Our corporate social responsibility (CSR)
GRTgaz’s CSR policy is the cornerstone of the whole company’s commitment to sustainable development goals, working closely with its stakeholders. The CSR policy frames the implementation of the company’s core purpose and fuels its CAP24 transformation project. It is the visible outcome of the way that GRTgaz factors all of its environmental and societal impacts into its strategy and activities.
A 3-pronged CSR policy
GRTgaz’s CSR policy is based on three priorities and ten priority commitments. Each of these takes shape around quantitative targets set for 2024 and 2030.
GRTgaz has set some ambitious carbon targets in response to the climate challenge. These include contributing to France’s carbon neutrality by 2050, and keeping the increase in global average temperatures to “well below 2°C”, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. To hit these targets, GRTgaz has set out three commitments :
- Reduce CO2eq emissions from its carbon footprint by 20% in 2024 and by 40% in 2030 (compared to 2019). Efforts are focused on industrial emissions, but also on service industry activities (purchasing, eco-design, etc.).
- Decarbonise the gas chain by promoting and supporting the development of renewable gases and their uses: working together with the production sectors, the aim is to connect 12 TWh of renewable gas to the French gas networks in 2024 and 60 TWh in 2030.
- Offer its customers long-term access to competitive energy: the target is to maintain an average cost of access to the gas transmission network of 48 euro cents per KWh/day/year of subscribed capacity by 2024. Furthermore, GRTgaz undertakes to reduce the cost of renewable gas injection facilities in its networks by 20%, and to increase the share of investments dedicated to the energy transition and the carbon trajectory to 20% in 2024.
Employees and stakeholders are the keystones both of GRTgaz’s future and its ability to meet the challenges posed by the ecological and energy transition. GRTgaz therefore undertakes to:
Promote skills development, diversity and quality of life at work (QLW): targets for 2024 are for a 25.5% female workforce, to increase the employee engagement rate by 7 points, and to increase the QLW index by 4 points (compared to 2018).
- Support its customers in their energy needs and the decarbonisation of their uses: the company will seek to develop its infrastructures, facilitate access to the market, enrich its offering and offer new services by consulting stakeholders and listening to their needs. The current aim is to provide our customers with indisputable proof of the utility of renewable gases, hydrogen and CCUS. With this in mind, three key indicators have been set for 2024: maintaining a 90% customer satisfaction level; developing 20 customer partnerships centred on decarbonisation; and connecting 16 (bio)NGV stations to the network.
- Co-construct sustainable energy solutions with the regions: by 2024, this cooperation must take the form of three new demonstrators for the novel renewable gas sectors (pyrogasification, hydrothermal gasification) and hydrogen transmission.
- Introduce a responsible purchasing policy based on long-term supplier relationships: in 2021, the third edition of the Supplier Survey confirmed a good level of satisfaction (77%). Since 2020, GRTgaz has also set itself the target of making €1.5 million in purchases from disabled-friendly sectors (TPA), i.e. 25% more than the regulatory requirement.
GRTgaz’s CSR commitments are designed in full compliance with the demands of its public service missions:
- Ensure the safety of people and property: GRTgaz works tirelessly to keep the accident frequency rate below 1.9.
- Guarantee the continuity and quality of supply: under the ten-year plan, 40% of GRTgaz pipelines must be inspected and treated in 2024.
- Comply with ethical and regulatory standards: GRTgaz aims to train 100% of its employees in the application of its Ethical Charter by 2024.
- Protect the environment: GRTgaz acts to protect the environment and biodiversity. It has defined a set of actions linked to its land holdings and waste management aimed at preserving biodiversity.
10 CSR Commitments
A/ Act to achieve affordable carbon neutrality
- Reduce our carbon footprint
- Step up the energy transition by developing green gases
- Guarantee access to affordable, sustainable energy
- Grow in a sustainable way
B/ Meet the challenges of the ecological transition with our employees and stakeholders
- Promote the development of skills, diversity and QLW for our employees
- Provide support for our customers with their energy needs and their decarbonisation actions
- Co-construct sustainable energy solutions with regional stakeholders
C/ Ensure that our activities are carried out in a responsible manner
- Oversee the safety of people and infrastructures and ensure the continuity of our operations
- Perform our activities ethically and in compliance with regulations
- Protect the environment (beyond carbon emissions) and biodiversity linked to the impact of our activities
An integrated CSR policy (financial and extra-financial)
GRTgaz’s CSR policy is a reflection of the company’s core purpose. It is based on integrated governance and management, with a global approach to financial and extra-financial performance.
