Published on 28 September 2021

How corporate real estate is central to environmental protection and human well-being

In today’s businesses, office real estate is central to their energy saving goals. At Orange, we’re committed to improving the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of our property portfolio to meet an unprecedented challenge: achieving net zero carbon in 2040. Because environmental and social best practice go hand in hand, we’ve set a three-fold objective of combining environmental transformation, employee well-being and the transition to new ways of working.

 

Commercial real estate supporting the environmental transition

In terms of energy savings, the CUBE competition is a true “French championship” for companies and public authorities who are committed to reducing the energy consumption of their buildings. Hosted for the past five years by the IFPEB (French Institute for Building Performance), the competition rewards sites that have reduced their energy consumption and carbon emissions by the biggest margin. This year, the top 20 buildings reduced their energy consumption by almost 40%. Several Orange sites are at the top of the overall ranking.

In 2020, the Orange “Isle d'Espagnac” building in Charente won the competition, all categories combined, with more than 55% energy savings achieved. The Orange building in Eysines Pauillac (Gironde) came in second with a 49 % reduction. In total, 10 of our sites are in the top 20 of the general ranking published by the IFPEB. The Group also won the overall Golden Cube in the “Meilleur Parc” category.

These are just some of the results that embody the progress made by the Orange Group Real Estate Department to bring the energy transition to life for everyone.  21% of CO2 emissions and 10% of Orange’s energy consumption in France come from real estate. By optimizing new-building design and ongoing technical management (heating, air conditioning etc.) it’s possible to improve their eco-efficiency. This goal is in line with Orange’s commitment to be Net Zero Carbon from 2040 , 10 years ahead of the recommendations set out by the GSMA

These good results are also due to the collective efforts from employees themselves. One such effort is by creating good habits and eco-friendly practices, or everyday gestures that help make a difference, which shows how saving energy is something everyone can do every day.

2 salariés sur une terrasse

hall d'accueil orange

©KevinDolmaire

 

 

Boosting employee well-being

In addition to making its 5.4 million square meter real estate portfolio more eco-efficient in France, Orange also wants to offer a working experience that’s adapted to new ways of working. The first step is to close outdated buildings and move to modern facilities, in line with employee expectations. 

By designing real “campuses”, which is now almost complete, employee well-being, health and safety is also a priority. The trend is to increase the areas devoted to collective and collaborative work, meeting the expectations of 67% of Group employees who want more relaxed, informal and flexible office spaces.

 

 

Across the footprint, Orange's real estate policy aims to create attractive, innovative and efficient buildings where the Group's employees benefit from a variety of work environments, fostering teamwork and creativity as well as employees’ concentration, well-being, health and safety.

Éric Houviez, Group Real Estate Director

 

Bridge, Orange’s new headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, embodies this vision. Many other French cities have also adopted this ambitious modernization plan, for example Orange Grand Stade (Lille, completed in 2019) and Orange Tolosa (which has just won the corporate real estate prize in the Pyramides competition of the Federation of French property developers). Another example is the Orange Lumière project in Lyon Part-Dieu. Transforming the historic Lacassagne into an ultra-modern campus is also one of the 9 French real estate programs selected for the 2021 MIPIM Awards.

Bridge, siège social d'Orange

Bridge, the Group's new headquarters, which celebrated its inauguration on 29 September 2021, will eventually house over 3,000 employees.

This ambitious policy of improving workspaces applies across Orange’s other operating countries, from the 3,500 square-meter futuristic headquarters of Sonatel-Orange in Dakar to Orange Spain’s headquarters in the La Finca business district of Madrid.

 

This new working environment in Madrid is top notch: spacious and very bright. The layout facilitates collaboration, discussion and mobility, but above all, it allows us to bring team members together and encourage them to interact.

Idy WATT, Head of the DRPS / DI Department within the Networks Department, Orange Spain 

 

 

With the one roof project in Senegal, we are seeing our working conditions improve effectively along with employee well-being, with the introduction into office spaces of natural plants, relaxation areas, fit-for-purpose furniture, and a flexible layout adapted to the needs of the space.

Souleymane MBENGUE, Head of the Personnel Administration Department within the HR Department, Orange Senegal 

 

 

Towards hybrid working mode

According to Eric Houviez, for several years, Orange has been in vesting in new sites within large cities and in renovating the existing portfolio. The objective is to create emblematic sites that embody our vision of tomorrow’s workplace. We are committed to making the best use of these buildings, to benefit as many employees as possible and to adopt new ways of working, within each of the Group's divisions. At the same time, employees will be offered alternative remote working solutions at Orange sites, close to their homes.

Through this real estate policy, Orange wants to design alternative remote working solutions. Offering workspaces near to an employee’s home is one of these emerging trends. With new hybrid working modes, Orange locations are less than 30 minutes from the employee’s home. Note, however, that 74% of employees are ready to share their workspace when they are away.  
Several pilot projects are underway to study the feasibility and deployment of this new offer.