EDF does not want to limit itself to a defensive approach to biodiversity, solely focused on reducing the impact of its industrial activities on ecosystems. The Group is keen to go one step further by understanding what it can do better and by avoiding as much as possible irreversible damage to the natural environment.
UN Sustainable Development Goals concerned:
Most EDF industrial facilities – power plants, dams, wind farms, power lines, etc. – are located in or near natural regions. They impact on the surrounding flora and fauna.
EDF Group will assess the ecological sensitivity of the areas within and surrounding its production sites and permitted development projects. Sites located in most sensitive areas will take appropriate action to protect or enhance biodiversity. EDF Group will seek to deliver these actions in partnership with external stakeholders.
SNB-certified programme in France
EDF manages almost 40,000 ha of land and 70,000 ha of lakes, often located in or near protected areas.
As a consequence, a specific 2014-2017 action programme has been developed with the aim in particular of:
- limiting soil artificialisation ;
- introducing a land ecology research programme ;
- integrating ecology continuity under the France’s blue belt framework ;
- developing the experimental operator offset project.
In October 2014, this programme was "SNB (French Biodiversity Strategy) certified" by the French Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea.
Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
Recreation of a former inland delta of the Rhine river
Partners in action
EDF needs the support of the association and scientific worlds to implement its biodiversity projects. In France, the company has implemented a durable partnership policy focused on four areas:
- ecology quality and land management ;
- limiting environmental impacts ;
- transforming professional practices and supporting strategic discussions ;
- training and awareness programmes for employees and the general public.
1French Committee of the International Union for Nature Conservation
Strategic support: integration of biodiversity and transformation issues into professional practices.
The IUCN helped EDF design a collection of Biodiversity Handbooks to improve the electricity production business employees’ knowledge of nature conservation issues. EDF and the IUCN discuss key issues, such as ecological services, Red List of Ecosystems, etc. The Union has also helped EDF develop its SNB (French Biodiversity Strategy) commitment.
More about the actions of IUCN
2Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (French League for the Protection of Birds)
Ecology management and bird fauna inventory methods
An annual partnership conference has brought together teams from EDF and the LPO since 2012, with the focus on a programme of exchanging skills and knowledge in order to improve company practices and promote biodiversity. At some 20 EDF sites, the LPO collects data on natural environments and the species present to improve understanding of the problems to be faced and encourage the adoption of practical measures. The league works with EDF on raising employees’ awareness of local biodiversity. On a more general level, the LPO has also investigated the impact of worksites on biodiversity in terms of noise, dust and light.
More about the actions of LPO
3Museum national d’histoire naturelle (French Natural History Museum)
Inventory methods, data management, qualification of EDF’s natural heritage
As part of this partnership, EDF is testing the ecological quality indicators developed by the museum’s National Heritage Department so as to optimise management of terrestrial biodiversity at its land assets.
More about the actions of MNHN
4Fédération des conservatoires botaniques nationaux (French Federation of Botanical Conservatories)
Ecology management, mainly for sites to be restored
The recent partnership between the FCBN and EDF (2015) is focused on replanting areas using local vegetation. This mainly concerns redevelopment of natural areas, construction sites and installations being dismantled. The FCBN provides EDF with its expertise in revegetation to conserve soil fertility, prevent site and river bank erosion, avoid the use of invasive species and re-establish ecological continuity. EDF sits on the local "Végétal" committee: this label is managed by the FCBN and ensures that wild plants used for revegetation projects are endemic and have been locally sourced
More about the actions of FCBN
5Conservatoire du littoral (French Agency for the Protection of Coastlines)
Environmental and territorial issues around major lakes
EDF and the Conservatoire du littoral are restoring areas of garrigue where rosemary and lavender grow on the Côte Bleue massif between the Etang de Berre lagoon and the Mediterranean Sea. They have begun an inventory of the site’s wild pollinators and a study of their relation with domestic bees as part of a programme to support traditional apiculture.
More about the actions of Conservatoire du littoral
6Fédération des Conservatoires des espaces naturels (French Federation of Associations for the Protection of Natural Areas) and Réserves naturelles de France (French Nature Reserves)
EDF’s knowledge of land management, and future-oriented discussions about biodiversity offsets
The FCEN and RNF contribute a better understanding and management of the spaces where EDF operates. They also assess the results obtained from the tools and methods the company uses. Knowledge-sharing is at the heart of the actions implemented in tandem with these two partners, whether at the local or national level. In particular, this involves actions such as that to protect the zingel asper, or apron, a small fish endemic to the waters of the Rhone River basin that is at high risk of becoming extinct, or monitoring the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus), a small mammal that is endemic to streams and torrents in the Pyrenees.
More about the actions of FCEN and RNF
7Fête de la nature (Nature Festival)
Week of nature-based events to raise public and EDF employees’ awareness
For the past 10 years, the Fête de la Nature has been France’s flagship nature experience. The general public can discover or rediscover local natural treasures through events organised throughout the country. EDF has been partnering the Fête de la Nature since its creation. Every year, as part of the festival, the company organises visits to natural areas near its installations in collaboration with local actors, environmental associations in particular.
Visit the Fête de la Nature website (In French only)
In the United Kingdom, EDF Energy has formed long-term operational partnerships with Natural England and Butterfly Conservation. The British subsidiary has set itself the target of ensuring all its production sites obtain the Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark by 2018.
In the Adriatic Sea, Edison and the "Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise" (Abruzzo Institute for Animal Health) have launched the Mosselmonitor project on the Rospo offshore oil platform. This programme involves using mussel beds as bio-indicators for water quality and as a pollution early warning system.