GRTgaz stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its stakeholders
GRTgaz’s CSR policy was co-constructed with more than 50 internal and external stakeholders, all of which share a common goal: to prioritise and establish clear commitments, accompanied by key indicators, to check and report on the implementation of actions.
Since 2016, GRTgaz has had a Stakeholder Council tasked with improving the integration of societal expectations and the challenges of Societal Responsibility. The body represents customers, regions and local authorities, the agricultural industry, suppliers and environmental associations. It provides GRTgaz’s general management with expertise, and gives an overview of way the company's activities and projects are perceived, as well as a broad understanding of the sphere in which it operates.
In 2022, GRTgaz’s societal responsibility also extended to 260 stakeholder commitments. These took the form of memberships, partnerships and sponsorships, more than 50% of which take effect directly in the regions.
In 2024, the Stakeholder Council will evolve to increase GRTgaz stakeholders’ involvement in the company’s governance. The new version of the Stakeholder Council will have a three-pronged mission: to contribute to assessing the company’s overall performance and the implementation of its core purpose; to take part in strategic questioning; and to establish interactions linking the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
Integrated CSR management
The close links between the CSR department and the finance department reflect GRTgaz’s desire to foster a global approach to performance and to manage each CSR commitment cross-functionally. The implementation of a single dashboard, monitored by the Executive Committee, allocates the same importance to financial and non-financial data. Each commitment is subject to an action plan and measured via indicators whose monitoring is audited and published in the Declaration of Extra-Financial Performance.
“The CSR policy is both the vector and the guarantor of GRTgaz’s core purpose. Integrating CSR into corporate governance and management decompartmentalises visions and skills. It reflects the company's strong, sincere desire to transform itself, to reinvent itself, and to effect the third gas revolution alongside its stakeholders, its employees and society.”
GRTgaz’s environmental commitments
As an expression of this commitment, GRTgaz innovates to limit the environmental impacts of its activities and help meet some of society’s current environmental challenges. Its environmental policy is centred around three major issues:
- Air and climate
- Biodiversity and land use
- The circular economy.
For 15 years, GRTgaz has been striving to minimise its GHG emissions (mainly methane and CO2) throughout the gas transmission value chain. Since 2022, the company’s actions have reduced its industrial GHG emissions by more than 19% compared to 2019. GRTgaz is targeting a 40% reduction in 2030 (compared to 2019), in line with the Paris Agreements.
- Reducing methane emissions: Alongside other major stakeholders committed to reducing methane emissions, GRTgaz is a member of the Methane Guiding Principles and l’OGMP 2.0.
Its R&D has led to various innovations (Gas booster, Quick Booster Access, Detox Ton Réseau, Blue-flame Burning of 100% of methane). As a result, over the past five years, 90% of the methane that was once discharged into the atmosphere during works has been recovered. In 2022, this rate rose to 97%.
- Reducing CO2 emissions : the energy consumption required to compress gas for transmission is the main source of GRTgaz’s CO2 emissions. GRTgaz is constantly improving its infrastructure. It identifies its most energy-efficient operating plans on a daily basis to reduce these emissions. The company is developing an Energy Management System that is subject to international ISO 50.001 certification. Efforts are also underway to minimise the carbon impacts caused during works, and to work with our Suppliers to decarbonise our purchases.
A new challenge is on the horizon for GRTgaz, its partners and national and international bodies: to define and harmonise transparent, fair methods to assess the quantities of GHG emissions avoided upstream and downstream of the “gas transmission” link within the overall carbon footprint. To rise to this challenge, and with the support of the consulting firm Carbone 4, GRTgaz has undertaken a mission as part of the Net Zero Initiative – a project supported by ADEME, the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, and twenty-one other companies.
