Fossil-fired generation and biodiversity conservationLike all industrial activity, the construction, operation and end-of-life dismantling of fossil-fired power plants has an impact on biodiversity. To manage the full life cycle of its facilities, EDF has included biodiversity in its strategy and acquired widely respected conservation expertise.
Biodiversity: an integral part of the Group’s strategy
EDF’s activities are dependent on water, air and soil resources. To limit the impact of its use of these resources on ecosystems, the Group’s biodiversity policy is structured in three major parts
- Expanding knowledge of natural environments to understand impacts better
- Conserving and protecting plants and animals
- Informing and training employees and local residents and conducting a dialogue with experts and NGOs
This policy is implemented and managed as part of EDF’s environmental management system and each entity is responsible for applying the policy within its scope of action.
Expanding knowledge of natural environments to understand impacts better
As part of its biodiversity project
, EDF decided to carry out a data-gathering campaign in 2012-2013 at its fossil-fired power plants currently in operation or shut down. The data regards:
- Requirements under local biodiversity regulations
- Bibliographic identification of remarkable and protected natural areas
- Bibliographic identification of protected species potentially present
- Map of the local biodiversity network
This campaign was designed to help each site implement its biodiversity policy and also to identify potential partners, such as nearby Natura 2000
areas and local conservation groups. Other work may be added, such as preliminary biodiversity analyses
or audits, or detailed inventories
by partners (scientists, design offices, non-profits, etc.) at the sites. This will provide the precise reference data needed to draw up regulatory files.
Conserving and protecting plants and animalsEDF assesses a project’s impact on plants and animals in order to reduce that impact as far as possible. Biodiversity is a focus prior to construction, during operation and also during demolition.
At the Martigues fossil-fired plant, for example, site investigations before construction of the CCGT plant revealed the presence of a protected species of orchid: Bertoloni’s bee orchid (Ophrys bertolonii). Offset measures were therefore introduced. This involved transferring management of the part of the Les Renaïres valley with the greatest biodiversity to the Regional Natural Areas Conservatory and classifying 10 hectares of land under a prefectural biotope protection decree.
Informing and training employees and local residents and conducting a dialogue with experts and NGOs
To raise awareness of the impact on biodiversity of its activities among local residents and employees, EDF currently conducts two national biodiversity training programmes
. Many initiatives are also taken with stakeholders – local government authorities, local and national non-profit organisations, etc. – either directly or indirectly:
- Common management of spaces, support for initiatives such as the Biodiversity Atlas in municipalities
- Inclusion of biodiversity in regional policies: SAGE environmental governance structures, river contracts, Green and Blue Belts, national action plans, invasive species control plans, national protected area strategy, regional nature parks, nature reserves, etc.
The Group’s fossil-fired sites implement its biodiversity policy and meet their responsibilities as stewards of natural areas by identifying, mapping and protecting plants and animals and by training their employees.
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