In California, ECT joins CalCIMA as a new member
ECT joins CalCIMA, The California Construction and Industrial Materials Association, in the frame of its activities.
Henceforth, ECT has a key partner to advance its interests and support the company activities and projects locally.
With over 500 local plants and facilities throughout the state, CalCIMA’s members play a strong role in economy, ecology and sustainable developpment.
Firstly, its members continued availability materials ensures California meets its renewable energy.
Secondly, they provide the materials that build the state’s infrastructure, including public roads, bridges, rail, and water projects; homes, schools and hospitals.
Finally, they assist in growing crops and feeding livestock; and play a key role in manufacturing consumer products as well.
To know more about CalCIMA :
Partnerships renewed in 2021 with Humanité & Biodiversité, the ENSP, and the EIVP
ECT is delighted to pursue these fascinating and demanding partnerships.
Renewing our partnership with the association Humanité & Biodiversité
In 2019, ECT and the association Humanité & Biodiversité signed a charter of commitment to Biodiversity. This charter was completed, at the end of 2020, by the addition of methodological guidance. And the publication of an in-house operational method for the design of our land-use developments.
Prepared in ‘guidance sheet’ format, it forms a guide for carrying out the commitments undertaken in the charter. For the business, it’s a proactive policy which aims to go beyond the regulations in force under the Code de l’Environnement and the town planning code, the Code de l’Urbanisme.
In 2021, ECT renews its partnership with Humanité & Biodiversité.
“Earth & Landscape” business chair at the ENSP
The renewal for 2 years of the “Earth & Landscape” business chair is the result of a fruitful partnership with the national landscape gardening school, the ENSP or ‘École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage’ at Versailles. Since its launch in 2019, our ambition has been to explore the interactions between the landscape and earthmoving. And to promote consideration of landscaping and the creation of new landscapes by the re-use of soil.
“Upcycling soil from urban work sites” business chair
In 2021 and 2022, this chair for teaching and research will set about disseminating knowledge about upcycling soil.
This business chair, which is unique in France, has given rise to several interdisciplinary projects involving cooperation between ECT and the City of Paris School for Engineers, the EIVP or École des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris, relating to EIVP ‘s courses in urban engineering:
- Incorporation of the theme of excavated soil in the teaching of the engineering degree course
- Organisation of meetings and a science conference
- The publication at the end of 2020 of a joint work, “La terre dans tous ses états” (Earth in All Its States), under the direction of Bernard Landau and Youssef Chahine
Fertile substrate, an alternative to using topsoil? A morning of discussion at the École du Breuil
Fertile substrate, an alternative to using topsoil?
The École du Breuil (the school of horticulture for the City of Paris) and ECT offer a morning of discussion. This conference takes place on Thursday 18 March from 09:00 to 11:30. The event is open for physical attendance by students of the École du Breuil, and it’s open by way of videoconferencing to all who sign up.
The participants will present their experiences and give examples of use of this growing medium.
The programme includes time for questions and discussion
- Welcoming the participants
- Introduction by Alexandre Hennekinne, director of the École du Breuil
- Introduction by Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT
- Initial findings from experiments: “Composition of the fertile substrate and plant cover” Camille Soulard and Flore Diradourian, experimental supervisors – ASTREDHOR Seine-Manche and Benjamin Tilliet, director of research & development at ECT
- Questions and discussion with the audience
- A landmark: “Using fertile substrate in the Georges-Valbon Park”- a video interview with Benoit Pinsseau, director of the Georges-Valbon Park.
- Recent examples: “Greening the Esplanade Saint-Louis in the Bois de Vincennes” – Eric Lamelot, manager of the Bois de Vincennes
- Questions and discussion with the audience
- Input from François Nolde, head of the agronomy laboratory, manager of the Soil Centre of the Division des Expertises Sol et Végétal of the Direction des Espaces Verts et de l’Environnement for the City of Paris
- Questions and discussion with the audience
Education in sustainable development: ECT sets up initiatives aimed at young people
Take part in Education for Sustainable Development (‘éducation en vue du développement durable’ or EDD)
ECT offers primary schools facilities for education in sustainable development. The idea is to inform pupils about ECT’s ongoing projects in their commune. This makes it possible to raise their awareness of the principle of circular economy that underpins ECT’s land-use developments: Derelict sites take new form thanks to the re-use of soil from urban work sites.
As part of this, during December of last year, the pupils of the Vasarely primary school in Annet-sur-Marne (77, Seine-et-Marne) had an opportunity to learn about two projects that re-use soil excavated from sites in the Île-de-France region: The Les Gabots solar park (a partnership with Akuo) and the Les Carreaux site, which is currently under development.
Awareness of environmental issues managed by ECT has also been raised at the schools of Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin and Mesnil-Amelot.
Organise educational outings in the local area
When young people attend visits organised on ECT’s sites near their schools, it’s clear that they are interested in initiatives to protect the environment. ECT arranges nature discovery sessions. Tree-planting by the pupils contributes directly to bringing nature back to the site.
From design to implementation, every stage of ECT’s development projects takes account of environmental issues.
Illegal dumping in Boissy/Puiseux (Val d’Oise): The press look at a solution
Illegal dumping: A national scourge.
Illegal dumping in the communes of Boissy-l’Aillerie and Puiseux-Pontoise has caused considerable damage and degraded the site so much that it could become irretrievable if no action is taken.
4 December 2017: Illegal occupation of the land begins, with intensive illegal dumping. Dumping extends over 30% of land owned by the local authority (the CACP or Communauté d’Agglomération de Cergy-Pontoise) and 70% of private land in the communes of Boissy l’Aillerie and Puiseux-Pontoise.
5 May 2018: The Prefecture stops illegal dumping and secures the site by installing concrete blocks. In five months, 6,000 tonnes / 14,000 m3 of waste have been dumped on the site.
In view of the cost of rehabilitation, the public authorities seek the help of ECT. The Prefecture of the Val d’Oise seeks a solution for the removal of the waste and restoration of the site. A solution starts to emerge.
Following ECT’s participation in the 2nd Regional Forum for Combating Illegal dumping, the press reports on the solution proposed by ECT.
France Inter: “In the Val-d’Oise, an illegal waste dump is going to disappear.”
Read the report in the Matinale de France Inter of 17/02/2021, by Alexandra Lagarde
Le Parisien: “In the Val-d’Oise, one of the biggest illegal waste dumps in the Île-de-France region may disappear.”
Read the article in Le Parisien of 14/02/2021, by Marie Persidat
La Gazette, the weekly newspaper for the Val d’Oise: “The dump at Puiseux-Boissy is going to disappear.”
Read the article in La Gazette, the weekly newspaper for the Val d’Oise, for 13 to 19 January 2021, by Jérôme Cavaretta
ECT is honoured with ‘Solar Impulse Efficient Solution’ label
ECT is a “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution”
We are proud to announce that the Solar Impulse Foundation has awarded the ‘Solar Impulse Efficient Solution’ label to ECT.
ECT thus joins the club of 1000 solutions for sustainable development.
The label is awarded by a panel of independent experts, based on an assessment of:
- Positive environmental impact
- Financial viability and circular economics
- Effectiveness and feasibility.
The label is a recognition of these qualities in ECT’s model for reusing excavated soil to carry out environmental developments.
ECT works in environmental development
Combining ecology with financial viability, this award affirms ECT’s ability to provide communities and local authorities with effective solutions that form part of a circular economy for excavated soil.
Here is what the label identifies in the ECT model: “This solution responds to a challenge. It re-uses soil from construction sites to create self-financing land-use developments that make a great environmental and societal contribution. The developments are in the fields of renewable energy, creation of nature parks and sports parks in the city, urban farming, and the conservation of flora and fauna. Thanks to the ECT business model, communities and local authorities are able to finance green developments for their region. This turnkey solution for cities has no financial constraints, because the projects are self-financing and ECT takes care of their operational implementation.”
ECT Talk: “Les enjeux du vert en ville” (“Greening the City: The Issues”) available to watch on YouTube
Greening the City, a powerful vision
To watch the ECT talk: “Les enjeux du vert en ville” (“Greening the City: The Issues”), click here.
According to a survey by NewCorp Conseil, 75% of people in France will be living in urban areas by 2050. And 53% of them define the city of the future as one that puts nature at the heart of the city.
In France, between 20,000 and 30,000 hectares (50K-75K acres) of natural space are lost each year as a result of increasingly intense urban land-use.
Loss of natural soil cover is proceeding at a rate three or four times higher than population growth, and is having a negative impact on the environment. The green city and the sustainable city are becoming key issues of our time.
A talk to better understand urban issues
On Thursday 28 January, ECT organised a talk on the issues around ‘greening the city’.
Our goal was to achieve a better understanding of the role that green spaces, agriculture, biodiversity and outdoor sport will play in the city of tomorrow.
And to better anticipate their incorporation into town planning, citizen initiatives and the ecological transition.
With the objective that greening the city should be a part of constructing the positive city of tomorrow.
Laurent MOGNO, chairman of ECT, hosted the discussion alongside:
- Laura Flessel, former minister for sport, double Olympic champion, president and founder of Sport’S
- Maud Ridoux, director of programmes for citizen mobilisation for sustainable regions with the MakeSense association
- Jean-Pierre Gueneau, director of green spaces for the town of Créteil and former chairman of Hortis, the association for managers of natural spaces in town
- Jean-Patrick Scheepers, founder of Peas&Love, chairman of the European federation for urban and vertical agriculture.
