Several years back, the Group committed to a programme to reduce its negative impact on the environment, paying special attention to the need to minimise its energy footprint. This array of initiatives is contributing to reaching the target that the Crédit Agricole S.A. Group set itself in late 2011 of cutting its energy consumption by 5% a year over a period of three years (2012-2014).
Open since March 2011, near Chartres, Greenfield brings together the best technologies in terms of security, reliability and environmental protection. The two HQE® (high environmental quality) buildings of 14,000 m2 were designed to mirror one another and are connected by a network of fibre optic cables that can take over from one another should one building experience a failure. One is partially sunk into the ground and covered with a planted slope, while the other is clad with wood. Electricity usage is optimized using free-cooling, an innovative cooling system using air from outside. This facility will gradually allow Crédit Agricole to pool formerly scattered computer resources.
THE REAL ESTATE
For Crédit Agricole Immobilier, sustainable development is more than a guideline: it is a driving force that inspires it to envision the model property projects of the future. In recognition of its practices, in 2007 Crédit Agricole Immobilier was awarded ISO 14001 certification for its real estate management and development operations.
In developing new Group facilities, making extensive refurbishment or major equipment changes, Crédit Agricole Immobilier places the priority on buildings that offer environmentally-friendly solutions and that are designed to minimise environmental impact. In that way, Crédit Agricole Immobilier gives priority to projects eligible for:
- the BBC label (Low Energy Consumption Building), with HQE® (High Environmental Quality) certification for tertiary activities (construction and project management of offices, warehouses, etc.),
- Habitat et Environnement® certification for housing.
In 2011 Crédit Agricole Immobilier received HQE® operating certification for the Crédit Agricole S.A. headquarters buildings in Montrouge. These buildings were rated outstanding for “building's relationship with its immediate environment,” “construction site with low environmental impact,” “water and waste management,” and “maintenance and long-term environmental performance” and rated as good in terms of managing energy, comfort and health.
The future CAL&F building, for instance, which will be put into use in 2012, is a BBC building with HQE® new-building certification.
Crédit Agricole Immobilier also includes sustainable development in its housing and office building programmes, primarily through: ISO 14001 certified processes, bioclimatic design for all projects, urban improvements compliant with the environmental Grenelle agreements, sustainable office buildings integrated into their environment and constructing residential buildings that already meet the BBC criteria that will be the basis of future thermal regulation RT2012.
Crédit Agricole Immobilier today has over 6,000 BBC housing units in its portfolio.
THE CARBON OFFSETTING SCHEMES
At Crédit Agricole, we carry out a proactive policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by our activity (heating, IT equipment, air-conditioning, etc.). But always keen to go further, we are also committed to offsetting our residual emissions.
REDUCING AND OFFSETTING OUR GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Our aim is to achieve carbon neutrality and reduce the amount of CO2 we emit into the atmosphere in order to combat climate change.
To do so, since 2008 Crédit Agricole has participated in Kyoto Protocol clean development mechanisms by buying carbon certificates.
Since 2008, about 38,000 tons of CO2 have been offset by the purchase of carbon credits.
SUPPORTING PROJECTS WITH SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMANITARIAN VALUES
We have come up with a unique scheme to offset our carbon emissions in a useful and effective way. Our policy for buying certificates is based on three requirements
Since 2010, the offset projects have been voted on by the employees of Crédit Agricole S.A. They vote for the programme of their choice among several projects preselected for their quality in terms of the environment and human development.
- In 2009 : two Brazilian projects, Irmãos Fredi and Kitambar
- In 2010 : Brazilian project « Menegalli »
- In 2011 : The Kenyan REDD + Project
In cooperation with the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation Climat, Danone and Schneider Electrics, Credit Agricole created the fund Livelihood. This carbon investment fund helps poor rural communities by generating financial resources for projects with high social and environmental value. In Senegal, for example, 450 villages are replanting 7,000 hectares of mangroves, rebuilding a food ecosystem that produces fish and protects crops. The project will capture 900,000 tons of carbon over 20 years.