biodiversity assessments

The city is an entirely artificial environment, constructed, maintained and continually transformed by humans. Nevertheless, it is still home to biodiversity of varying levels and quality and partially connected to the regions which surround it. Every development that modifies spaces with a natural character: afforestation, public parks, private gardens, vegetable gardens, tree alignment, ground-level areas, roadsides, green buildings, etc. all disrupt the fragile balance of the living world in the city.

Positive biodiversity actions with Icade

Apart from the obvious, intrinsic value of biodiversity, it also makes a significant contribution to the comfort and living environment of the city’s inhabitants. A few cool areas for the summer heat, some recreational spaces for the community, that kind of thing. But also, a visual and sound environment that everyone can enjoy. Not to mention the regulation of water flow, which plays a crucial role in flood protection, air quality, and so on. That’s why, before every Icade property development, our Environment teams carry out a flash diagnosis to assess the biodiversity on the building plot, so this can be taken into account in the design of the real estate project. This approach should be continued during the life cycle of real estate projects for important ecological added value

The Biodiversity Flash Diagnosis is a method specifically developed by the Egis Biodiversity teams to support ICADE in its proactive approach to developing new real estate projects with positive biodiversity.  Based on the analysis of several specific criteria, the methodology is used to establish a suitable ARC (Avoid, Reduce, Compensate) strategy for biodiversity on the site:

  • Field diagnosis,
  • Recommendations for a project with positive biodiversity.

The methodology, The analysis focuses on the following criteria:

  • Main features: ground cover, topography, hydrography
  • Ecological context: protective or inventory zoning, permeability (CBS), habitat/wildlife diversity, connectivity, etc.
  • Summary of regulatory issues and risks: regulatory risk, protected species, wetlands, land clearing, etc.
  • Assistance to project developers: The Biodiversity Flash Diagnosis is a pledge to any property developer of the feasibility of their project with regard to the regulatory challenges and constraints specific to biodiversity, in light of the growing importance of the issue.  It is also a fantastic opportunity to raise project developers’ awareness of best practice for biodiversity, both in terms of planning and managing natural spaces.

A specific project team has been set up to ensure an “agile” response and intervene in very fast time frames.

 


Environmental Due Diligence Audit

Audit environnemental Due Diligence

Le passif environnemental et la mise en conformité d’un site peuvent influer de manière significative sur le montant de la transaction et sur la nature des risques assumés par les parties prenantes dans le cadre d’un projet de fusion-acquisition  ou de cession de site. L’audit Environnemental Due Diligence a pour objectif de sécuriser toutes les parties de la transaction.

© Syndicat des Eaux d Ile-de France

Egis propose une offre de services personnalisée de Due Diligence s’intégrant aux processus global d’acquisition ou de cession, dans les domaines spécifiques de l’Environnement, de la Compliance et de la Santé-Sécurité au travail. L’audit Environnemental Due Diligence évalue les risques de passifs HSE et de conformité réglementaire et normative d’un site afin de :

  • Renseigner et sécuriser l’acquéreur sur le bien qu’il achète,
  • Déterminer et évaluer les mesures correctives,
  • Évaluer les risques et conséquences du transfert de responsabilité
  • Influer sur le montant de la transaction.

Notre savoir-faire :

  • Identifier et qualifier les risques environnementaux d’un site : pollution des sols, eau, air, amiante, technologies polluantes…,
  • Identifier et anticiper les risques pour les salariés, riverains et structures avoisinantes,
  • Vérifier la conformité réglementaire et normative (compliance) des sites et des installations,
  • Évaluer les coûts des opérations correctives et de mise en conformité pour les intégrer au prix de la transaction : dépollution des sites et sols, sécurité incendie, désamiantage,…,
  • Prévenir, par un état des lieux, les vendeurs et acquéreurs en cas de contestation,
  • Prévoir et évaluer les évolutions normatives et réglementaires pouvant à court terme impacter l’activité de l’entreprise,
  • Etudier les servitudes contraires à l’aménagement initialement prévu.

Nos domaines d’intervention

  • Sources de pollution et de nuisances : sols, eaux souterraines, réseaux d’assainissement, rejets atmosphériques, bruit, vibrations…,
  • Risques naturels et technologiques (ERNT),
  • Traitement et élimination des déchets,
  • Conformité à la réglementation environnementale et santé-sécurité en vigueur,
  • Anticipation des évolutions réglementaires prévisibles,
  • Risques pour les salariés et riverains : exposition amiante, substances chimiques…,
  • Analyse selon les meilleures techniques disponibles,
  • Efficacité énergétique.