ECT, committed to bringing nature back to the city
Working as part of the circular economy, ECT designs projects for developing non-built environment by reusing soil from urban work sites, within a model of eco-design that respects the environment and promotes biodiversity.
ECT brings nature back into the city, and gives a new lease of life to derelict sites by carrying out collaborative, eco-friendly projects: Country parks, areas for nature in town, for sport, for leisure and for urban agriculture.
To watch the ECT talk: “Les enjeux du vert en ville” (“Greening the City: The Issues”), click here.
ISO 14001 CERTIFICATION RENEWED FOR ECT SITES
For the 9th year running, ECT has had its ISO 14001 certification renewed. The scope of the certification covers ECT’s Development, Quality, Operations and HR departments, meaning that all the ECT sites that upcycle materials are certificated. This is the result of the commitment of the departments concerned, and it is an explicit statement of the importance of minimising or eliminating the impact of our work on the environment.
In November 2020, Anaïs AUBRÉE joined ECT as environmental project officer. Responsible for directing our approach to ISO 14001, she gives us an overview:
For ECT, what are the issues with ISO 14001 certification?
ECT upcycles soil excavated from sites in the Île-de-France region. Our work is an application of ‘circular economics’. [Note: Circular economics uses maximum recycling with the minimum addition of raw materials, water and energy, unlike the extraction-manufacture-consumption-disposal model of linear economics.] That’s why, for ECT, the two core issues of certification are:
- To demonstrate to interested parties our commitment to the protection of the environment
How? As regards the quality of materials we re-use, by reinforcing the chain of traceability. On our operational sites, by upcycling soil on many useful and collaborative development projects. During the design phase, by undertaking land-use developments that promote biodiversity and respect the landscape. And our R&D is focused on the recycling of spoil. ‘Urbafertil’, ECT’s fertile substrate, is a successful demonstration of this.
- To evaluate the impacts of our work on the environment
By assessing impacts, we are able to apply initiatives to minimise or eliminate them. On those of our sites where soil is upcycled, for example, we measure air quality and acoustic impact relating to movements of trucks and the use of earthmoving plant.
How do you get ISO 14001 certification?
By implementing, within the business, an environmental approach based on a management system. Our environmental management system (the Système de Management Environmental or SME) meets the requirements of the 2015 edition of ISO 14001. An accredited certification body comes to check that our work and our sites are compliant with these requirements. INTERTEK is the certification body for ECT. Each certificate lasts 3 years, with an audit every year.
What does your role as ECT’s environmental project officer involve?
It’s a wonderful role! I have to manage the SME and constantly adapt it to the work being done. I work with the departments concerned to put indicators and corrective action in place. My objective is to keep ECT working within a framework of continual improvement: Keeping our promises and standardising our best practices. The business has also looked into an ecosystems qualification relating to the impact of its projects. It’s a real challenge to align this with our SME.
For ECT’s ISO 14001 certificate, click here
2nd Regional Forum on Combating Illegal Dumping
A forum to support communities and local authorities
The situation is just getting worse. Illegal dumping or fly-tipping is a national scourge and it is increasing. Alongside illegal occupation of land, illegal dumping is increasingly intense. This antisocial activity destroys the landscape and the environment. The assessment and removal of waste is very expensive for public authorities, and so is the rehabilitation and redevelopment of sites. It was in this context of support for communities and local authorities that the Île-de-France region organised, on 3 December 2020, the 2nd Forum on Combating Illegal Dumping (‘Forum de Lutte contre les Dépôts Sauvages’).
ECT’s involvement: Rehabilitating and bringing nature back to a site where there has been illegal dumping in the Val d’Oise département.
Laurent MOGNO, chairman of ECT and Clara DIDIER, ECT’s director of projects, presented this project to the interested parties:
- Gérard SEIMBILLE, vice-chairman of the Conseil for the Val d’Oise département, whose portfolio is Finances, General Administration, Innovation and Evaluation of Public Policy.
- Michel GUIARD, Mayor of Boissy-l’Aillerie (Val d’Oise)
- Thierry THOMASSIN, Mayor of Puiseux-Pontoise (Val d’Oise)
- Jean-Pierre DUBRAY, agricultural representative and private landowner.
Michel GUIARD, Mayor of Boissy-l’Aillerie (Val d’Oise), summarised the problems that this situation presents to the communes.
“There is very little that a commune can do when confronted by illegal occupation of land. In this instance, 300 people were occupying the area. Illegal dumping started very rapidly, with no real possibility of intervening to stop the flow of waste. In this instance, the occupation lasted 5 months, the degradation of the site is significant, and the commune has been left in a position that is very hard to resolve. The Prefecture intervened to evict the occupants, but has not been able to resolve the problem of waste.
The question remains: How to rehabilitate the site?”
The ECT model re-uses soil from urban work sites to restore brownfield sites
ECT finances the project by bringing in soil excavated from nearby urban work sites.
The goal of the ECT project at Boissy/Puiseux is to heal a very damaged landscape. The proposed approach takes into account all the constraints applicable to the site: Landscaping, ecological and hydrological issues, on the scale of the individual site and on a regional scale.
The project focuses on three main areas:
- Removing the waste from the site
- Redeveloping the site and adding value
- Ensuring that the project is viable, by financing it in full.
HUMANITÉ & BIODIVERSITÉ AND ECT JOINTLY SIGN UP TO A GUIDE TO SITE DESIGN
ECT adds an operational methodology to its commitment to biodiversity
In 2019, ECT and the Humanité & Biodiversité association signed a charter for commitment to biodiversity. 2020 marks a new stage in this partnership; the charter contains methodological guidance with very practical applications for the design and development of ECT sites.
Methodological guidance for operational implementation
Working with Humanité & Biodiversité, ECT defined its various commitments to biodiversity. The business then looked at the development of methodology to promote the practical implementation of these commitments in the design of its projects. The broad principles and ambitions for ECT’s land-use developments are defined in the search and development phases of the project, so it is essential that biodiversity considerations play a central role during these phases. The purpose of this guidance is to propose ways and means to deal with this.
The projects carried out by ECT must comply with the law in force, both in terms of the Code de l’Environnement and the town planning code, the Code de l’Urbanisme. The objective of these guidance sheets is to propose a proactive approach that makes it possible to go beyond the requirements of the regulations. Projects carried out by ECT are well suited to taking biodiversity into account and promoting it, because the goal of the projects is to transform industrial or degraded sites into multifunctional developments that favour societal and environmental well-being.
Biodiversity can thus be taken into account at each stage of the development of a project.
Prepared in a ‘guidance sheet’ format to form a guide for the use of ECT’s development departments, this methodology is intended to be applied in a practical way and to evolve to reflect user feedback.
A reminder of the 9 commitments in the charter co-signed by ECT and Humanité & Biodiversité:
FOCUS 1: Fully realise the potential of ECT sites for promoting biodiversity
E1 – Incorporate biodiversity issues into the strategy of the business, and take advantage of the development of ECT projects to achieve positive initiatives for biodiversity, from the search phase up to completion and subsequent follow-up.
E2 – Adopt a regional vision, and combat the fragmentation of landscapes, reduction in natural soil cover and loss of biodiversity. ECT’s sites are an opportunity to increase the area favourable to biodiversity and to work on reinforcing ecological continuity.
E3 – Develop a shared vision across the Group so as to incorporate all the environmental elements, and the interdependence between man and nature, into the design, execution and follow-up of projects.
FOCUS 2: Provide education concerning biodiversity issues, and make people aware of the possibilities that ECT sites offer for biodiversity
E4 – Inform, train and mobilise personnel (both administrative and operational) concerning biodiversity issues at every stage of land-use developments (invasive species, protected species, etc.) and make them aware of the potential and opportunities presented for biodiversity of ECT’s sites.
E5 – Work with the interested parties (local authorities, town halls, local bodies, residents, associations, etc) to incorporate biodiversity issues into the design of the projects. There may be room to create a charter with the various interested parties for a particular project.
E6 – Promote full consideration of biodiversity on all sites, and communicate as much as possible concerning the issues of biodiversity, in particular by highlighting and developing flagship initiatives, increasing awareness and informing other users of the sites about the importance of conserving biodiversity.
FOCUS 3: Participate in the development of knowledge about biodiversity
E7 – In the context of scientific research programmes relating to biodiversity, and to meet the needs of associations, ECT makes available those sites that the business believes are of interest for the development of knowledge relating to biodiversity issues.
E8 – With a view to increasing knowledge of biodiversity, ECT develops partnerships, to ensure follow-up so as to understand changes in biodiversity and to adapt initiatives for the conservation and protection of the living world.
E9 – So as to allow for the dissemination and organisation of scientific knowledge relating to biodiversity, ECT undertakes to collect data that is relevant to biodiversity, regional policies, the circular economy, regional development and the consolidation of resources. This data, acquired in the context of projects pursued by ECT, will be placed at the disposal of public research programmes working in the fields mentioned above.
About the Humanité & Biodiversité association
Humanité & Biodiversité is an association which has the primary purpose of reinforcing awareness and consideration of all the synergies and inevitable links between humanity and biodiversity. In particular, it works for the conservation of diversity of living things and to promote the incorporation of biodiversity into all fields of activity, taking economic and social issues into account.
