Respect for the environment

Implenia has set itself ambitious environmental targets. The company is particularly keen to increase its energy efficiency and thus reduce CO2 emissions and optimise the consumption of resources. Implenia uses a tailor-made system to monitor its environmental performance.

4.1Preserving resources

Implenia’s efforts to be environmentally friendly are backed up by its environmental management system and ISO 14001 certification. The company follows clearly defined rules and monitors its environmental performance. Responsibility rests with environmental officers who report to the Sustainability Department in Technical Support.

Implenia’s environmental priorities are to increase energy efficiency and optimise its consumption of resources. It also seeks to protect the local environment and promote recycling at its building sites and workshops.

Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are the key environmental measures at the operational level, so Implenia does all it can to reduce its consumption of energy and to use the cleanest possible energy sources. Its newly developed quantitative environmental data recording system means that for the first time the company can measure its environmental performance properly and define and monitor goals. The main environmental drivers are identified so well-defined action can be defined and implemented.

4.2Transparent environmental performance

The comprehensive data evaluation carried out during the period under review has allowed the company to analyse its business activities for the first time from the point of view of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The system captures all organisational units in Switzerland, which account for 85% of Implenia Group’s turnover.

Energy consumption


Energy consumption

Analysis for the 2012 /2013 period shows that the diesel used for machinery, commercial vehicles and cars is by far the largest “final energy” fuel item. Next come fuels such as natural gas and heating oil that are used for process heat in the surfacing works.


Greenhouse gas emissions

Most of the fuel used for vehicles, machinery and heating is from fossil sources, so the greenhouse emissions profile is similar to the energy profile: almost 90% of all emissions are generated by building sites, workshops and surfacing plants, i.e. in production operations. Of all the emissions from bought-in energy, nearly 70% comes from fuels like diesel and petrol. Around 25% of CO2 emissions are accounted for by heat generated from oil and natural gas. Electricity consumption only makes up 5% of Implenia’s greenhouse gas emissions, not least because of the low CO2 intensity of the electricity we buy.

Greenhouse gas emissions include direct emissions (operation of our own construction machinery, lorries and heating at production facilities and workshops, “Scope 1” under international rules on greenhouse gas calculation) as well as indirect greenhouse gas emissions from network energy like electricity (“Scope 2”).

Based on the dominance of specific usages, it is clear that future improvements should focus on three main areas:

  1. Transport and mechanical work on construction sites
  2. Heating consumption in surfacing works
  3. Fuel consumption by delivery trucks and cars

The following indirect emissions up- or downstream of Implenia’s value chain (Scope 3) were calculated in detail and included in the illustration below:

  • Emissions from the preparation and transportation of fuels
  • Emissions from production facilities not managed by Implenia
  • Emissions from business trips (flights)

Other indirect emissions within the up- or downstream process chain were analysed using benchmark figures. This showed that the procurement of construction materials was the most important indirect source of emissions, followed by the subsequent use of the buildings. These two categories account for several times the volume of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and are therefore very relevant. However, Implenia’s influence on these processes is often very small.

Implenia plans to report its climate-related efforts during the next reporting period in line with the guidelines set by the international Carbon Disclosure Project. It has set itself the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) across the whole organisation by 10% relative to turnover by 2017.


Greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1 + 2)


Implenia’s greenhouse gas emissions


Greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1, 2 + 3)


Vehicles and machinery

Implenia uses hundreds of vehicles every day: cars, lorries, diggers, steamrollers and many more. Altogether they consume a massive 8.7 million litres of fuel each year. The company has therefore set itself the target of reducing the amount of fuel used in this area too. To do this the company is taking action to encourage more efficient driving, including EcoDrive courses.

There is even greater savings potential when actually buying the vehicles and machinery, so Implenia always tries to find low-emission options. For example, it purchased 19 hybrid cars and a hybrid digger to test in everyday conditions. The tests showed that the hybrid digger used 25% less fuel than a conventional alternative.

In its regulations for company vehicles Implenia imposes maximum CO2 emission limits. These were tightened during the period under review. Cars are now not allowed to emit more than 150 grams of CO2 per kilometre. Employees with a car that emits less than 110 grams of CO2 are given a sustainability bonus by the company.

These measures are paying off: The data shows that there was an increase in the amount driven on business trips owing to the growth of the leased fleet (from 1048 to 1420 vehicles during the period under review), but that the specific CO2 emissions per kilometre driven have fallen. The increase in the fleet can be attributed to a change in regulations: employees who previously used their own private cars for long business trips were given a company car in 2012.


Air travel

Journey by air peaked at Implenia in 2012. Since then the curtailing of many foreign activities outside Europe has meant a sharp drop in intercontinental flights in particular. Implenia decided that from the beginning of 2014 all business flights would be offset through a scheme run by the myclimate foundation.

