Building for every future
Icade is an integrated real estate company, operating both as an investor and as a developer

Energy transition and preservation of resources


Polyclinique Reims-Bézannes - Architect : Jean-Michel Jacquet

A key player in environmental transitions, Icade has positioned itself as a pioneer in sustainable development with buildings whose energy consumption, resource needs and impact on biodiversity are controlled over time and guaranteed by rigorous certification requirements.

Olivier Wigniolle

"Icade is committed to energy transition, alongside Caisse des dépôts, with ambitious quantifiable targets regarding energy, water, waste and biodiversity".

Olivier Wigniolle, CEO

Taking action to fight climate change

Aware of the impact of the real estate industry on climate change, Icade is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in use by 40% and by 12% for emissions related to their construction by 2020. To meet this goal, Icade has implemented a proactive action plan, with a budget of €50 million over three years (2017–2019). It is based on:

  • improving energy equipment (LED lighting, high efficiency boilers, etc.) and renovating property assets;
  • providing incentives to building operators and tenants through energy performance contracts and “green lease committees”;
  • increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix;
  • using low-carbon building materials, such as wood;
  • developing partnerships with leading industrial groups to promote environmental innovation and connected buildings (Philips, Veolia, Egis, Transdev,AirParif, REI Habitat).

Integrating the best certification and labelling standards

Icade is continuing its efforts to obtain environmental certifications for its existing assets and new builds. 61% of its offices and business parks were HQE and/or BREEAM certified in 2017. For new development projects, Icade is aiming for HQE certification for 100% of its offices and 35% of its dwellings by the end of 2018, and 100% of Icade Santé’s healthcare facilities of over 10,000 sq.m.

A pioneer in new labels and certifications, Icade has played an active role in developing future standards. For example, Icade participated in the pilot phase of the French government’s experimental ‘E+C-’ label (positive energy and low-carbon buildings) and the ‘Smart and connected buildings’ label developed by HQE-GBC and the Smart Building Alliance.

Integrating the principles of a circular economy into the products and services

All of Icade’s new builds with HQE certification are subject to stringent requirements in terms of reducing, recovering and treating hazardous waste during the construction and operational phases. To reach its goal of recycling and recovering all controlled operational waste by 2020, Icade has experimented with various approaches:

  • setting up waste sorting units in office buildings and business parks;
  • hands-on collection equipment in office buildings and business parks;
  • educating employees about the importance of eco-friendly practices;

Icade partnered with Egis, an engineering consultancy, to launch Cycle Up, a digital marketplace for the reuse of building materials.

Spotlight on Cycle Up: a digital marketplace for the reuse of building materials

Icade entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Egis to launch, a platform dedicated to the reuse of construction materials. This digital platform, available to all industry participants, offers a wide range of services and expertise (ranking building materials according to their degree of reusability, engineering, pollution assessments, reuse advice). In addition to the financial benefit of reusing materials, which reduces construction costs, this practice is beneficial for both the environment (local sourcing, reduced carbon footprint, improved waste management, resource conservation) and local communities (back-to-work jobs and local hiring, supply chain reshoring).

Icade has also reduced the impact of its activities on water resources:

  • raising awareness of eco-friendly practices;
  • installing tap flow restrictors and water-saving toilet flushing systems;
  • collecting rainwater for irrigation of green spaces.

Innovating for sustainable construction

The choice of materials used plays a critical role in the environmental footprint that a development project leaves behind. Icade has created a sustainable materials monitoring unit and has included health and environmental criteria in its choice of materials (Ecolabel or NF Environment label for adhesives, FSC© or PEFC labels for wood, etc.). Icade has also demonstrated its commitment by becoming a founding member of BBCA (low-carbon building association) and ADIVbois (association for the development of wood-based residential buildings).

Icade conducts life-cycle assessments (LCAs) on its major development projects. In 2018, 78% of large-scale new projects were subject to life-cycle assessments. This includes several flagship commercial developments, such as the Pulse building in Saint-Denis, in the Paris region.

Spotlight on Pulse in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis)

This flagship commercial development aims to obtain several environmental certifications and excellence labels (HQE Excellent, BREEAM Very Good, BBCA, E+C-) and has opted for bioclimatic architecture with a hybrid wood and concrete structure and much green open space.

The development has fully incorporated circular economy principles, including life-cycle assessments, anticipating the building’s disassembly, reusing materials, and using low-carbon, biosourced materials. Its design promotes shorter supply chains through harvesting vegetables from the garden for the company restaurant and planned green waste composting. The “Reinvent the Forest in the City” initiative developed for this project provides for the use of French-sourced wood and the planting of new trees for each tonne of wood used.

Developing solutions for sustainable mobility

To reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions and improve the occupants’ comfort, Icade is committed to developing its projects as close as possible to public transport networks and to offering alternative low-carbon solutions. As a result, 80% of new office and residential developments were located less than a five-minute walk from public transport in 2018. In addition, 96% of the offices and business parks are equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles.

Icade has increased the number of sustainable mobility projects in its parks:

  • all-electric private shuttle boats and shuttle buses;
  • car-sharing and ride-sharing solutions, shared bicycles;
  • autonomous shuttle pilot experimentation in the Paris-Orly-Rungis business park.

Promoting biodiversity to make the assets more appealing

Icade has adopted a range of solutions to reintroduce nature into the city and achieve a net positive impact on diversity. This approach is beneficial for all involved, making it possible to improve the impact on ecosystems, meet the needs of local communities and contribute to the tenants’ quality of life. Icade has set a target of 25% of its existing properties and new builds having a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2020.

 The main driving forces in favour of biodiversity include:

  • biodiversity assessments and the BiodiverCity label for new-build projects: a biodiversity assessment is systematically conducted during the design phase and several development projects have already received or aim to obtain the BiodiverCity label;
  • biodiversity performance contract with CDC Biodiversité: sustainable management of green spaces, artificial night-time lighting that is not harmful to local wildlife, monitoring animal and plant life, etc.
  • incorporating urban agriculture into the development projects, such as an urban farm in the Portes de Paris business park and vegetable gardens in several business parks and offices.

Spotlight on the Courlancy Polyclinic in Reims-Bézannes (Marne)

This building is particularly cutting-edge as regards indoor air quality: choice of low-emitting materials, special precautions during the construction phase, measurements conducted prior to completion, water quality, that guarantee a high-quality project in health terms. Special attention is given to landscaping, rainwater management, and recovery and recycling of construction waste. This project received the “Reims Sustainable City” label, reinforcing the vision that Icade shares with local authorities in terms of development and green construction. This development is also aiming for HQE certification with an Excellent rating.


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