ECT’S INNOVATIVE APPROACH FOR CONSTRUCTION & PUBLIC WORKS CLIENTS AT THE PLACO® VAUJOURS SITE
An external dock reduces unloading times by more than 80%
In operation since the end of 2019, this innovative solution makes unloading very fast and safe.
Unloading now takes 8 minutes instead of the previous 45 minutes.
See video on the customer benefits and other advantages of the unloading dock.
[FERTILE SUBSTRATE] LAUNCH OF THE “EARTHMAKERS” PILOT SCHEME
The “EarthMakers” group commissions its demonstrator of fertile substrate that is 100% recycled, local and community-based.
On the Lil‘Ô site in Île-Saint-Denis (93), the “Faiseurs de Terres” or “EarthMakers” roll out their fertile substrate pilot scheme or demonstrator. The EarthMakers group is made up of Neo-Eco, Halage and ECT and it pools their skills and resources. The objective: To prove the process of producing a fertile substrate; a growing medium consisting entirely of recycled products. It’s made from inert soil, crushed concrete and compost from green waste.
The EarthMakers firmly believe that this fertile substrate, which is recycled, local and community-based, should become the growing medium for ‘greening’ the regions, and that it will be an important driver for the development of training and jobs.
Proving the process of producing the fertile substrate
This demonstration facility is co-financed by Plaine Commune and the EarthMakers. It’s the fruit of two distinct initiatives – Plaine Commune’s consultations and reflections on urban metabolism, and more specific discussions between the three members of the consortium about ‘technosols’.
The goal of this initiative is to carry out experiments and testing, and to establish where, when and how to create a fertile substrate. This substrate is to meet national standards and to be able to satisfy different requirements for use in green spaces and natural spaces. This experimental pilot scheme will be used to create a technical and scientific framework.
The EarthMakers training programme is an integral part of the project. It’s a programme of skills training aimed at people doing work experience. Training is a full part of the pilot scheme and represents its human resources.
A project to promote re-planting in the regions
This pilot scheme forms part of a ‘circular economy’ approach to materials and planting in urban areas. The fertile substrate produced by the EarthMakers is derived entirely from recycled materials:
- Soil and crushed concrete from urban construction sites.
- Compost made from plant waste, again from urban areas.
One goal of the pilot scheme is to ensure strict traceability for the product, all the way from the producer of the waste to the site where the product is used.
Lastly, through these experiments the EarthMakers intend to produce fertile substrate locally, as part of the urban metabolism for the Île-de-France region. The substrate is to be the growing medium for greening both large and more modest regional projects, thus avoiding the ecological own-goal of importing topsoil on a large scale.
For more about the other members of the group, see:
[RENEWABLE ENERGY] IN PICTURES: THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ‘LES GABOTS’ SOLAR PARK
Akuo Energy and ECT, through their subsidiary ACT-E, built the solar power station at Annet-sur-Marne. Construction work for the solar park started in 2019 and finished in summer 2020. Production of electricity started from August 2020.
Installing the solar park on landforms created with spoil made it possible to optimise the positioning of the photovoltaic panels. This is an important asset for solar energy developments in the Île-de-France region.
The 44,000 solar panels of this power station can produce enough electricity to supply 3,700 homes. That represents the consumption of 10,000 residents, making Annet-sur-Marne a green energy town.
Explore the ambitions of this renewable energy site.
[SPORT IN TOWN] A STADIUM FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING AND TRIALS RIDING – CREATED IN 4 MONTHS
ECT is proud to present its latest completed project: A stadium for mountain biking and trials riding at Epône in the département of Yvelines (78)
The work was carried out between June and September 2020. Thanks to the provision of excavated soil from the construction & public works sector in the western Paris area, it took only a short time.
This project, backed by the council of Epône, was constructed on land belonging to the commune. The site was designed in consultation with ORC Epône, the local cycling group for mountain biking and trials riding, with the aim of creating the first complete stadium for trials riding and mountain biking in the Île-de-France, for training and competitions.
The construction of workout facilities for trials riding and training tracks for mountain biking had to be done accurately and to specification. The teams worked together to produce the right outcome.
ECT’s fertile substrate – Urbafertil – was used to restore vegetation to the site
This development also stands out at as a site where ECT has made use of its fertile substrate, “URBAFERTIL”. Created on site, this growing medium recycles inert soil mixed with compost made from green waste. At Epône, the use of this ‘technosol’ made it possible to deal with the absence of topsoil (and to avoid bringing it in from elsewhere) when finalising the planting scheme.
Explore this completed project in video by clicking here.
Release of book “TERRES – Sols profonds du Grand Paris”, a work by the photographer Anne-Marie Filaire
In 2019, the photographer Anne-Marie Filaire explored six sites being operated by ECT. Today, ECT is very proud to announce the appearance of the book resulting from her investigations.
Every year, 22 million tonnes of soil are excavated for construction projects within the capital and as part of the expansion of the boundaries of Paris.
Our collective mental image when we hear the words “excavated soil” is the imposing appearance of the spoil heaps in former industrial areas of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, so we have an understanding of the potential visual impact and environmental issues. Here, however, we’re not dealing with black soil extracted from coal mines but with diverse and colourful soils from the lower levels of multiple public works in Greater Paris, and particularly those from railway tunnel operations for the new Grand Paris Express.
There are three challenges. Tracing, sorting and analysing all these soils as they move from one place to another; making fertile those which can be; and relocating them in consultation with communities and local authorities. They can become parks, woodland, sports fields, land for urban agriculture or zones for free development or biodiversity in the fields.
Anne-Marie Filaire chose to photograph the soil as it reaches the development sites, and she explored six sites currently in operation in Greater Paris. She shows the moments when the soil is tipped and spread out, and the landforms as they come into being under the eyes of the engineers. She provides an interpretative vision that places the sites firmly in the context of the wider landscape, navigating between the hundreds of trucks and site vehicles, returning several times to reflect life on the site on days of mud, fog or drought. It’s a valuable photographic work, committed to showing a landscape in transition, before it takes on its new form. It is, she says, “a study of the future”. Her photographs relate the intrinsic beauty of the sites and the beauty of their raw material, and reveal their shape.
Apart from purely technical challenges, the total amount of soil amassed is also, for an artist, an object of potential poetry, a place out of time, a temporary world which will fade away to leave place for a new landscape. From this point of view, it’s also an artists’ book; many connections with contemporary art, and especially Land Art, are apparent.
Anne-Marie Filaire is a photographer. She has been preoccupied with the question of landscape for more than twenty years, starting with several series taken in her native region of Auvergne on behalf of the Observatoire Photographique du Paysage programme. Since 1999, she has been engaged on a long-term project in the Middle East, Israel and West Africa to recount the factual reality of interminable wars and the very personal preoccupations of populations confronted by geopolitical upheavals. Her work is a poetic exploration of man face to face with his environment. In 2017, she exhibited and published a work on the demarcation zones (Zone de Sécurité Temporaire, Textuel/Mucem).
Claude Eveno is a film-maker, town planner and writer. He founded and directed the journal of the Cahiers du Centre de Création Industrielle (Notebooks of the Centre for Industrial Design) at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. He taught in the department of town planning at the Paris VIII university and at ENSNP, the École Nationale Supérieure de la Nature et du Paysage (university for nature and landscape engineering) at Blois. He has also been a programme adviser for France-Culture and director of studies at ENSCI, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (university of industrial design). He is the author of many works: recent publications from Christian Bourgois Publishing are Revoir Paris or ‘To see Paris again’ (2017) and L’Humeur Paysagère or ‘Reflections on Landscaping’ (2015).
A literary event reported by the press
“Town planning: Construction spoil makes fine soil for all purposes”, read the article, here.
Listen to the radio broadcast of Homo Urbanicus from 14 September 2020, Earth by Anne-Marie Filaire, here
“The deep soils of Greater Paris”: Read here
“Photo Terres”: Read here
In time for the autumn literary publishing season – ” La Terre dans tous ses États” (‘Earth in all its States’)
In 2019, a first conference was held about upcycling soil, seen through the lens of urban engineering
The EIVP (City of Paris School of Engineering), a leading university for urban engineering, and ECT, the French leader in the upcycling of excavated soil, organised the first conference in April 2019, “La Terre dans tous ses États” or “Earth in all its States.”
This conference gave rise to the idea of a collective publication to be published by Presses des Ponts. This work was put together under the direction of Bernard Landau, president of EIVP’s department for teaching and research into public space, planning and mobility, and Youssef Diab, EIVP’s director of science. It has a preface by Antoine Grumbach, winner of the Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme town planning award, and president of the scientific committee of the ECT/EIVP academic chair.
1001 ways to upcycle soil
Every year in the Paris region, nearly 10 million m3 of inert soil, the equivalent of four Great Pyramids of Giza, are produced by public and private works – a quantity that is an indicator of the sheer volume of public works currently happening in the Paris metropolitan area.
This work, arising from the conference “Earth in all its States”, reveals the thousand and one ways in which inert soil can be upcycled. It’s a golden opportunity to shine a light on the principles of ‘circular economy’ and ecological mitigation that are at the heart of these often unsung activities.
