Conserving natural resources through ecodesign and sustainable, life-cycle management of development
Safeguarding water resources in the face of shortages and pollution
Melting glaciers, dwindling river flows, high demand for groundwater, and contamination and pollution of freshwater resources are all issues being aggravated by climate change, population growth and economic development. Even in countries where water has always been plentiful, it is becoming essential to manage, share and protect resources.
We have specialised in the entire water cycle for many years. We analyse and and mobilise the various resources (ground- and surface water, desalination). We help authorities design and implement strategies and organisation systems for managing catchment basins. We design and build structures for storing, conveying, distributing, purifying, draining and retreating water.
This puts us naturally at the leading edge of current projects and discussions on solutions to fight water stress, conserve surface water quality, and support aquifer regeneration. We are also actively involved in efforts to improve sewerage systems and the performance of treatment plants, while also considering new ways to use the water they produce.
Adopting a low-carbon, life-cycle approach to materials
The growing demand world-wide for buildings, infrastructure and consumer goods is resulting in overuse of raw materials, with the prospect of shortages and strong pressure on some of them in the near future. These availability issues are compounded by the impacts of extracting, processing and transporting such materials – especially in terms of carbon emissions. Various discussions and actions are underway to ease this pressure by shifting towards a more sustainable use of the planet’s resources.
We are supporting these efforts by harnessing our multi-disciplinary know-how and our vast experience in the development and construction sectors. We are developing ecodesign methods to help our clients define circular economy strategies incorporating material-saving targets, placing the priority on rehabilitation and drawing on local channels and resources. We are involved in many initiatives in Europe to promote resource-efficient development. We are also striving to foster the use of bio-based materials and incorporate ways to recover, reuse and recycle materials and equipment into construction and deconstruction processes. In France we have even set up a platform dedicated to such reuse. We are also innovating in many other fields, such as developing lower-carbon concrete mixes and using new 3D printing techniques to save construction materials.
Conserving natural areas, biodiversity and the associated ecosystem services
The loss of greenfield land, the widespread conversion of natural areas for intensive farming, and overexploitation of the world’s oceans are leading to a dramatic decline in the number of living species, to the extent that scientists are now referring to a new “mass extinction”. Ecosystems and biodiversity provide humanity with invaluable services, so measures to preserve them must now be given very serious consideration when it comes to drawing up development policies and projects.
We help public authorities think about their approaches to regional planning and strike new balances between urban and economic development, agriculture, and rewilding. We help them define rehabilitation strategies that limit greenfield land loss. We have long been involved in projects in many countries to regenerate urban and industrial wasteland, contributing our know-how in the fields of deconstruction, remediation and urban redevelopment. We also oversee a variety of projects to rewild rivers and bring nature back into cities.
SUSTAINABLE USE OF RESOURCES
Promoting the economical use of water, materials and natural areas