Pour en savoir plus sur les phases d’audit  + sélection de références (french document)


Ecological inventories and regulatory studies

Egis’ multidisciplinary ecological experts are active in the implementation of innovative solutions in ecological engineering and biodiversity in order to safeguard the interests of stakeholders and the environment.

copy serrah galos / unsplash

Egis is involved in biodiversity both within the scope of projects and site rehabilitation operations. Its main services are:

  • Diagnosis and assessment of fauna/flora, habitats, wetlands, invasive species
  • Regulatory issues,
  • Project management for ecological engineering,
  • Evaluation (environmental assessments) and ecological monitoring.
  • A positive approach to biodiversity: quantitative and qualitative assessment of the impact of a project and proposal for a strategy for conservation and increasing biodiversity, particularly in urban areas.

 

Environmental DNA

Egis Environnement is part of the VigiDNA network for conducting environmental DNA appraisals as part of its biodiversity inventory work. Created in 2016 by SPYGEN, the VigiDNA network aims to ensure the quality and standardisation of services performed internationally and to unite all members around shared commitments.

Find out more about Egis’s Environmental expertise

 

 


Smart Environmental System to track the state of the environment in real time

Smart Environmental System is an innovative tool for real-time monitoring of the state of the environment. Suitable for construction sites, industrial sites, infrastructures, business parks and urban areas, it allows customers to better fulfil both regulatory requirements and demands from local residents, who are increasingly involved in the quality of their living environment.

The aims of the approach

  • Performing real-time monitoring using sensors, or predictive modelling, of all the potential environmental and health effects of a project or site in operation.
  • Monitoring multiple parameters simultaneously, such as weather, air quality, odours, water, soil, noise-vibrations, light pollution, electromagnetic waves, fire, photo surveillance, operating data of equipment, and more.
  • Communicating these measures locally among residents and all non-institutional stakeholders (organisations, neighbourhood committees, etc.) and taking into account the disruptions and feelings expressed.
  • Reporting relevant environmental indicators to administrative authorities.
  • Enabling the adaptation of processes and procedures by highlighting links between production indicators and the environmental indicators observed.

FIELDS OF APPLICATION

  • Building construction sites
  • In-service transport infrastructure
  • Urban sites / Smart cities
  • Industrial sites
  • Waste treatment facilities
  • Mines and quarries

THE PROCESS

  • Defining the parameters: The environmental parameters to be monitored are defined in consultation with the customer, as well as the terms and conditions for sharing information.
  • Capturing and visualising data in real time: A network of autonomous location-based environmental sensors continuously communicates the exposure levels measured to a WEB-GIS platform (with contextualisation by observatories in place).
  • Forecast and warning: A forecast module is used to simulate and model the state of the environment three days ahead. A “responsible” warning module that sends text message/email notifications when environmental thresholds are exceeded.
  • Communication: An online/mobile interface (SMS/email) allows residents to report any discomfort felt and lets the customer notify residents in real time.
  • The results reported will be used to:
    – Detect events, anomalies and thresholds being exceeded in real time, analyse the possible causes of these events and alert the appropriate people to trigger the corrective measures,
    – Perform a detailed analysis of recurring events or trends in certain parameters using complex correlation and data mining algorithms to develop preventive measures,
    – Generate preconfigured reports presenting a selection of statistical tables, graphs and mapping to illustrate observations made during a given period. These reports can be set up to respond simply and directly to the monitoring requirements of the different administrative bodies concerned.

FEW PROJECTS

  • Valor’Aisne: an air-odour observatory for a waste treatment site (France)
  • SNCF: an air & noise observatory for the Lannemezan works site (France)

See the video


Recycling 100% of wastewater

To meet the needs of a growing population and to protect water resources in the city of Doha, Qatar, Egis was commissioned by the Doha Public Works Authority, Ashghal, to design and supervise the extension works at the Western Doha wastewater treatment and recycling plant. This is the second extension carried out at the plant, taking its treatment capacity to 280,000m3 a day.

The ultrafiltration membrane treatment technology used in this extension has been chosen for its limited environmental impact.

Technologies that significantly help improve the management of water resources.

The plant recycles all of its treated water, using it to irrigate green spaces and vegetable gardens (42 and 55% respectively), and to supply groundwater (3%). The surplus is stored in a lagoon where fauna and flora will grow. As a result of using the treated and recycled water, agriculture has obtained better yields and lowered its use of artificial fertilisers.

More details


Forests, vast carbon sinks

CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere by forests, which store the gas. They are therefore known as “carbon sinks”. By restoring forests, key biodiversity areas, or by planting trees, Egis contributes to the development of carbon sinks and the fight against the greenhouse effect.