Soil is a very valuable resource
This publication explores a wide variety of solutions, ranging from remediation of polluted zones and backfilling of mines and quarries to the creation of planted parkland, the restoration of farmland, the transformation of soil into a construction material or topsoil, and the creation of works of art or works of urban engineering.
Re-greening the Bois de Vincennes using a fertile substrate: What the press say
ECT initiative boosts the upcycling of inert soil.
The business offers non-built developments to communities and local authorities, by using excavated soil. Since 2019, it has been producing a fertile substrate that is 100% recycled, called Urbafertil.
Produced purely by recycling, Urbafertil is the result of mixing inert soil with compost from green waste. It’s a very topical illustration of ‘circular economics’ for soil from the construction & public works sector, putting it to work to re-green urban spaces. There are well-attested benefits for:
- The climate,
- The creation of islands of freshness,
- Soil permeability, enabling it to absorb rainwater
- And for biodiversity.
This ‘technosol’ offers an alternative approach to importing topsoil, being both ecological and economical.
In the Bois de Vincennes, the city of Paris has applied this Urbafertil approach to the Esplanade Saint-Louis, creating a technosol that meets a complex technical specification.
The media came to see the on-site fabrication process.
“Fertile technosol for the esplanade of the Château de Vincennes”: Read here
“Greening the surroundings of the Château de Vincennes with inert soil”: Read here
“A right royal site for Urbafertil“: Read here
“A fertile substrate created from inert materials”: Read here
“A responsible solution for greening the city”: Read here
To find out more about Urbafertil, click here
Nature in the city: The Arboretum Park at Moissy-Cramayel
To coincide with European Sustainable Development Week, ECT returns to the Arboretum Park at Moissy-Cramayel in the département of Seine-et-Marne. The Park was opened to the public a year ago. This landscaped area, which was entirely developed by ECT using excavated soil from nearby sites of the construction & public works sector, offers both natural space and places for sports activities and relaxation.
A video looks at the development concepts that came into play, and local biodiversity needs on a site where ECT has planted more than 11,000 trees.
Media focus on ECT’s centre for the biological treatment of soil polluted with hydrocarbons
ECT’s centre for the biological treatment of soil contaminated with hydrocarbons opened 3 years ago at La Courneuve. The first and only indoor facility of this type in France, the centre can now treat 180,000 tonnes of contaminated soil per year. It often attracts the attention of the media and experts. Here’s an overview of recent visits.
July 2020: Construction Cayola
August 2020 : Convergence: symposium of iXi experts
Experts from iXi came to the ECT treatment centre to better understand the treatment and re-use of contaminated soil. Guillaume Paradis of ECT replies to questions from Pierre Lebrun of CPA-Expert. This report comes from the Convergence symposium organised by the iXi network.
and in January 2020: France Inter
We never get tired of listening to the dynamic radio journalism of Juliette Prouteau, who devoted an episode of La Terre au Carré to the soil of Greater Paris at the ECT soil treatment centre
The series of reports is available in podcast form, here
At Epône, in the département of Yvelines, ECT completes a stadium for mountain biking and trials riding in 4 months
A stadium for mountain biking and trials riding, the only facility of this type in the Île-de-France region, completed in 3 months between June and October 2020
On 15 June last year, ECT announced the opening of a new site to upcycle inert soil excavated in the département of Yvelines and the commune of Epône.
That was how this project, supported by the town hall, began, and so commenced, on land belonging to the commune, ECT’s development of the first site for trial riding and mountain biking in the Île-de-France region.
Three months later, we could look back on a project where the works were being finalised to offer Epône and its cycling club ORC Epône this stadium for training and competition – the only such place in the Île-de-France. The ORC club will now have 1000 m² of installations for training and preparing for future inter-regional competitions.
4 key stages in the works carried out by ECT
The work got under way during the summer, in several stages:
- The provision of inert soil from sites of the construction & public works sector of western Paris
Starting from the month of June, the provision of soil made it possible to extend the area and remodel its surface to be the site for various workout installations for trial riding and training tracks for mountain biking.
- Laying the fertile substrate
The fertile substrate manufactured on site by ECT is a growing medium that makes it possible to avoid importing topsoil. This substrate is a fertile mix of inert soil and compost made from green waste. It will be the growing medium for trees on the sloping parts of the site.
- Finishing the landforms and creating the stadium
The expertise of ECT’s bulldozer drivers made it possible to create the landforms of the site with great skill and precision, and in particular the shapes of the banked bends.
- Installing the workout facilities
Currently, the workout installations are being placed in accordance with a specific technical brief from the ORC Club. The area of nearly 5 acres has 150 m² of rock garden, 300 m² of trials zone and 600 m² of pump-track.
LA GAZETTE EN YVELINES
LE COURRIER DE MANTES
The Arboretum Park – a park accessible to people with all kinds of disability
A park open to all – families, sportspeople and people with disabilities.
The Arboretum Park at Moissy-Cramayel, in the département of Seine-et-Marne, was developed over a period of eighteen months by ECT using excavated soil from nearby sites of the construction & public works sector.
To determine how best to meet local needs, this park was a true eco-design project between ECT and the town of Moissy-Cramayel. The town council was keen to make the park accessible to all residents, including those with all kinds of disabilities.
That’s why there was a process of reflection and consultation, jointly undertaken by all those involved, for every kind of disability. That’s how the park became a great shared area for outings, accessible to all and proudly aiming to get the ‘Tourisme et Handicap’ label.
That means providing facilities suitable for this section of the public. Half of the routes are accessible to all, and they make it possible to visit the whole park. The signage, and the access to signage, have been developed specifically with this in mind.
A video looks at the way this community need was reflected in the design.
ECT and Akuo officially opened one of the two largest solar power stations in the Île-de-France region
Opening of the solar park at Annet-sur-Marne on 29 September 2020
14 November 2019 saw the official installation of the first solar panel of the solar park, and ten months later, ECT and Akuo inaugurated the “Les Gabots” photovoltaic power station, located in the commune of Annet-sur-Marne.
One of the largest solar parks in the Île-de-France region
The solar park, consisting of 44,000 photovoltaic panels, covers 45 acres. It will save 847 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Its output will meet the electricity needs of 3,700 homes, or about 10,000 inhabitants. It makes the commune of Annet-sur-Marne (with 3,300 inhabitants) a net producer of electricity.
Giving a second life to derelict land
The power station is the fruit of a partnership between Akuo and ECT through their jointly-owned subsidiary ACT-E. The solar panels are installed on landforms made up of inert soil, which makes it possible to optimise the angle of their slopes, thus giving the site a second life. Akuo and ECT intend to repeat the “Les Gabots” project on other sites in the Île-de-France region. The goal is to expand, in particular the production of solar energy, and achieve a peak output of 100 MW from the sites operated by ACT-E.
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched and is open to all citizens
Apart from participatory investment by regional authorities, Akuo and ECT have decided to give all citizens the opportunity to benefit from the profitability of the “Les Gabots” solar park by letting them invest in the refinancing of the project via a participatory loan on the AkuoCoop digital platform. More than €500,000 has been collected in less than 30 days.
This is intended to promote investment by individuals in ‘energy transition’ with a connection to the regions directly involved. Since it was set up, the platform has made it possible to collect more than €7M in just 4 years, to finance 13 solar power stations for the production of green energy.
Jean-Philippe Dugoin-Clément, Vice-President of the Île-de-France Region: “This ambitious development is part of the expansion of our Region into the domain of renewable energy. It’s an iconic project made possible by investment from the Region via Île-de-France Energies with a stake of €450,000. The bottom line is that this is our solar plan in physical form”.
Stéphanie Auzias, mayor of Annet-sur-Marne: “Annet was keen to be part of the process of ‘energy transition’ that is so urgently needed […]. Annet now has one of the most substantial solar parks in the Île-de-France region, and its maintenance costs are offset by grazing animals on the site. We’re participating in sustainable development”. Christian Marchandeau, former mayor and now deputy mayor of Annet-sur-Marne, concludes: “This solar park is our commune’s greatest asset.”
Eric Scotto, chairman and co-founder of Akuo: “This power station, born from our partnership with ECT, is a source of pride for the Akuo group because it’s our first photovoltaic power station in the Île-de-France region, and to date it’s one of the largest there. The quality of its visual insertion into the landscape is exceptional. It makes us fully part of the dynamic of the mobilisation plan for the ecological transformation of the Île-de-France region being driven by the Region’s president, Valérie Pécresse. We firmly believe that the development of photovoltaics in the Île-de-France region will expand significantly in the coming years, especially on land which is derelict or not in a natural state”.
Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT: “ECT’s development model is to identify land needing to be enhanced and to devise projects for open-space developments involving the upcycling of excavated soil from sites of the construction & public works sector in the Île-de-France region, and doing so in full consultation with local representatives. We felt it was important to broaden the range of our services to communities and local authorities by adding solutions for renewable energy. Bearing in mind our skills in creating and shaping soil to give them a suitable slope, we were naturally attracted by solar energy. ECT is very proud of this first joint operation with Akuo, which has resulted in this powerful solar park at Annet-sur-Marne”.
[Press release] Akuo and ECT declare the ‘Les Gabots’ solar park open
On 29 September 2020, Akuo and ECT officially opened the “Les Gabots” solar park at Annet-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne)
This power station, with its 44,000 solar panels, covers 45 acres of former ECT landfill, making it one of the two largest renewable solar energy sites in the Île-de-France region. Its output equates to the energy needs of 3,700 homes, making Annet-sur-Marne a net producer of green energy.
