Preserving biodiversity: SUEZ strengthens its commitments within “Entreprises Engagées pour la Nature/Act4Nature France” initiative
As a leader in environmental services, SUEZ unveiled its Purpose in May 2020, with a specific focus on “investing in preserving and restoring natural capital, and consequently the future of biodiversity, both at sea and on land.”
To realize this ambition, at the end of May 2020, SUEZ strengthened its commitment to preserving biodiversity by participating in the “Entreprises Engagées pour la Nature/Act4nature France” initiative. In addition to the ten shared principles, the Group has set out 13 objectives, supported by indicators with dates and figures. The goal is to provide focus for its strategy and value proposition as regards the challenge of biodiversity. In particular, this focus involves:
- assessing the biodiversity footprint of SUEZ’s activities and incorporating biodiversity into company decision-making processes, including executive compensation;
- promoting nature-based solutions, land restoration and nature-based approaches in cities, while continuing to drive innovative solutions for oceans and coastlines;
- pursuing a collaborative approach through partnerships, improving on-site biodiversity knowledge, and raising stakeholder awareness of biodiversity challenges.
First concrete actions following EEN/Act4Nature France commitments
In that respect, SUEZ launched on February 17, 2020, a new call for projects, “Acting for Natural Capital”, aiming at identifying technical, digital, and societal innovation projects contributing to preserving the environment and natural capital. The 2020 edition was named: “Acting for natural capital: biodiversity and solutions based on nature.” More than 40 project applications submitted by start-ups, social and inclusive economy organizations, research laboratories, etc., were reviewed. On June 30th, ten were presented to a jury chaired by Gilles Bœuf, a respected biologist and former President of the French National Museum of Natural History. This jury was made up of members of the SUEZ Management Committee and external experts: Hélène Leriche, Head of Biodiversity and Economy at the Orée association and Ciprian Ionescu, Head of Natural Capital at WWF France.
Three projects have been selected and will be officially recognized during the French National Conference on Biodiversity, which will take place from October 6th through October 8th. €100,000 in funding will be shared between the three winning projects over a three-year period. Each winning project will be sponsored by a member of the jury. As a skills sponsorship provider, SUEZ employees will also use their expertise and scientific guidance to support the winners.
• “Technical and digital innovation” category: INRAE with the ReVers project (REVitalisation of vineyard soils by inoculation of earthworms).
• “Societal innovation” category: the Halage association with the Fleurs d'Halage project. This project aims to develop the production of cut flowers in short circuits as an economic, ecological and responsible activity on former industrial wastelands in the Seine-Saint-Denis region (France), while enabling people far from employment to train for new jobs.
• Jury’s choice award (tied projects): G-Addiction association and its escape game on the preservation of biodiversity and the BioLit project led by Planète mer association. The latter is based on a mobile application whose objective is to share observations of coastal fauna and flora in order to better understand and protect coastal ecosystems, and to animate a community of observers to exchange and facilitate the transfer of know-how on the coast.
The 2020 program reflects the Group’s ambition to work with all stakeholders to preserve and restore the fundamental elements of our environment. The Group’s "Shaping SUEZ 2030" strategic plan showcases its ambitions; the Group is focused on moving its business portfolio towards “100% sustainable” solutions in order to positively impact the environment and natural capital.