 

In Bahia, Brazil, a plan to restore Monte Pascoal-Pau, a remarkable ecological corridor

Over an area spanning ​​110 hectares, marked out by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, Egis teams worked to restore part of the Mata Atlântica tropical rainforest, renowned as one of the richest ecological corridors in the world (the forest is listed in UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves for the multitude of endemic species it is home to).

 

The aims of this project:

  • to reduce and prevent the fragmentation of this area,
  • to rebuild ecological continuity and biodiversity,
  • to monitor and evaluate the efficacy of plantations.

100% of the works (seeds, planting, and maintenance) has been carried out by the local communities.

In Cameroon

copyright Leticia Maria Souto Silva

As part of the control and monitoring of work on the Figuil – Magada RN 1 motorway and beyond Magada (72 Km), in northern Cameroon, Egis initiated a planting campaign. 3000 trees were planted which – as well as sequestering carbon – will serve as shade, stretches of landscape, windbreaks and help regulate the local climate. The project is located in a fragile area of Sahel, where water is scarce and temperatures are very high.

In Qatar

Copyright Ganapathi-Manchi

For the project on the viability of the future Um Alhoul economic zone, located south of Doha (Qatar), Egis was tasked with the design and supervision of works. Egis teams came up with key measures for protecting the site’s natural heritage, including a plan for mangrove protection

 

In France, we have implemented the ERC approach across all our infrastructure projects. This approach is designed first and foremost to avoid any new influence on biodiversity, to reduce the impacts as much as possible, and as a last resort to compensate for damaged areas when there is no alternative.

 

 


Managing natural resources

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a natural resource management plan was initiated as part of an REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programme to protect and promote the world’s second largest tropical forest.

copyright Alain Huart

In this trial project covering 30,500 sqkm and involving around 850,000 people, Egis and WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) are helping the inhabitants of 161 localities to plan sustainable natural resource management methods.

Find out more about REDD+ programmes: http://www.fao.org/redd/initiatives/un-redd/en/

 

Another key project in Rwanda

Egis participated in a government capacity building project in the agricultural sector for sustainable land use, water resources, value creation and improved food security.


PROTECTING THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE NEW COAST ROUTE

The exemplary nature of the New Coast Road project in Reunion. A single brief: to control the risk to surrounding environments

copyright Lise Provost Nortekmed
© Lise Provost Nortekmed

The project’s environmental approach is based on four fundamental pillars: 

1 – The definition of requirements

2 – The implementation of resources

3 – Performance obligations set out in works contracts

4 – Monitoring and follow-up

Environmental monitoring at all levels

  • Egis (project manager) will ensure the compliance and effectiveness of measures implemented by its companies.
  • On-site, the companies’ environmental managers will ensure good environmental practice on a daily basis.
  • Biotope, the environmental consultant, will visit the construction sites on behalf of the Region at least twice a month.
  • The operating department of the New Coast Road centralises and analyses the different environmental data and informs government departments.
  • The government’s environment services can carry out unannounced and regular checks at their convenience.
  • At least twice a year, the Region presents an environmental assessment to the project’s technical committee, which includes representatives of the government and local authorities concerned.

A scientific committee, made up of experts, is consulted as required on the various environmental aspects of the project.

 

FOCUS ON WILDLIFE PROTECTION/KEY MEASURES

  • An important system has been implemented to control underwater noise and its effects on mammals, particularly on the site of the D1 breakwater, near Saint-Denis. “After thorough studies at the cutting-edge of our field, we determined the optimal conditions for undertaking the work with regard to the sensitivity of the environments, the species and their habitats, which were studied over full biological cycles (a year of inventories and specific studies) and established a detailed eco-design of the works” explain Laure Camelin and Céline De Plasse, successive managers of environmental monitoring for the New Coast Road site for Egis. “Before each phase of noisy work, we made sure that there were no cetaceans in the zone of influence, which is monitored 24/7. In order to meet the very strict thresholds imposed on us, we deploy substantial technical resources, such as underwater acoustic screens (air bubble curtains) around the sources of noise. The acoustic thresholds that must not be exceeded are based on the German regulations, which are considered to be the most stringent in the world. “© AS Pokossy / Egis© Estelle Vaure / Egis

 