See what the press had to say by clicking here.
CREATING THE FIRST FACILITY IN THE ÎLE-DE-FRANCE REGION FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING AND TRIALS RIDING, WITH THE ORC CLUB
In the commune of Epône (78) ECT has worked with the bike club ORC Epône to create the first sports facility in the Île-de-France region for mountain biking and trials riding.
The club has more than 70 members. It does various forms of the sport (cross-country mountain biking, trials riding, cyclo-cross and adult sport touring). The ORC is designated as a bike school and competition club by the national governing body, the FFC or Fédération Française de Cyclisme.
4 questions for ORC Epône, for its president Franck Prestat and vice-president Philippe Gaudens.
Can you tell us about the various branches of mountain biking and trials riding?
Trials riding is done with a specific bike (with no saddle). It’s a spectacular sport, which requires flexibility, agility and balance to get round an obstacle course without putting a foot on the ground.
The mountain bike, which is much more common, is a bicycle for use on rough ground, off metalled roads.
What makes ECT’s involvement interesting for the ORC?
ECT’s involvement is what makes the project possible. Bringing inert soil to the site is financing the new developments. It means that the club will become the first in the Île-de-France region to have a terrain specifically for sport on two wheels – mountain biking and trials riding. It will also be the ideal location for hosting competitions.
How does the design of the new site work with bringing in soil from outside?
It’s bringing in inert soil that provides the opportunity to transform flat terrain into a very varied terrain almost like a stadium. It will make it possible for us to use the entire area of the terrain, and make the technical sections better spread out, more varied and more numerous. The height of the terrain lets us offer climbs and descents, and gives us more options in terms of the creation of technical sections.
What do you want the club to get from this new project?
The project aims to meet the needs of our two branches of cycle sport. Trials riding experts are always looking for new technical zones with obstacles, to add variety to their training, gain experience and improve their performance in competitions.
The total redevelopment of the site will let us completely rethink the zones so as to achieve better, more progressive technical levels. They will also delight our riders with new routes, whether using existing obstacles or new ones.
For mountain biking, we used to have to go elsewhere to find terrain with good training qualities.
Thanks to this project, we will have a wide range of technical sections for all levels right here on this site.
That means we’ll become more efficient in training our youngest members, as it will limit the travel distance to technical sections and at the same time increase safety (no roads to cross, etc.).
And aside from our youngest members, having a selection of benchmark technical sections means we’ll be able to assess riders as they progress through the various levels, and make up our groups accordingly – and prepare our competitors for the level of technical achievement that is expected.
Our adult mountain bikers will also be able to perfect their technique on a terrain that sets the standard.
OPENING OF A NEW SITE WHICH WILL RESTORE DEGRADED FARMLAND
A site to be rehabilitated
At Roissy-en-Brie in the département of Seine-et-Marne (77), ECT is opening a new site on 27 July. The re-use of excavated soil will restore and conserve degraded farmland. Before starting, ECT cleaned up the site, removing waste that had been tipped there. The purpose of this development is to restore the land’s vitality. It will create an area of farmland, and areas devoted to biodiversity.
Conserving and improving an area of farmland
It’s about restoring agricultural holdings for their original purpose. This means restoring the productivity of the soil. The process of rehabilitation thus requires appropriate grading to create fertile soil, for a new agricultural area extending over 37 acres. When our involvement is over, the farmer will be able to resume operations on this land, and its agricultural role will have been secured for the future.
Recreating ecological continuity
The development recreates ‘ecological coherence’. It supports and is consistent with the living past and present of the commune. The goal is to ensure the future of natural habitats, with:
- Conservation of existing natural environments (wetlands, small lakes, watercourses and neighbouring woods).
- The reconstitution of a mosaic of environments, restoring ecological corridors and biodiversity in this district.
The project in figures
- Launch date for the project: July 2020
- Period of works: 2 years
- Restoring 37 acres and returning it to agriculture
- Creating ecological developments of grassland and wetland over 8 acres
- Planting 11 acres of wooded slopes.
NEW ECT SITE IN THE SEINE-ET-MARNE DÉPARTEMENT, AT ROISSY-EN-BRIE (77)
On 27 July 2020, ECT opened a new site at Roissy-en-Brie in the département of Seine-et-Marne (77).
Bringing soil to this site will restore the productivity of an agricultural holding.
The works will last for 2 years.
For access to the Roissy-en-Brie site, prior approval is needed from the ECT’s Reservations department.
The site is equipped with scanners to read ECT’s electronic delivery tickets, as part of our contactless initiative for fully paperless working.
For all information about the terms for discharging soil (address, soils accepted, opening hours, truck types) click here.
UNEV: DURING THE HEALTH CRISIS, MEMBERS OF UNEV HAVE ALL BEEN MOBILISED
ECT is a member of UNEV (the national union of upcycling operators or Union Nationale des Exploitants de la Valorisation). In this video, UNEV’s president Albert Zamuner puts the spotlight on the sectors represented by UNEV.
He describes the work of its members, who have been very active during the health crisis to ensure that the construction & public works sector and local authorities could keep going.
[IN THE NEWS] “Covid-19: A good time to reflect on strategy”
Laurent Mogno, chairman of the ECT Group, spoke to Franck Boittiaux of ConstructionCayola.com
This discussion was an opportunity for the ECT chairman to give an initial financial assessment of lockdown and social distancing measures, and to explain the business’s approach to paperless and online communications with its customers in the construction & public works sector.
What are the consequences, especially in financial terms, of the health crisis and lockdown on the activities of your business, and the way you relate to your customers ?
“The consequences have been significant. We shut down all our sites from 17 and 18 March, while we set up new working procedures so as to safeguard the health of our and our customers’ workforces. We took about a week to re-open three sites, from 24 March, well spread across the Île-de-France in the 77, 91 and 95 départements. These sites seem well suited to ‘no contact’ working, and have adequate reception capacity, given that the ECT model consists of receiving soil excavated by construction and public works operators and offering solutions within a short travel distance.”
What steps did you have to take during lockdown ?
“Wherever possible, we shifted workers to teleworking, and set up strict procedures for the operational sites, with absolute ‘no contact’ working, in other words without using paper vouchers, without contact between members of our workforce or with customers, and with no shared equipment, whether that’s a computer keyboard or a bulldozer ! ”
How long do you think it will be before you can get back to a normal level of working, or even to get back to the 2019 level ?
“Probably not before September, and we will continue to monitor the situation thereafter because of the effects of Covid-19 and the municipal elections, so that we don’t experience a drop-off in 2021 arising from a lack of construction works, given that the various sectors involved are focussing very much on events unfolding today, and in particular on additional costs and the drop in productivity. Negotiations between the project supervisors and the construction and public works businesses on these subjects are complex and continually updated. As far as we are concerned, we have decided to absorb the costs arising from the new procedures.”
How has this period been for you? Has it given you an opportunity to think about possible reorganisations? Or changes to working methods ?
“It has been an opportunity to accelerate the process of going fully paperless, which was already at an advanced stage. We’re finalising our IT solution, which will be operational at the beginning of June and which will have an effect on productivity. It has also been a good time for reassessing the strategy of the business, especially in terms of the environment and biodiversity, because on 22 May the European Union published a roadmap which, in particular, promotes urban nature via the creation of plans for an ecological approach to urban and near-urban spaces in communes with more than 20,000 inhabitants, by the end of 2021. It’s a very interesting development for us, because its goal is the landscaping of spaces like those we make. Mankind needs nature in the city !”
See the full article by clicking here
START OF A NEW SITE IN THE DÉPARTEMENT OF YVELINES. THE FIRST CENTRE FOR MOUNTAIN BIKE AND TRIALS RIDING IN THE ÎLE-DE-FRANCE REGION
Developing the first site for mountain bike and trials riding in the Île-de-France region
ECT opened the new site, in the Yvelines département and more specifically in the commune of Epône, on 15 June. The site upcycles inert soils from construction works in the west of the Île-de-France region, and it will include the first mountain bike and trials riding venue in the Île-de-France.
A quick introduction to the two sports :
- ‘Trials riding’ is done with a special bike that makes it possible to tackle a series of different obstacles without setting foot on the ground.
- Mountain biking, which is better known, consists of learning to handle a bicycle on rough ground from an early age.
A sports development in the Yvelines département
This stadium project has been “eco-designed” in conjunction with the club ‘Off Road Cycliste d’Epône’ (ORC Epône) and the Epône town council. The aim was to reconfigure the sports facility to provide the club with new technical zones and obstacles so as to give more variety to their training, increase their experience and enhance their performance in competitions.
Reshaping the site involves providing soil, making it possible to extend the mountain bike and trials riding area by nearly 5 acres. The development is fully financed by upcycling the soil.
The project will create a number of different zones. There will be technical zones with workout installations, ‘pump track’ and rock garden zones, and tracks with moguls and bends.
The project in figures
- Project start date: June 2020
- Duration of works: 4 months
- 4.7 acres of training and competition terrain
- 150 m² of rock garden, 300 m² of trials zone, and 2 pump track zones of 300 m²
New ECT site at Epône in the département of Yvelines (78)
ECT starts work at a new site at Epône, in the département of Yvelines.
