We follow the Avoid-Reduce-Offset principle. This is a legal requirement in France that asks us to first avoid causing harm to nature, then to minimize this harm when it cannot be fully avoided and, only as a last resort, to offset harm caused, such as by restoring an environment or protecting a species. But experience shows that offsetting is hard to avoid. Our commitment to reducing the impact we have on ecosystems, and the requirement environmental protection policies put on us to avoid soil sealing, are all forcing us to look at this issue very closely. Starting in 2019, and as part of our support for the Act4Nature* initiative, we are committed to making better assessments of the impact our installations have on biodiversity, particularly for projects that require offsets. Lastly, beyond looking ahead at the future impact of projects, which can be hard to accurately quantify, Veolia and the French National History Museum have put together a world-first initiative that provides automated biodiversity monitoring. This uses sensors to pick up the sounds made by bats, which are particularly sensitive to changes in biodiversity. The tool is capable of measuring in real time the impact of changes on the ground, making it possible to assess the efficiency of actions taken and make any adjustments that might be needed.
* Business mobilization initiative launched by EPE (Entreprises pour l’Environnement) to which 65 companies have signed up - www.act4nature.com