Arianespace: a full-fledged commitment to sustainable development
Reflecting its assigned public interest mission, Arianespace supports sustainable development through an ambitious corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy that has produced concrete results.
In 2014, for instance, the Arianespace facilities at the launch site in French Guiana was certified to the ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 standards. Arianespace’s 2014-2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report summarizes the company’s actions to reduce its environmental impact, support development and social engagement in its host communities, and promote a responsible human resources policy.
With the COP 21 climate change conference just a few months away, Arianespace is making an active contribution to the aerospace industry’s commitment to integrate climate issues in its operations. This engagement has been reaffirmed at the event organized by French aerospace industry association Gifas during the Paris Air Show on Thursday, June 18, “COP 21 from the sky”. Attending this event are Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ségolène Royale, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.
Controlling environmental impact
The ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 certifications received by Arianespace’s French Guiana facilities in 2014 are clear recognition of the company’s focus on these areas in recent years.
The ISO 14001 certification (for the environmental management system) concerns all Arianespace launchers – Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega – as well as the construction and maintenance of launch facilities. The ISO 50001 certification concerns the energy management system.
Actions undertaken include the installation of a new cooling unit, which led to a 49% reduction in CO2 emissions due to air-conditioning and ventilation, vital for smooth operation in an equatorial climate.
Applying a policy based on the continuous protection of the ecosystem around the space center, Arianespace and CNES/CSG (Guiana Space Center) ensure that each launch has only a limited impact on the environment. The local air and water are checked after each launch for presence of chemical elements, and creeks, aquatic fauna, flora and birds are analyzed twice a year, especially one of the area’s most typical birds, the scarlet ibis.
Arianespace headquarters in Evry, near Paris, has set up an eco-responsible purchasing, transportation and facilities management policy that has reduced electricity consumption by 7% and fuel consumption by 6% over a two year period.
Contributing to local development
Arianespace is fully committed to a harmonious relationship with its host communities, including partnerships with business, education and government entities, especially the Evry-Centre Essonne community where it is headquartered, and the launch site in French Guiana.
Among the many initiatives conducted with the Evry-Centre-Essonne community was a contest organized in 2015, with four local high school students and a teacher chosen for a trip to the Guiana Space Center to attend a launch, as part of the operation, “Win a trip to Kourou”.
In French Guiana, Arianespace plays a key role through its launch business, which generates some 1,700 jobs at nearly 40 companies. Arianespace is also involved in educational, cultural and sports initiatives, including three scholarships awarded every year for students to continue studies at a university.
Promoting diversity, equality and collaboration between generations
A company-wide agreement with unions for the period 2013-2016 provides for actions to foster the hiring of young people (50% of new hires over these four years will be under 30 years old), and maintaining seniors in the workforce. The agreement also provides for special efforts to be made to foster the transmission of skills between generations, based on mentoring and apprenticeships.
Also included in this agreement are measures guaranteeing gender equality. In 2014 the number of women engineers and management staff grew 6.5%, and two women joined the Management Committee.
Commenting on the publication of the Corporate Social Responsibility Report, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: “Arianespace supports sustainable development through an ambitious and constantly enriched social responsibility policy. Our initiatives are a natural extension of our business, focused on building a safer world and making life better through the multiple applications provided by the satellites we have launched over the last 35 years. In the run-up to the COP21 climate conference, Arianespace is proud of our contribution, along with our customers, to the launch of satellites that help monitor and protect the environment. Since 1985, for example, we have launched 45 satellites for Earth observation, navigation and meteorology applications.”
Arianespace is the world’s leading satellite launch company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. Backed by 20 shareholders and the European Space Agency, the company offers an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. Arianespace is the only operator in the world capable of launching any mass to any orbit from the Guiana Space Center. As of June 18, 2015, 223 Ariane launches, 37 Soyuz launches (10 at the Guiana Space Centre and 26 at Baikonur with Starsem) and four Vega launches have been performed. The company’s headquarters is in Evry, near Paris, and has local offices in Washington DC (United States), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore.