The INERIS and sustainable development
As expressed in its mission statement, “Controlling risks for sustainable development,” the latter is at the heart of the programmes and services of the INERIS. Since its creation in 1990, the Institute has established a set of initiatives for sustainably improving its social, environmental and economic performance:
- The Institute has been ISO 9001 certified since 2000, and it regularly widened the field of its recognition as to the quality of its services: NF EN 45011, ISO CEI 17025, Good Laboratory Practices accreditation…
- In 2001, the Institute was provided with a Charter of Professional Ethics formalising the ethical values shared by its entire staff and guiding them in their daily missions.
- In 2005 the host/training centre was one of the first three French buildings to which the label High Environmental Quality (HEQ) was assigned.
In recent years, in its 2006-2010 Agreed Objectives Contract, the INERIS included the commitment to continue establishing its sustainable development policy and to report about it annually to the Board of Directors.
This commitment was kept and, starting in 2006, a specific chapter taking account of the results of concrete actions and presenting a certain number of numbered indicators was incorporated into the annual report of the Institute.
- In 2007, the INERIS demonstrated its commitment to open up to society by signing the Charter of Public Expertise with other public organisations. This became a reality with the organising of monthly meetings with representatives of consumer and environmental defence groups. Designed around very specific themes, these meetings were intended to be places of exchange and sharing.
In 2008, the dynamics of the Grenelle Environment Round Table hastened the awareness and mobilisation of all of the players in favour of sustainable development. Within this context more than ever, public organisations had a duty to serve as an example and to play a leading role in encouraging and promoting the values of public service. At the heart of these values, sustainable development represents an essential and cross-disciplinary component which, as a result, can only serve as a basis for all of the activities of the INERIS.
This year, the Institute has taken an additional step:
- On the one hand, on April 2nd, it signed the Sustainable Development Charter for Public Institutions and Public Corporations with the Minister of State Jean-Louis Borloo and some forty other institutions. By way of this charter, the INERIS is committed to defining its own challenges and objectives in terms of sustainable development and to translating them into its policy, the projects that it develops and its management practices. The charter thus defines seven principles for governing and guiding its actions: cooperation with the stakeholders and parties concerned, internal motivation, personnel management, eco-responsibility, constructive relationships with local governments, the production of information and knowledge and peer-sharing;
- On the other hand, it has committed to formalising an overall policy and a sustainable development action plan; this step is based on the SD 21000 guide drafted by AFNOR. The approach consists in first making an initial diagnosis by taking account of the issues of sustainable development and the needs of the parties concerned, and in prioritising the issues. This step was continued in 2009 by putting an action plan into place, accompanied by indicators and specific governance in order to ensure the monitoring and evaluation thereof.
In 2009, the INERIS took its first Carbon Inventory for its Verneuil-en-Halatte site. The Carbon Inventory is a method for inventorying emissions associated with greenhouse gas-effect (GHG) human activities, which was developed by ADEME.
It aims to enable estimation of the greenhouse gas-effect emissions which are brought about by the existence of an economic or administrative activity, whether these emissions be the result of a “lawfully” business-owned process (e.g., boiler emissions) or whether they take place outside.
The Carbon Inventory is taken by gathering data from the business and by inputting it into the spreadsheet tool call a “master spreadsheet”.
This first inventory was completed by obtaining Energy Efficiency Certificates (CEE); they should enable tariff reductions by the energy providers of the Institute concerned with the CEEs obtained.
The Commitments of the Sustainable Development Charter for Public Institutions and Corporations
To carry out strategic thinking concerning sustainable development, thereby enabling the stakes thereof to be indentified,
to share them and to define objectives in one’s field of competence.
- To translate this thinking into one’s policy, projects, management and accountability, by involving staff and various stakeholders and parties concerned.
- To draft a sustainable development strategy document which takes up these commitments and which is widely disseminated both internally and externally.
- To develop and lead an action plan, within the framework of one’s strategy document, which enables incorporation of the specific principles of governance and implementation.
Very important small initiatives
- Terrace sealing and insulation work
A budge of 300 k€ was set aside for heat insulation and sealing of more than 1,000 m2 of terraces in three buildings. This resulted in an annual savings of 12.5 MWh, which represents a reduction in greenhouse gas of 2.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent and more than 7 tonnes of NOx.
- Replacement of 230 Emergency Lighting Units (BAES).
This new generation of lighting units results in annual reduction in consumption of 1,410 KWh, i.e., a savings of more than 10%. Furthermore, the standby lights with which these devices are provided are now LED-based, consume less energy and produce less waste.
- Installation of two videoconferencing devices
Quickly adopted by the teams in charge of the activities of the Underground Risks Department, which has a team in Nancy, these devices scored a big success as soon as they were installed in 2008, and have thus enabled savings in travel expenses.
- Commit to create a corporate day care centre
In 2008, the INERIS, in connection with its work committee, engaged in a project to create a corporate day care centre for salaried employees of the Parc ALATA. The day care project associated the INERIS, the “Creches 1,2, 3 Soleil” company and other structures of the Parc ALATA and of the commune of Verneuil-en-Halatte. This day care centre (ecological building) opened its doors on 4 January 2011.
- Proposed “bio” meals everyday at the corporate restaurant.
Staff awareness training
Employee commuter plan
The Employee Commuter Plan (PDE) was presented to the entire staff on 12 September 2008.
- Facilitating the use of environmentally-friendly means of transportation: increasing the 2-wheel parking capacity in the INERIS 2012 programm
- The purchase of low-emission INERIS cars.