  • Specific measures have also been put in place to protect seabirds (in particular the Barau’s petrels and Puffins) from light pollution. “This translates into 50 days of blackout from December to April to limit the risk of getting stranded” says Céline De Plasse. The rest of the year, the yellow-orange lights are directed towards the ground so as not to attract or disorient the birds. And if, despite all the precautions taken, we observe a stranded bird, the latter is taken immediately to the Reunion Society of Ornithological Studies (a local organisation for the protection of birds), to administer first aid.” 
  • At the Pointe du Gouffre, there is a coral rock outcrop with recognised ecological value. Among the measures taken to preserve it, a system for monitoring water quality, using monitoring buoys gathering real-time and continuous information on water transparency and water sampling to measure suspended solids levels caused by site operations. The columns of the future marine viaduct are therefore being installed under constant control: “Despite how long the work on the New Coast Road has been going on,the authorised suspended solidslevel (50 mg/l) has never been exceeded! We are all very proud of this, because it shows the effectiveness of the steps we have taken and our ability to anticipate risks upstream of any intervention.” exclaims Laure Camelin. “In addition to this monitoring mechanism, we have also implemented compensation measures: six columns on the main viaduct have been eco-designed to offer nursery habitats and, further out to sea, eco-reefs will be set up to support sustainable ecological development across the entire project area.”

 

More information 


A TOOL FOR PROTECTING BATS DURING THE CONSTRUCTION

Egis has been awarded 1st prize at the IDRRIM* awards “Infrastructure for Mobility, Biodiversity and Landscape” in the “clever initiative” category for the temporary system for guiding bats during the construction phase, set up on the detour road of Troissereux (Oise), in partnership with the Regional Council of Oise, Bouygues TP Régions France, DTP, Colas Nord Picardie and Biositiv.

Maintaining ecological connectivity during the construction phase of projects is increasingly requested by administrative bodies in areas where ecological connectivity is considered important.  Guidance features already exist for bats (cables, nets…), especially in Great Britain where they are known as “Bat-bridges” but their effectiveness has been contested and is highly dependent upon the local topography and vegetation cover.

Within the context of an environmental constrained road bypass project (in the Oise department North of Paris – France), Egis installed a lightweight and low-cost temporary guidance device for bats during the construction phase.   It was made up of ropes and “acoustic reflectors”.  The reflectors had multiple facets like those of a golf ball.  Made out of a light material, the reflectors were placed in staggered rows with a 1.5m interval along two ropes.  The multiple reflective surfaces would result in the increase in number of bat echolocation calls being returned.

Located along an old flight corridor for bats, interrupted by road construction works, the device was confirmed an efficient success.  To test the effectiveness of the device, we surveyed bats at nightfall using two technologies: 3D bat trajectory monitoring system (Bat3Data®) and a thermal camera. The results showed after forest clearing and setting up the temporary guidance device that the connectivity of the flight paths was partially reestablished.   The return flight path at the forest edge by the Common Pipistrelle (observed before installation of the device) was not observed after device installation.  Specific bat behavior was shown both by the trajectory monitoring (Bat3Data®) and by the thermal camera:

  • Pipistrelles bat crossing just above the guidance device;
  • Greater mouse-eared bat and Long-eared bat flying just under the device;
  • Common noctule bat flying very high over the device.

The installation of the lightweight device (ropes and acoustic reflectors) has therefore allowed the quick reestablishment of the transit flight line functionality for bats.

Egis is continuing with its R&D work to optimize further the acoustic performance of the device.  Egis has already received 1st prize at the IDRRIM 2015 awards (a French-based best-practice championship for infrastructure and biodiversity) in the category of “ingenious solutions”.

 


ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT

Egis helps its customers find lasting solutions to problems of supply, storage, treatment and distribution of drinking water in France and around the world.

 

Egis’s experts assist decision-makers with:

  • the design and diagnosis of water supply systems
  • the identification and validation of surface and groundwater resources
  • assessing water demand
  • the implementation of investment programmes
  • the preparation of master plans for drinking water supply systems
  • design studies, implementation plans, and preparation of tender documents
  • works supervision
  • the management of municipal or private water systems
  • leak detection and reduction of water losses

Focus: an inventory of water resources in Tanzania

To meet the current and future needs of the city of Arusha, AUWSA (local operator) has mandated Egis to draw up an inventory of existing surface and groundwater resources. The purpose of this assignment is to identify reliable drinking water sources that are sustainable and resilient to climate change. Auwsa  supplies drinking water to a population estimated at 550,000 people in 2015, corresponding to a water demand of 94,000 m3/day. According to forecasts, demand could increase by 50% between now and 2030.

To find out more, see the Egis Contact article 

 

24-hour drinking water for people in Nairobi, Kenya

 

©AKR

The Ruiru II project in Kenya, which includes a 55m-high dam, a raw water transfer and a water purification station, aims to supply safe drinking water to the more than 300,000 inhabitants of Nairobi. Egis is conducting comprehensive studies of all the project’s works as part of a consortium of Vinci Group companies.