The purpose of this site is to create the first mountain biking and trials riding centre in the Île-de-France region. It will be developed by upcycling soil excavated during construction works in the west of the Île-de-France region. The works are expected to last four months.
All access to the Epône site must be pre-booked with ECT’s Reservations department.
The site will also be equipped to scan e-tickets for soil deliveries, as part of our ‘Full Dématérialisation’ (Fully Paperless) initiative.
For all information about the conditions for access to the site (location, types of soil accepted, opening times, truck types), click here
[IN THE NEWS] International journal “Ecological Engineering”
The international journal “Ecological Engineering” has just published a very interesting article.
The article is entitled: “Tree growth and macrofauna colonization in technosols constructed from recycled urban wastes”. It is co-authored by Charlotte Pruvost and Thomas Lerch (at the Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris, Sorbonne University, CNRS, UPEC, Paris 7, INRA, IRD).
The subject of the article is how to use technosols to provide sustainable alternatives to the large-scale importation of topsoil, in view of the increasing need to ‘green’ the cities. It is a research topic already explored by Charlotte Pruvost in a CIFRE thesis supervised by Thomas Lerch and funded by ECT.
To see the full article, click here.
Opening of a new site in the département of Essonne; a future equestrian centre
Developing a riding centre by upcycling inert soil
On 8 June ECT began a new site in the commune of Chevannes, which is in the département of Essonne. The purpose of this site is to re-use inert soils from the construction sites of the south-west of the Île-de-France region to create a horse-riding centre.
This equestrian project has been “eco-designed” in conjunction with the equestrian committee of the Essonne and the council of Chevannes. The objective was to define in advance the areas to be developed for horses and riding, and to set out how the site should be managed for the environment and biodiversity.
The goal is to create a full-featured, eco-friendly equestrian centre
This sports centre will cater for all equestrian disciplines. Bringing in soil makes it possible to create terraces on several levels. The terraces will provide a place for dressage arenas, and their flanks will be used for cross-country. The development is fully financed by upcycling the soil.
ECT is taking the opportunity of reshaping the site to promote the development of biodiversity. The various zones form part of a landscaping development of green space and wooded slopes.
A number of different zones are included in the project. There are to be a manège or horse schooling area, stables, a clubhouse, and a car park with 100 spaces.
The project in figures
- Project start date: June 2020
- Duration of works: 2 years
- 27 acres of land reclaimed as an equestrian centre
New ECT site at Chevannes in the département of Essonne (91)
ECT today opened a new site, at Chevannes in the Essonne (91).
The purpose of the site is to create a centre for horse-riding by upcycling soil excavated in construction works in the south of the Île-de-France. The works are expected to last two years.
All access to the Chevannes site must be pre-booked with ECT’s Reservations department. The site will also be equipped to scan e-tickets for soil deliveries, as part of our ‘Full Dématérialisation’ (Fully Paperless) initiative.
For all information about the conditions for access to the site (location, types of soil accepted, opening times, truck types), click here
INNOVATION IN CONSTRUCTION & PUBLIC WORKS: ECT DELIVERY TICKETS GO PAPERLESS
Traceability of soil, efficient unloading, compliance with COVID-19 hygiene rules
On 4 June, ECT launched its fully paperless system for soil delivery tickets. That means ECT is now paperless for the whole process of issuing, delivering and checking tickets. And from this week, 100% of ECT sites will be equipped to scan their QR codes. The site entry ticket is an important link in the chain of traceability for the soil and materials received on our sites.
This project for e-tickets began some months ago as part of the business’s environmental initiative, and the health crisis gave it added impetus. The implementation of ‘no contact’ facilitates collections from the sites of customers in the construction & public works sector. They also help with efficient traffic flow at the sites where we upcycle the soil.
This has a three-part objective for our customers :
- Shorter times when a driver arrives.
- Better traceability of materials.
- Better compliance with social distancing and other protective measures.
The technology is integrated with the customer service provided by ECT
Designed with our tech partner CKdev, this responsible approach is fully integrated into the customer experience so as to optimise pre-booked access to our sites.
There are 4 key steps :
- Creation by ECT of e-tickets when entry is booked.
- The e-tickets are sent out by email
- The e-tickets are completed by the customer, with the driver or haulier.
- The QR code for each e-ticket is scanned on arrival at the ECT site.
The issue, transfer and approval of e-tickets can be viewed in real time in ECT’s online client area.
Fertile substrate created on-site in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris
A responsible solution for greening the city
The on-site production of a fertile substrate or growing medium is an environmentally-friendly solution, making it possible to extend “nature in the city”, a major environmental factor for the cities of tomorrow. This growing medium is a local and sustainable alternative to importing of topsoil, which is a natural resource that should be left intact.
For 10 days, ECT has been creating a fertile substrate on site. This growing medium, which is essential for restoring vegetation to the Esplanade Saint-Louis, is an application of ‘circular economics’; the fertile substrate comes from recycling inert soil together with composted plant/vegetable waste.
A recycling plant on a landmark site
The purpose of the works is to landscape the traffic junction next to the Château. The requirement was to produce a recycled growing medium to re-green the Esplanade to a particular contractual specification, because the grassed area will be for public use for open-air events.
On-site creation of a fertile ‘technosol’ is one of a line of experiments already carried out in conjunction with the City of Paris. These experiments have been carried out within the Bois de Vincennes, in the context of a call for proposals by Paris Région Lab.
« The concept of fertility is integral to ECT’s business. We use a high-grade material in the form of inert soils from the construction & public works sector, to recreate fertile soils and to offer communities and local authorities a base for planting that is environmentally friendly, recycled and locally produced. And without falling back on topsoil stripped from the land hundreds of miles away. » Laurent Mogno, président d’ECT.
The fertile substrate for reconstructing soil, and its agro-ecological qualities
2,800 cubic metres of fertile substrate have already been produced in this way. The process for making this substrate can be modified to meet a particular contractual specification. A range of soils and aggregates can be used. These materials are levelled out on site, before being covered with a layer of vegetable compost. Once this “layer cake” has been created, the substrate is given a full-thickness blending to produce a consistent texture. The growing medium is now ready to be planted by a landscaping business.
The ‘circular economics’ of soil excavated for “Vert en Ville” or greening the city
This site represents another advance in the deployment of a ‘circular economy’ of excavated soil at the service of communities and local authorities. A circular economy involves maximum recycling with the minimum addition of raw materials, water and energy, as opposed to the extraction-manufacture-consumption-disposal model of linear economics. The re-use of inert soils represents a striking opportunity for the creation of natural, agricultural and leisure spaces. It’s an important issue, given that 63% of town-dwellers in France say they would like to see more green spaces created in their neighbourhood (study carried out for ECT by IFOP in February 2020).
The production of a fertile substrate that’s suitable for planting in an urban environment has been the subject of several years of R&D by ECT, culminating in 2019 with the creation of Urbafertil, a branded substrate with a composition that varies for each project but always meets the French standard NF U 44-551 (growing media).
ECT sponsors a garden at the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire
The Festival International des Jardins in the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire opened its doors last Saturday. This opening took place in circumstances greatly impacted by the health crisis of COVID-19. That’s why ECT is particularly proud of having supported the creation of one of its gardens, “Jardiniers de l’Invisible” or gardeners of the invisible.
In the words of its designers, who are students at the ENSP national landscaping school at Versailles (the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage), this garden puts a question to the visitor: “How can we restore lost links with our earth, the remarkable original model of living together, sharing and symbiosis?” ECT also co-funds a business chair, “Earth and Landscape”, at the ENSP.
For 6 months, this festival is the don’t-miss international garden venue. Visitors explore a world dedicated to creativity, imagination, poesy and nature, which has been acknowledged as such since 1992 by professionals and by garden lovers. Every year the festival welcomes landscape gardeners and designers from all over the world.
ECT supporting the re-start of the construction & public works sector
The re-opening of construction and public works sites is under way, with an increasing number of sites, including several Grand Paris Express (GPE) lines, now back at work.
After a break for several days to put in place the necessary changes to crews and procedures for the fight against COVID-19, ECT reopened several of its sites from 25 March, to deal with residual activity in the construction & public works sector, and then to work with the sector as it restarts.
At the end of April, five sites were receiving loads from our customers and we were ready to open others to keep pace with the increasing demand from the sector. One week later, at the beginning of May, 8 ECT sites are now open, and can be accessed under the system for optimising and pre-booking delivery slots that was put in place at the end of 2019.
These open sites provide complete coverage for the Île-de-France region.
Well done to all teams for making this happen !
Covid-19 – three ECT sites open
Three ECT sites are open to receive soil and materials from our customers. These are the sites at Chelles (77), Forges-les-Bains (91) and Cormeilles-en-Parisis (95). To achieve this, ECT has put in place appropriate procedures to cope with the health risks linked to Covid-19, to ensure for both our workforce and our customers the necessary conditions for restarting work at its sites.
Access to these three sites must be pre-booked via ECT’s sales and service department.
In the context of this re-opening, ECT remains vigilant in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic, which calls for the greatest care. Our goal is to protect all staff, both those of ECT and those of our customers. And to guarantee the most effective implementation of traceability for the soil that we re-use.
At a time when the functioning of the country has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are conscious that the entire construction & public works sector is calling for sites to be re-opened, provided that safe working is possible on site and that there is somewhere to send the excavated soil.
To date, our three open sites provide geographic and quantitative cover for the slots that have been pre-booked by our customers. We are entirely at their disposal to assess and respond to their needs in the coming days and weeks.
[In The News] Le Moniteur – A new look at the management of excavated soil
Le Moniteur – March 2020 – Special issue: ‘Circular Economy’ initiatives
Excavated Soils: A new look at waste – an article by Laurent Miguet
In the département of Seine-et-Marne, the re-use of 13 million cubic metres of material has turned ‘spoil’ into a wooded park. In 2014 the old gravel pit of Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin became an ECT site for depositing inert waste. From 2024, the site will host “The Eyes of the Sky”, a gigantic artwork by the architect Antoine Grumbach, created out of excavated soil. These two eyes, each 400 yards long and 170 yards wide, will be visible to travellers landing at the Roissy- Charles-de-Gaulle airport.
“Our project is located near the Mesnil-Amelot railway station, terminus of the future Line 17 of the Grand Paris Express, and it has every advantage to make it a destination in its own right. It ticks all the boxes in our work of developing non-built environment”, says Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT
“Soil is not part of the circular economy for its market value. We’re advocates for its re-use, both societal and symbolic”, explains Antoine Grumbach.
The French law on ‘circular economy’ provides for the balance that ECT advocates, by encouraging communities and local authorities to take up opportunities for land-use development projects, without losing the benefits of traceability arising from the legal status of excavated soil as ‘waste’.
Information about ECT site closures for COVID-19
With effect from the evening of 18 March 2020, all ECT sites are closed.
Faced with an extremely concerning health situation, ECT has taken the decision to totally suspend all deliveries to ECT sites. This decision applies from the evening of 18 March 2020 until further notice.
The purpose of this step is to protect our workforce and those of our customers.
We will keep our customers informed as the situation develops, by email, on our website at www.groupe-ect.com, and in your online client area. In case of urgent need, contact us on 01.60.54.57.40.
We hope to see you again on our sites in the very near future. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and your families.
“Greening the City”: a new urban challenge
A study carried out by IFOP for ECT on the expectations of town-dwellers relating to “vert en ville” or greening the city
With the municipal elections coming up, ECT, developer of sustainable projects using soil from construction and public works sites, unveils the results of a survey* carried out by IFOP on town-dwellers and “greening the city”. Involving more than 2000 urbanites, the study shows the strong attachment of town-dwellers to green spaces and to their benefits. Most French people who spend time in the green spaces are happy with them. However, the 18-35 generation of Millennials stands out. They have much greater expectations about the use of green spaces. With the approach of the municipal elections, this is a political issue because 72% of people in the survey said that the question of “greening the city” would play a major or decisive role in the polling booth.
« Townspeople have real expectations, in terms of the creation and development of green spaces, but also in terms of facilities and services. Urban farms, linear parks and green corridors, land art, sports installations, and so on. It is vital to tackle this fundamental issue for the well-being of residents », emphasizes Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT.
IFOP’s analysis is that « the study shows that ‘Millennials’ have a generational aspiration towards there being more green spaces in cities, and more facilities for the things that interest them. A significant gap has opened up between them and the Baby-boomer generation, who are satisfied with green spaces and equipment in their current state. »
Overall satisfaction, but higher expectations on the part of the 18-35s
- 74% of French town-dwellers are satisfied with the number of squares, parks, gardens and green spaces in their commune.
The average amongst the 18-35s: 63%
- 66% of those surveyed would go there more often if the number of such spaces increased.
The average amongst the 18-35s: 73%
- 60% of those surveyed would go more often to the green spaces in their town if there were more facilities (sports, games, relaxation spaces, etc)
The average for the 18-35s: 75%
- 59% of those surveyed would go more often to the green spaces in their commune if there were more activities (gardening, sports courses, workshops, etc)
The average for the 18-35s: 72%
Half of city-dwellers consider that there are enough :
- Children’s play areas (50%)
- Parks and gardens (49%),
- Outdoor sports installations (45%),
- Woods and natural spaces for flora and fauna (45%)
But the 18-35s stand out and express frustration:
- Only 43% are satisfied with the quantity of parkland, gardens and green spaces in their communes – 6 points less than the national average
- As regards sports in town, 37% are satisfied – 8 points less than the national average
- And for areas dedicated to the conservation of flora and fauna, 39% are satisfied – 6 points below the national average
A close link, and recognition of the benefits of “greening the city”
All the French believe in the benefits of green spaces :
- On the personal level: 92% believe that green spaces in the city improve morale.
- As a social bonding factor: 82% think that “greening the city” contributes to reinforcing the social bonds between residents.
- As a direct contribution towards the environment: 92% see them as islands of freshness in city centres. 91% see them as a factor in improving air quality. And 89% see an opportunity to create places for biodiversity.
Places at the heart of their everyday life for 7 town-dwellers out of 10
Green spaces thus constitute part of everyday life for town-dwellers. 7 out of 10 say they spend time in a park, square or public garden in their commune at least once a month; at least once a week for 34%, and every day for 4%. Only 29% of city dwellers say that they never spend time in green spaces.
This close and very strong link between the French and green spaces can be explained in terms of the geographical distribution of green spaces:
- 36% of town-dwellers said they live less than 5 minutes on foot from a square, park or public garden,
- 34% between 5 & 10 minutes away on foot, 19% between 11 and 20 minutes away
- and 11% more than 20 minutes away.
As regards leisure activities:
- 88% of town-dwellers who were asked said that they go for walks there
- 71% of people who were asked said that they did relaxation and leisure activities there (picnics, reading, sunbathing, etc).
- 64% of respondents go more for games and family activities
- 63% do a sports activity in the open air.
- 46% of town-dwellers (which is almost one person in two) who were asked would do more gardening if the infrastructure was there to make this possible.
Methodology of the study
The survey was carried out with a sample of 2,005 town-dwellers who were representative of the adult population of urban communes in mainland France.
To ensure that the overall sample was representative, quotas were used for:
- Socio-demographic criteria: The gender of the individual; the age of the individual;
- Socio-occupational criteria: The individual’s profession;
- Geographic criteria: The region and size of the urban unit of the commune of residence.
These quotas were defined using INSEE data for the population aged 18 or above and living in mainland France (Enquête Emploi 2015).
The interviews were carried out with self-administered online questionnaires between 31 January and 3 February 2020.
A job with a story: site reception
Whatever their area of expertise or trade and whichever site they work on, the staff of the operations department of ECT contribute every day to “making landscape”.
Despite the rigours of the weather, they have to stay optimistic and persevering. And work together, in a team, to shape these earth hills and these projects.
Through portraits of these men and women, we let you discover what they do and what is important to them. In this edition, we put the spotlight on site reception personnel.
Site reception: A key stage in traceability?
Every year, ECT receives nearly 15 million tons of soil. The traceability of this soil is a major factor in the management and re-use of excavated soil. On every site, the soil is checked at the reception point.
The site reception officer carries out the first checks in situ:
- enregistrement des documents contenant des informations sur l’origine du chantierrecording of the documents that contain the information about the place of origin
- checking the admission documents
- checking the load on the truck
- communicating and checking safety instructions, traffic rules and tipping rules
Site reception officer: a line of work for women too.
On several sites, the reception points are staffed by women. This role calls for working fast, getting it right, and being firm.
You have to know how to manage the flow of trucks entering the site and keep waiting time to a minimum. And sometimes you need determination to turn away a load because of a problem with traceability or with the quality of the soil.
“Here, at this point, you need to have character, be disciplined and give your instructions with a smile”
“My role is to control the loading of the trucks, do data entry and manage safety.”
See their faces
When Gil Fornet took these portraits of ECT staff, he used his skills as a photographer to capture the diversity of our trades in images.
3 questions for Jonathan Bryden, director of the “New Products” department
3 questions for Jonathan Bryden, who joined ECT in September 2019. He is director of the “New Products, New Services” department. That puts him at the heart of the business’s innovative approaches and the monetising of ECT’s fertile substrate, Urbafertil.
What were the origins of Urbafertil?
The origins of Urbafertil go back a long way. The interactions between our land-use developments using inert soils and the fertilisation of the soil emerged very rapidly as one of the key issues in our work as developers.
From 2002, ECT was involved when some parts of the Park de la Corneuve were ‘greened’ with a mix of excavated soils and compost. The experiment was observed and funded by the Council of the département of Seine-Saint-Denis.
Building on that, from 2002 to 2013, ECT was associated with a scientific committee on fertile substrates which included representatives from ADEME, from the Conservatoire Botanique National, from INRA, from the UMR Biogéochimie et Ecologie des Milieux Continentaux, from the Université Paris Est and from the Bioemco laboratory.
The work of this scientific committee resulted in a 4-year phase of experimentation (2013 -2017). This experimentation took place on the ECT site at Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin (in Seine-et-Marne, 77).
It was observed scientifically by Charlotte Pruvost, a PhD student at the Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement in Paris. The title of her thesis was:
“The potential for biodiversity in the construction of technosols from urban waste“.
This thesis was presented in December 2018 before a jury consisting of members of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, senior lecturers from the University of Lorraine and professors from the universities of Rouen and Dijon.
In 2019, ECT set up a Research & Development department. Based on prior experimentation, one of the tasks of this department is the production and monetisation of a fertile substrate or growing medium. Production work is done in close co-operation with Biodepe, a subsidiary of ECT that specialises in organic waste and soil fertility. From December 2019, ECT was able to take this to a new level, by offering communities and local authorities its own brand of fertile substrate: Urbafertil
Why use Urbafertil as a growing medium?
Today, when a local authority is looking at projects to restore vegetation, the common practice is to import topsoil. These soils are stripped from fields located outside the towns and transported to the site where they’ll be used. However, there are solutions that are local, recycled and highly effective. That’s why it is important to think outside the box and favour bringing in local products.
It’s important to note that the traceability of topsoil is not always optimal. Urbafertil is partly made from inert soil from construction and public works sites located near the site to be ‘greened’. These inert soils have the advantage of compulsory traceability for excavated soils..
Urbafertil is produced purely by recycling, and comes from the combined re-use of inert soil and compost made from vegetable waste. Urbafertil is a successful example of ‘circular economy’, with very competitive prices compared to the price of topsoil.
A number of projects to create growing media using Urbafertil are under way in the Paris region.
What are the new products and new services that you are working on?
The whole ethos of ECT’s R&D department and the management of “new products and services” is to encourage a forward-looking and innovative approach. ECT has committed itself to this approach of innovation by creating partnerships with innovative businesses. The goal is to offer to communities and local authorities a range of new products and services to meet their need for estate management and development.
This has already resulted in the launch of the Urbafertil substrate, and also membership of Cycle Terre. This organisation aims to create a pathway for re-use of inert soil from the construction & public works sector, constructing new spaces from raw earth.
We are very aware of the environmental and societal impacts of the developments we carry out. And we are conscious of their potential, and their ability to have an extremely positive impact in the medium and long term. ECT is currently working on tools to make it possible to highlight the effectiveness of our solutions from the environmental perspective, and to demonstrate their advantages over other solutions.
The solar park at Annet-sur-Marne under construction
What’s happening at the Les Gabots site at Annet-sur-Marne?
The transformation goes on at ‘Les Gabots’ at Annet-sur-Marne, on the site planned as the location for a solar park. On a recent visit to the work site, ECT was impressed by the profound changes to the hills that will become one of the largest photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Île-de-France region. Akuo is currently installing the solar panels. Activity is intense. Between now and summer 2020, more than 44,000 solar panels will be installed on the 45 acres of rolling landscape shaped by ECT.
Annet-sur-Marne, a renewable energy town
14 November last year was the day of the official fitting of the first solar panel for the PV power plant, in the presence of the mayor of Annet-sur-Marne, Christian Marchandeau, the vice-president of the Conseil Régional, Jean-Philippe Dugoin-Clément and of Eric Scotto, the chairman and founder of Akuo. All those present were delighted by the launch of this site for green, renewable energy.
With peak production of 17 MW from the solar park, the town of Annet will become a net producer of renewable energy
A partnership between the LPO and ECT to support the Little Owl
Respect for the environment and the conservation of biodiversity are at the heart of ECT’s values. That’s why we pay particular attention to the impacts of what we do. Even better, we are keen to work proactively in favour of biodiversity. This is underlined by the charter of commitment we’ve signed with the Humanité & Biodiversité organisation.
Now we need to turn this commitment to biodiversity into practical action. That’s why ECT is working with the LPO (the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, which is the French RSPB or Audubon Society) within a partnership agreement.
The LPO is well known for its work to protect species. The purpose of the programme put together for the little owl (Athene noctua) in the Île-de-France region is to re-establish ecological continuity between the Val d’Oise and the north of Seine-et-Marne. And by so doing, to conserve the various populations of this bird in this region.
LPO is working with ECT to advice us on three of ours sites, which are situated within the study area for the little owl: Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin (77), Vémars (95) and Louvres (95). ECT’s part is to encourage it to establish itself there, and that means creating corridors.
On the Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin site, developments are already expected for this year. In particular, in the orchard zone, with the placing of nest-boxes for the little owl.
A France Inter report on ECT’s centre for biological treatment
This week, the France Inter series “La Terre au Carré” is broadcasting a series of reports by the journalist Juliette Prouteau. This documentary mini-series is about the soil excavated from Grand Paris Express work sites.
The report of 14 January focuses on polluted excavated soil. That’s why the journalist visited our centre for biological treatment of soil polluted by hydrocarbons, located at La Courneuve (93).
In the report, Jérôme Malherbe, the site manager, and Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT explain how the centre carries out biological treatment of these polluted soils.
It gives an overview of the work of the first French centre of this totally-enclosed type, in various stages :
- The soil is unloaded into specific bays for particular sites.
- The centre then sorts and analyses the soils to identify the type of pollution.
- The process of treatment can then start.
- The treatment process ceases when analyses show that the hydrocarbons have been substantially cleaned up
ECT presents its work to the local authorities of the Yvelines département
The local authority news publication “Magazine des Mairies et Intercommunalités des Yvelines” ran a special article about the UMY conference day in the 2019 edition. It was an opportunity for feedback from the various stakeholders and participants.
As part of the “Sustainable Development” workshop, ECT gave a presentation about its work as an environmentally aware developer of the non-built environment.
In this new interview, Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, talks again about the potential for re-use of inert soil, and ECT’s ability to offer to create, for communities and local authorities, sports and leisure spaces that are good for biodiversity.
To find the whole interview with Laurent Mogno, click here
Best wishes for 2020
In 2019, the men and women of ECT enhanced the lives of people living in the Île-de-France region.
Let’s work together to build the landscape of 2020. With more green spaces, sports grounds, places to walk, places for farming in town and in the fields … and happiness for all.
ECT wishes you an excellent 2020
ECT signs up to a charter to support biodiversity
ECT makes a commitment to biodiversity
Bernard Chevassus-au-Louis, chairman of the association “Humanité & Biodiversité”, and Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, formally signed a joint charter of commitment to biodiversity. This Charter is the result of a year of joint work with a shared objective – to work in partnership on the challenge of conserving the living world, participating in increasing knowledge, and affirmation by carrying out positive acts for biodiversity.
ECT and the “Humanité & Biodiversité” association: a meeting of minds that began in 2019
“Humanité & Biodiversité” is an association whose main purpose is to help everybody take into account the synergies and unbreakable links between mankind and biodiversity. The association works to conserve the diversity of the living world, and wants to see biodiversity considered in every sector of the economy. How? By systematically taking account of the interactions between the economic and social spheres and biodiversity.
That’s why ECT has joined this partnership with Humanité & Biodiversité, so as to incorporate biodiversity thinking into the way ECT works.
Bernard Chevassus-au-Louis, chairman of Humanité & Biodiversité: “In our view, the conservation and re-establishment of biodiversity require us to take human activities into consideration, so that everything we do contributes towards conserving our natural capital. Humanity is part of biodiversity. Humanity depends on it, profits from it and is responsible for it. It seems to us to be essential to recreate natural spaces where people live, so they can taste, smell and appreciate biodiversity.”
A charter of commitment to biodiversity, co-drafted and co-signed
The goal of this partnership is to grow together, and for each to better understand the activities of the other. The teams of each organisation have worked together to produce this charter which reflects a shared vision and commitment.
The charter takes into account the special characteristics of ECT’s work as an operator of non-built developments. In this way, we intend to reinforce the ways we work in regions that have strong potential for biodiversity.
Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT: “There aren’t many organisations like ECT that have the ability to create green, non-built developments with an environmental agenda. We are a manufacturer of landscapes on a grand scale. I believe that our approach to biodiversity on our projects must be proactive. This is the ambition and spirit of this charter. ECT definitely has the ability to make firm and lasting commitments to create, into the future, habitats that are re-worked, reconstituted, and conserved.”
The charter of commitment will be reflected, from 2020, in operational matters
The objective of this charter is to increase our expertise in carrying out our developments. Meeting this challenge means a commitment to three things:
- Turning the potential for biodiversity of ECT sites into reality
- Training our people in biodiversity issues
- Participating in the development of knowledge on biodiversity
The charter is intended as a guide for the business. It is to be seen as a resource for putting in place a practical methodology. 2020 is going to be the year for providing the business with a map of practical and appropriate responses in support of biodiversity.
See the complete ECT / Humanité & Biodiversité charter by clicking here.
A meeting between Bernard Chevassus-au-Louis and Laurent Mogno.
On the occasion of the signing of the charter, the two signatories met to discuss the issues of biodiversity in the development of sites.
See the four episodes of this conversation
“Earth as a Material”, a new book by Antoine Grumbach
Antoine Grumbach is an architect and town planner. This book is a reflection on metropolitan (metropolitan France, that is) land art. It gets its impetus from his awareness of the sheer volume of soil excavated by the construction & public works sector in the Île-de-France region.
Antoine Grumbach has no doubts – soil is a marvellous material. He explains all in his book entitled: “La Terre comme matériau: les Belvédères du Grand Paris”.
In the book, the architect and town planner describes the project of “made hills”. A visible sign of a symbolic ‘circular economy’, they have sprung up at the edges of the Paris metropolitan area.
ECT shares this ambition with Antoine Grumbach; the ambition of turning an “astonishing, intelligent, poetic, bold, useful” project into reality – the belvederes or lookout hills of the metropolitan area.
The sketches in the book illustrate these discoveries and explorations. The book unveils a laboratory of the imagination. They are steps to celebrate the fragility of the limits of the metropolitan area, as symbolised by these belvederes.