The climate emergency and biodiversity loss are both major environmental and societal challenges. To address these issues, in 2020 Colas undertook a strategic review that culminated in the creation of a low carbon and biodiversity roadmap. The Group announced two ambitious targets for reducing its emissions, in line with the Paris Agreement*:

    • A 46.5% reduction in direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1 and 2)
    • A 30% reduction across the entire upstream value chain (Scope 3a), which accounts for 85% of the Group’s total emissions
    * Well-below 2°C based on the methodology recognized by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) 
    Fresque du Climat

    Incorporating climate change priorities into our Group-wide strategy

    Climate change has a direct impact on Colas in its markets, prompting the Group to review the scope of some of its traditional operations and opening up new opportunities to adapt its business model in light of the green transition.
    A Group-wide analysis of risks and opportunities arising from the low-carbon transition has been undertaken and the initial findings have been factored into the Group’s strategy.
    To accompany this energy transition, the Group is raising employee awareness through trainings, webinars, days dedicated to environmental and climate change issues, Climate and biodiversity Fresco workshops, as well as Low Carbon Way workshops.

    Taking action to lower the carbon intensity of our direct emissions

    One of Colas’ targets is to cut our direct CO2 emissions by 46.5% by 2030. To achieve this target, we are working in a number of areas across the entire Group:

    • Boosting energy efficiency (reducing the energy consumption of our industries through operational excellence)
    • Transitioning to less carbon-intensive energy sources (low-carbon machinery and light-duty vehicle fleets powered by low-carbon electricity, biodiesel, biogas and green hydrogen) 
    • Developing innovative new manufacturing processes that are less carbon-intensive (alternative energies, development of innovative solutions to replace heavy fuel oil) 
    • Promoting more sustainable behavior, such as by monitoring consumption and rolling out training in environmentally friendly driving across the Group
       

    Developing and promoting low-carbon technologies and solutions

    Reducing our carbon footprint first and foremost require us to implement low-carbon products and techniques developed through focused research and development, for example by using low-carbon cements and hydraulic binders as well as bio-sourced binders and fluxing agents, producing concrete with a smaller carbon footprint, increasing the amount of recycled materials used in asphalt and expanding the use of in-place road recycling.
    Achieving our reduction targets require promoting these products and techniques through marketing campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness among our customers, focused in particular on offering environmentally friendly alternatives and highlighting the environmental benefits of our products and techniques.

    Optimizing carbon accounting for our operations

    Alongside this new strategy, we are reworking the methodology we use to calculate our carbon footprint. Work is in progress to implement a Group-level carbon accounting process based on physical flows and closely linked to financial accounting. Colas is thus developing systems and methods for calculating the carbon footprint of its plants (asphalt and concrete) and projects (both upstream and downstream). The Colas Carbon Counter, launched at the end of 2022, will make it possible to measure the carbon impact of each project as the work progesses.

    Helping our customers and users achieve carbon neutrality and reduce emissions

    Business opportunities are being considered in the fields of CO2 capture and storage, preventing Urban Heats Islands, mobility and carbon-free transportation.
    Colas has already incorporated global warming-related priorities into its R&D activities. Through our light-colored surfacing solutions, water management systems and work to re-nature damaged areas, we’re helping to boost existing solutions for creating urban cool islands.
    To reduce the impact of transporting materials, Colas is also promoting non-road transportation via rail and water. To help customers and users reduce their emissions, Mobility by Colas offers new mobility solutions such as Qievo and Moov’Hub.
     

    Incorporating priorities related to biodiversity loss into our operations

    In October 2022, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) announced that nearly 70% of wild animal populations had disappeared since 1970. As climate change is one of the main causes, the challenge for Colas is to continue to help preserve biodiversity everywhere it works:

    • Protecting habitats and species through initiatives that promote biodiversity at quarries
    • Launching an employee awareness and information program
    • Controlling water, ground and air pollution
    • Controlling the spread of invasive exotic species
    • Responding to the challenges posed by land artificialization

    Achievements

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    Using electric vans at the Grenoble profit center (France)

    Key figures

    • %

      of machinery are equipped with on-board telematics

    • %

      asphalt aggregates for hot-mix and cold-mix asphalt sales 

    • %

      of aggregate production activities include an action in favor of biodiversity

    • employees have been trained to become Climate Fresco facilitators

    • remarkable species in quarries or gravel pits