With 32,000 km of easement strips and nearly 10,000 surface facilities spread over 5,000 sites, biodiversity and land use are major environmental issues for GRTgaz. The company seeks to reconcile the development and maintenance of its facilities with the preservation and maintenance of ecosystems. This is a real challenge, since 8,000 km of pipelines are located in protected natural areas. In 2023, GRTgaz, working together with CDC Biodiversité (a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts, a French public sector financial institution), committed to its first Global Biodiversity Score (GBS) biodiversity footprint measurement.
- Avoid, reduce and offset impacts: GRTgaz primarily aims to avoid environmental impacts in connection with its projects and works. For non-avoidable impacts, the company seeks out reduction and offsetting solutions based on the Avoid-Reduce-Offset (ARO) model. The company is supported by monitoring contracts with offsetting operators and partners (Natural Space Conservatories, environmental non-profit organisations, Regional Natural Parks, etc.)
- Work towards “zero synthetic phytosanitary products”: Maintain easement strips in a logical, sustainable way: GRTgaz uses logical, sustainable actions to maintain its easement strips (late mowing, mowing with grass removal, mowing at height, etc.). These practices are defined in consultation with specialised partners. They minimise impacts on fauna and flora, and present opportunities to create green biodiversity corridors.
- Work towards “zero synthetic phytosanitary products”: 100% of the major GRTgaz sites are maintained without synthetic phytosanitary products. In total, at the end of 2022, 70% of the 5,000 company sites applied the so-called “zero phyto” policy. The rollout is ongoing, in conjunction with its partners. Working alongside local partners, GRTgaz is gradually implementing ecological management plans on major sites to promote the return of biodiversity.
- Support and education: GRTgaz has signed a partnership agreement with the French Federation of Regional Natural Parks and 13 Regional Natural Parks. The company is also a member of the Linear Infrastructure and Biodiversity Club (CILB). GRTgaz uses this consortium to expand knowledge in the area of ecology and infrastructure and to co-finance research work. GRTgaz has also renewed its commitment to being a “Enterprise committed to Nature – Act4Nature France ». The initiative aims to mobilise companies about their direct and indirect impacts, their dependencies, and possible actions they can take to support nature.
GRTgaz promotes a culture of energy savings and developing a circular economy to support both the regions and public and private stakeholders.
This entails a range of challenges: on the one hand, moving towards the energy efficient and responsible consumption of natural resources and primary raw materials; on the other, preventing the production of waste or, in order of priority, reusing, recycling or recovering this waste.
- Develop renewable and low-carbon gases: GRTgaz is constantly innovating to develop its practices and contribute to the deployment of renewable and low-carbon energy solutions. Its support for sustainable local energy solutions promotes energy efficiency and the reduced use of fossil gases. The interlinking nature of its transmission network promotes solidarity between the regions. Its anaerobic digestion, pyrogasification and hydrothermal gasification facilities also offer local alternatives for recovering generated organic and industrial waste as part of a circular economy. The target for 2030 is to have an annual renewable gas production capacity of 60 TWh per year connected to the networks.
- Manage, avoid, reduce and recover GRTgaz’s waste: GRTgaz pays particular attention how the waste generated by its activities is managed. Waste registers are used at all its sites and worksites to optimise their management from an environmental performance standpoint. These measures include tertiary sorting (paper, plastics, cans, etc.), industrial sorting (inert waste and hazardous waste), and worksite sorting (wood, scrap metal, rubble, soil). Many actions are underway to reduce and recover waste, including: on-site crushing of rubble and pebbles, prioritisation of recycling channels, internal communication actions, collection of textiles and discarded personal electrical and electronic equipment, etc. Waste recovery has improved significantly from 74% in 2017 to 99% in 2022.
“GRTgaz is highly aware of its social responsibility. For 15 years, it has been innovating to develop solutions that reduce the environmental and ecological impacts of its own actions and those of its stakeholders. At present, GRTgaz is aware that it has both positive and negative impacts. Its ambition is stated in clear, strong terms: to become a key part of the collective solution for a sustainable energy and climate future."