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What is the impact of civil engineering on biodiversity?

The IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) has identified the five main drivers of biodiversity loss:

•    Changes in the use of land and sea 
•    Overexploitation of resources 
•    Climate disruption 
•    Pollution
•    Invasive species

Civil engineering worksites contribute to varying degrees to these five factors. The Bouygues Travaux Publics Quality Environment & Carbon Strategy Department has therefore set up a procedure and training courses to inform and raise awareness among staff of the impact of our business activity on biodiversity. They also propose practical solutions for reducing our carbon footprint.

The erosion of biodiversity is no longer in question. We're part of the problem, but above all we're also part of the solution!

Cécile GOMEZ Quality Environment & Carbon Strategy Director

A procedure in response to an increasingly demanding context

The Group has an ambitious carbon strategy: we are convinced that biodiversity and climate disruption are inextricably linked. Climate disruption is already having an impact on ecosystems, while biodiversity is slowing the process of upheaval through carbon retention mechanisms. From a regulatory point of view, the new CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) adopted by the European Parliament in 2022 will oblige companies with more than 250 staff to publish a sustainability report, and specifies reporting obligations with regard to biodiversity. This will encourage companies to understand and measure their interactions with the natural world. 

In this context, the 'Preserving biodiversity during the construction phase' procedure is a toolkit that can be adapted to each project. Available in French and English, it includes:
•    a common framework valid for all worksites, detailing the environmental survey to be carried out at the start of the worksite and the general measures to be implemented,
•    focuses on specific themes, to be used à la carte according to the needs of calls for tender and worksites.

The themes are as follows: Trees, Clearing & Deforestation, Work in marine environments, Work in wetlands & Invasive species.

The procedure is available on this SharePoint, under the "Procedures and Guides" tab.

Download the procedure in French or in English.

The MOOC, an educational and fun training tool

Several MOOCs will be devised and produced by the Bouygues Travaux Publics Environment Department over the coming months to raise awareness among staff, provide them with the essential information they need before starting work on a site, and guide the various players through the regulations.

The first MOOC in the series, on the theme of  “Contaminated sites and soils”, is already available on the ByLearn platform.

First log on to BYLEARN (, then click above to access the MOOC.

This digital training course is made up of 3 modules accompanied by quizzes and resources addressing the following topics:

•    Characterisation of polluted sites 
•    Leading companies
•    National CSS management methodology
•    Actions in the event of pollution discovery
•    Remediation techniques

A second 'Biodiversity and Infrastructures' MOOC will soon be available online on ByLearn covering the following topics:

•    Biodiversity today
•    Construction sites & Urban biodiversity
•    Maritime works
•    Linear works, waterways and wetlands
•    Ecodesign, compensation, restoration
•    Preparing my worksite

First log on to BYLEARN (, then click above to access the MOOC.

These courses are designed to provide you with the keys to a better approach to dealing with often complex situations. These online courses offer comprehensive, condensed (60 min to 90 min), accessible and practical training to help you react effectively to problems encountered, while also contributing to environmental protection.

No species is self-sufficient! Preserving biodiversity is no longer something that is just optional. Our work does, by definition, have an impact on ecosystems and biodiversity. We can't just sit back and do nothing, and I'm convinced that it's our responsibility to limit these impacts by being a source of ideas for our clients, who are sometimes at a loss when it comes to this complex subject. We therefore need to build infrastructure that is sustainable and useful for our society, while preserving biodiversity and the natural world, and preserving ourselves in the process.

Sabrina GUERIN Regional Director for Eastern France
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