Ensuring its industrial facilities are integrated locally is an ever-present concern for EDF. Today, the Group is keen to renew and systematically apply its dialogue practices to each new project. Its aim is to take better account of the expectations of regions and their communities.
UN Sustainable Development Goals concerned:
EDF Group consistently undertakes to implement the dialogue rules set out international standards where stakeholder participation is concerned and to ensure the release of public reports.
Concretely for each project this means:
- identifying the stakeholders ;
- initiating consultation as early as possible ;
- providing clear and transparent project information ;
- collecting and responding to stakeholders’ opinions ;
- implementing a system to process claims and suggestions ;
- ensuring native peoples’ participation in the consultation process.
In 2017, this will involve new projects worth more than €50 million(1), that have a significant impact on their relevant region and environment.
In 2030, the Group aims to lower this financial threshold to €30 million.
(1) In France, this financial threshold is six times lower than that legally required for a mandatory public debate.
Progress projects through consultation
In France, EDF Energies Nouvelles is working on several offshore wind farm projects. These include an 80-turbine project in Pays-de-la-Loire, off the coast of Saint-Nazaire. Since 2008, in addition to the mandatory procedures, dialogue and consultation with fisher and environmental protection associations have brought changes to the future wind farm’s siting, related to local specificities.
10 years of lead-up dialogue for Cameroon hydro project
In Cameroon, EDF is working alongside the State and Société Financière Internationale on a project to build the Nachtigal Amont hydroelectric plant on the Sanaga River. The initial environmental studies began back in 2006, and led to workshops to present the results followed by public hearings in the villages concerned. In 2014, the partners established a community outreach team in the field that engages in permanent dialogue with local stakeholders. More than 5,000 people in 38 villages were involved. The main issues addressed were river use, labour recruitment and training, land ownership, damage to farmed land, and financial compensation. A transparent, simple mechanism for dealing with complaints and petitions was instituted in 2015. Out of 362 complaints received, 360 were dealt with. A website informs stakeholders of all calls for tender and recruitment campaigns and keeps them up to date about developments to the project.
The landscape: a worthy topic of discussion
Because the landscape is shared space, the integration of its structures into their region is a prime concern for EDF. It is for this reason that the company has formed a partnership with the ENSP (French Graduate School of Landscape Architecture).
ENSP students have worked on the landscape resonance of the 30-year old Cruas nuclear power plant. Over a period of several months, they talked to the villagers in the neighbouring Drôme and Ardèche departments, elected representatives, local associations, retailers, road users, and so on, to understand and then report on these stakeholders’ perception of the power plant in their environment.