedicated to the theme “low carbone, Engineerign and Services”. Then, the offer of Egis in the field of nuclear and the place to be given to this activité within the CSR policy of Egis
Hoodia : a solution to optimize data storage
On 12 and 13 September 2018, the second Egis Idethon took place – a big idea marathon organised at the group’s headquarter. 40 employees (shortlisted on the basis of a dozen project ideas) have formed teams to develop their concepts and the associated business model. According with the new Egis CSR roadmap, this year’s idealthonians were working on low-carbon solutions to help fight climate change, with the help of mentors, developers, innovators and expert partners. At the end of these two days of collective innovation, the Hoodia solution won the first prize and will be incubated within the group.While the IT sector’s greenhouse gas emissions are now greater than those of global air traffic, and are growing exponentially, Hoodia offers companies the ways to optimize the storage of their digital data and reduce both the CO2 emissions generated by this storage and its financial cost. Very interested in this solution, the experts of the steering committee discussed with Jonas CHARBONNIER, environmental engineer at Egis Conseil and member of the Hoodia project team, questions related to the sensitivity of companies to IT storage costs, the gains generated by the solution, the potential partners or possible marketing methods.
Focus on Egis activities in the nuclear field
While the latest IPCC report has made clear the role of nuclear energy in combating climate change (with global nuclear electricity generation expected to grow by between 98% and 500% by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5°C), this energy remains controversial in France. Its advantages are often overlooked, such as its performance in terms of CO2 emissions per kWh produced equivalent to that of wind power. After presenting the experience of Egis in the service of safety and current issues of the nuclear industry, François MARTIN, Director of Nuclear Activity, Opened the debate with Committee members on how Egis can integrate nuclear power into its SD-CSR policy and associated communication. Instructives, these exchanges focused on the social responsibility of Egis, the coordination of its messages, the expertise developed by Egis in the nuclear field, the pedagogical efforts to be carried out or the support to be sought from specialized researchers or think-tanks.
In the first meeting of 2018, two innovations arising from the inaugural Egis Ideathon were presented: the 1st prize winner “Tàn” and the “Watenergy” employee prize.
Watenergy: combining water collection/treatment projects and energy transition
Though our waters carry substantial energy potential (heat, biochemical and hydraulic), water treatment facilities, whether they be for potable water production or purification, remain highly energy intensive. The potential of these facilities for energy production is very rarely taken into account or incorporated into their design. Conceived by Egis teams as part of Ideathon 2017, Watenergy is a tool which identifies potential green energy that can be produced and promoted by local users during wastewater collection and processing projects. Vincent Lalire, Water Project Manager (Major works, water, environment and energy BU) explained the principle to committee members. Participants welcomed the innovative approach developed by Egis’s teams and questioned Vincent Lalire as to the solution’s deployment, acceptance, associated services, and the arguments and explanations to be put forward to potential project owners. External experts mentioned various experiments to be analysed, as well as specific stakeholders to be involved in the approach, and proposals for synergies to be established for the tool.
Tàn, a support platform for carbon neutrality
Tàn (carbon in Chinese) is a platform that unites stakeholders and removes the major obstacles to concretely and effectively combating climate change. This incentive platform supports citizens in reaching carbon neutrality, at their own pace, whatever their age, profession, and/ or location, by helping them to change their behaviours. The discussion between Sébastien Duprat, Deputy Director of Egis Conseil, who presented this solution, and experts from the Sustainable Development Steering Committee centred on whether Egis has what it takes to lead this type of B2C approach. The tool’s “promise”, deemed relevant and beneficial, was also at the heart of the debate. Its roll-out to targeted communities and the partnerships that need to be developed to this end, were the subject of numerous proposals.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE SD COMMITTEE AND THE SUBJECTS ADDRESSED
“Egis should be congratulated for being able to re-evaluate itself, for its transparency too, by offering us a completely different solution three years later that takes into account our suggestions and values our concerns. Well done for having transformed a sustainable development committee “mini crisis” into a responsible business asset”.
Dorothy Briaumont, member of the Egis sustainable development steering committee and Director of Solaal, on our Wind-it solution (an innovative solution for the micro-generation of renewable energy).