Sustainable development: good practice at IFSTTAR

Sustainable development: good practice at IFSTTAR  - Ifsttar - Siège de l’Ifsttar à Marne-la-Vallée © Hugues Delahousse_img

© Hugues Delahousse

What environmentally responsible measures are being implemented at IFSTTAR’s sites? The Institute’s prevention coordinator and Agenda 21 officer, Clémence Garnier presents an overview.

In line with its Marne-la-Vallée head office, whose building has been awarded the High Environmental Quality and Energy Saving Building labels, IFSTTAR seeks exemplary status in the area of sustainable development. “All the Institute’s sites are implementing measures in this area that serve as models” Clémence Garnier points out. As IFSTTAR’s Prevention Coordinator and Agenda 21 Officer she is tasked with applying Agenda 21, a programme of measures aimed at fostering sustainable development. In this framework in recent months Clémence Garnier has met a number of service providers (firms that maintain premises and provide restaurant services) and the management of the Institute’s various sites at Villeneuve-d'Ascq, Marne-la-Vallée, Satory, Bouguenais, Bron and Salon-de-Provence. Today she is presenting a survey of the measures they have taken to foster sustainable development which will help us draw up a plan to generalise good practice: “Each site is implementing some interesting measures, but information about them is not always shared. The goal is to promote them and generalise them whenever possible.”

Reducing energy consumption

Most of IFSTTAR’s sites have put in place measures to reduce their energy bills. Measures of this type are easy to implement widely. One example is relamping, which consists of replacing conventional bulbs with energy-saving bulbs or LEDs – or simply reducing the number of neon lamps. This is the case in Villeneuve-d’Ascq. “This type of lighting is very bright and consumes a lot of energy. With the agreement of the staff, we have removed half the bulbs and when a neon lamp stops working we replace it with LEDs. Although these are admittedly more expensive, they consume much less energy and last much longer”.

Waste recycling

“While waste sorting has today become general practice, some IFSTTAR sites occasionally go a stage further” Clémence Garnier remarks. For example, the Marne-la-Vallée site uses a waste removal firm to send its organic waste to a methanation plant and the company that provides restaurant services at Bron is going to purchase a composter. In Bouguenais, food peelings are salvaged in order to feed domestic animals that belong to the restaurant staff. For paper recycling, the partnership which has been set up between the Bron site and an association (Imagineo) is worth mentioning. “Scrap paper is collected up and dispatched for use in children’s workshops. Some members of staff at Satory and Salon-de-Provence also give paper that has only been printed on one side to primary schools” Clémence Garnier explains.

Encouraging biodiversity

At Bouguenais and Bron, the workforce does not just consist of people, the capacities of sheep are also harnessed. “Soay sheep – a protected breed from Scotland –and Ouessant sheep are used to maintain the green areas at Bron and Bouguenais respectively.   The benefits are many: the sheep do not pollute, they cost less than mechanical grass cutting and they eat invasive plant species… ” The Bouguenais site has two beehives with the intention of encouraging biodiversity. The Marne-la-Vallée will also install 15 or so hives in the first half of 2018.

Promoting green transport modes

Sharing official vehicles, bicycle shelters, recharging points for electric vehicles… Most of IFSTTAR’s sites encourage the use of green modes. In partnership with CEREMA (Centre of studies and expertise on Risks, Environment, Mobility and Town and Country Planning) Bron features each year among the award winners of the “Challenge mobilité Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes”, as one of the region’s institutions that does the most to foster alternative transport modes.