EcoDrive for the corporate fleet

In 2012 Implenia offered all its office-based staff in Switzerland an EcoDrive course. The course was compulsory for those with company cars. In total 469 employees took part, which is a third of all office-based staff in Switzerland. It was notable that participants did not drive slower when using the “greener” driving techniques: in fact they increased their average speed by 6% in the simulator test. At the same time they reduced consumption by 20%. In practice the savings are probably a little lower – around 5 to 10%. Given that fuel for business trips costs 1.6 million francs a year, this would mean potential annual savings of up to 160,000 francs. The courses have gone down very well with participants and have proved successful: Implenia’s professional drivers and machinery operators are driving more economically. Since a broad training campaign was completed in 2010 /2011, all new employees are sent on an EcoDrive course.

22% of Implenia’s CO2 emissions are from production facilities. Pictured: the Asfatop surfacing works in Unterengstringen.



Focus on surfacing works

Implenia has a financial stake of at least 20% in 20 Swiss surfacing works. These works produce a total of 1,600,000 tonnes of asphalt each year. Implenia itself is a major customer, buying around 500,000 tonnes a year from them. 250,000 tonnes of asphalt, or 16% of total production, is made from recycled material.

The SAPA surfacing work, a 75% subsidiary of Implenia, carried out a successful energy efficiency programme during the period under review. This began with a comprehensive analysis of the site in Satigny near Geneva, during which a series of different savings measures were also evaluated. The ones implemented in an initial phase included better insulation of transport pipes and vents, containers and the oil circuit. The energy efficiency analysis was supported by SIG’s “Ambition Négawatt – Eco21 programme”. According to the checks run by SIG (Services Industriels de Genève) this better insulation helped SAPA save 83 megawatt hours of energy in 2013, which is equivalent to 9% of its annual consumption. SAPA is considering further optimisations for the medium and long term, including housings for conveyor belts, reclaiming heat from exhaust air and using solar energy to keep bitumen at the required temperature of 160 degrees Celsius.

Photovoltaic system on the roof of the Bois-de-Bay workshop in Onex, Canton Geneva.



Buying electricity

During the period under review Implenia commissioned a study of its electricity procurement. External specialists analysed the purchase and origin of electricity at production facilities and properties with annual consumption of over 100 megawatt hours. Owing to their energy consumption, these major locations have a statutory right to free grid access. The study included 4 office buildings and 6 workshops as well as 7 production facilities in which Implenia as at least a 50 percent stake.

Evaluation of the data showed that the properties and production facilities consumed a total of around 7.3 gigawatt hours of electricity in 2012. For the most part the energy purchased was the standard offer provided by the local utility companies. The proportion of renewable energy, primarily hydroelectric, came to 58%. The rest is nuclear energy, fossil energy and energy from unverifiable sources. Some locations also have Naturemade Basic or Naturemade Star electricity certification.

Based on the analysis, Implenia decided that the largest consumers of electricity – two office buildings, three workshops and a production facility – would buy 2.2 GWh of electricity, all of it hydroelectric, on the open market from 2014. At its other locations, where it is tied to local providers, Implenia aims to offset all electricity from non-renewable sources with hydroelectric certificates. This marks an important step on the way to renewable energy provision.

Implenia doesn’t just want to buy certificates, however, but also to produce renewable energy itself. One good way of doing this is to put photovoltaic cells on its workshops. The two workshops at Onex and Vétroz have had solar roofs since 2014, producing a total of almost 400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This is equivalent to the consumption of almost 100 households, or 15% of the electricity required by all Implenia workshops. Following the positive experiences in western Switzerland, in 2013 investigated the potential for solar power at six workshops in German-speaking Switzerland. The conclusion was that photovoltaic systems would indeed bring environmental and economic benefits at certain locations. The roof surfaces that were assessed could theoretically produce up to 2 gigawatt hours of electricity. Electricity generation costs could be as little as 20 centimes per kilowatt hour depending on the location. Implenia is currently working on the next steps.

Paper consumption

Compared with other factors, such as fuel consumption, the environmental impact of paper consumption is low. However, since paper usage has a symbolic importance and still figures large in office life, Implenia monitors its consumption. It is good to note that the overall paper requirement has fallen in recent years. And the proportion of environmentally certified paper has risen within four years from 38 percent to 97 percent (see chart). This success can be attributed to a change in purchasing strategy. Following extensive testing of different types of recycled paper in 2010, the purchasing department decided to move over as much as possible to “environmental paper” – i.e. certified (FSC, Blauer Engel) and recycled paper.


4.3Systematic recording of data

Implenia has created a data capture system tailored to its activities so that it can formulate well-defined environmental goals and monitor their implementation. The customised set of indicators allows Implenia to capture all the most important energy and material flows. The indicators are based on the flow of resources from extraction of raw materials to finished buildings. The company only records figures that it can actually influence itself.

It started this systematic recording of environmental data in 2011. Since then data has been recorded for production facilities, workshops and office premises, building sites and development projects, as well as for transportation and paper consumption (see data recording matrix).

Implenia still isn’t where it wants to be in terms of regional detail, so it has started to carry out comprehensive recording at individual building sites engaged in different types of work (civil engineering: Schulhausplatz, Baden; building construction: Fleur d’Eaux, Versoix; tunnelling: Mositunnel, Brunnen). All energy and resource flows at these locations, including waste, are being recorded. The results from these sites should help Implenia identify the main influences on the environment.

Expansion of online data recording and analysis

After the first three years of data recording it became clear that a professional IT system was required to deal effectively with the huge volume of data. So at the end of 2013 Implenia purchased the web-based data recording and analysis system SoFi from PE International. This specialised software allows Implenia to capture data continuously from various sources and show it in real time, as well as to generate specific analyses to help monitor outcomes. Data is validated systematically on entry, which further improves its quality.

Data recording matrix


4.4Sensitising employees

Employees have an enormous influence on a company’s energy and resource consumption, so Implenia carries out regular awareness-raising campaigns. There were three during the period. These were designed to heighten people’s ability to spot savings opportunities and motivate all personnel to reduce the use of energy and water as well as to dispose of waste water correctly.

Usually these campaigns consist of a multi-lingual information poster that is put up in highly visible locations for a number of weeks. The poster delivers the main messages concisely in words and images. Internal newsletters, the half-year report and “Impact”, the staff magazine, keep project managers up to date with the latest campaign activities and progress made, as well as providing background information. At the same time, project managers are trained in the relevant subjects and provided with in-depth documentation through the intranet.

Awareness-raising campaigns sensitise employees to the impact they may be
having on the company’s consumption of energy and resources.

4.5Achievement of goals 2012 /2013

Implenia wants to help ensure there will continue to be sufficient energy, building resources and land in future.


Goals for 2012 /2013

Achievement of goals


Record and analyse the material, energy and waste flows that Implenia can influence, and take measures to reduce them

  • Interpret initial data, set reduction targets and implement reduction measures for 2013
  • Fundamental data including energy use and greenhouse gas emissions prepared for 2011–2013 and used to set reduction targets with the help of the SoFi data and analysis tool (chapter 4.3)
    Goal only partially reached since implementation of some measures will be in next period )

Continue employee awareness raising campaigns

  • Carry out awareness campaigns to help meet reduction targets
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from driving reduced by 23% thanks to EcoDrive and new vehicles (chapter 4.2.3)
  • Complete ECO-Drive courses for machinery operators and office personnel

Further develop energy and resource
efficiency in production facilities

  • Use renewable energy for asphalt production
  • Thermal insulation of parts of the SAPA surfacing works reduces CO2 emissions (chapter 4.2.5)
  • Own photovoltaic system at the Claie aux Moines gravel recycling works increases use of renewable energy (chapter 4.2.6 /2.4.4)
  • Installation of photovoltaic systems at the Onex and Vétroz depots in Canton Wallis increases the use of renewable energy (chapter 4.2.6)

Goal fully achievedGoal partially achievedGoal not achieved

4.6Goals and activities 2014 /2015

Implenia wants to help ensure there will continue to be sufficient energy, building resources and land in future.


Goals for 2014 /2015

Activities 2014 /2015

Record and analyse the material, energy and waste flows that Implenia can influence, and take measures to reduce them

  • Make a 10% cut in greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy consumption per franc of turnover by 2017 compared with 2013 levels
  • Detailed identification of relevant potential reductions in material and energy flows at four construction projects (across building construction, civil engineering and infrastructure) and define broad implementation measures
  • Define quantitative environmental criteria for procurement of vehicles and machinery
  • Compensate for purchase of non-renewable electricity with hydroelectric certificates
  • CO2 offsetting for flights

Sensitise employees and create incentives

  • We know that sustainability requires action from each individual
  • Carry out two targeted awareness-raising campaigns every year on energy and waste on building sites, plus driving training for machinery operators in order to achieve reduction targets
  • Use online platform to sensitise employees and create incentives to reduce emissions in each employee’s area of activity

Further develop energy and resource efficiency in production facilities

  • Apply well-defined measures to increase the energy and resource efficiency of production facilities
  • Create a roadmap for planning investment in the energy efficiency of production sites in which Implenia has a controlling stake (e.g. Tapidrance)
  • Install photovoltaic systems on the roofs of three more of our own properties
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