The editorial piece by Raymond Cointe, Managing Director, and Alain Dorison, Chairman of the board
In many ways, 2020 has been an unprecedented year for the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the Institute, as it has had on all of us.
That is why we would like to, first of all, pay tribute to the extraordinary engagement shown by the men and women who work for the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, in dealing with the pandemic in 2020. By everyone working in their jobs, by directly participating in managing the crisis, by the way they have adapted to remote working which was rapidly imposed on a large majority of staff, by coming on site to maintain key activities, everyone has shown their readiness to enable the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks to continue to carry out its work.
Beyond the impact of the health crisis on our work, the public debate it has generated should call into question our positioning as a public expert and the credibility of our advice. At a time when expert opinion is constantly being called into question, the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks has a duty to think about its role and its mission.
The review of our missions and activities was undertaken in 2018, and culminated in 2020 in the signing of our new performance contract for 2021-2025, with the Minister for Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili. This agreement of objectives sets a strong goal for the Institute - ensuring ecological transition and industrial renewal. To meet this goal, more than ever the Institute needs to draw on its expertise in the quality of its research, a stringent code of ethics and openness to society’s stakeholders - this of course includes public authorities, but also companies, trade unions and associations, particularly those involved in environmental protection. It will also benefit from its new structure that has a more streamlined management hierarchy, a new senior management team, and a more cooperative way of working.
Despite the circumstances linked to the health crisis, we feel confident that the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks has the ability to meet these challenges with our staff’s engagement and expert knowledge, and we are looking calmly towards the future.