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CUBE: France's energy saving competition unveils the 2020 winners

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The CUBE competition (Concours Usages Bâtiment Efficace) is the largest collective initiative to reduce carbon emissions in France. Initiated five years ago by the French Institute for Building Performance (IFPEB), of which BNP Paribas Real Estate is a founding member, each year the competition rewards the most efficient organisations to reduce their energy consumption. This public interest initiative which, thanks to simple techniques and other ecological acts, guides all building stakeholders towards new individual and collective behaviours for more responsible performance.

BNP Paribas, Orange and Carrefour crowned 2020 champions

In France, the building sector is the leading source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) with nearly 27% of emissions, ahead of transport (25%) and agriculture (19%)*. In order to reduce this environmental footprint and move towards a low-carbon society, the State has developed various tools, in particular the National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC), which aims to reduce direct GHG emissions in the building sector by 50% (compared to 2015) by 2030, and to achieve complete decarbonisation by 2050. 

In light of these particularly ambitious objectives, the sector is putting in place actions to act quickly and effectively. This means designing intelligent, low-energy buildings and renovating existing buildings, but also adopting concrete actions on a daily basis. And it is these often elementary, or sometimes very innovative, actions that are being honoured through the CUBE competition. Indeed, as the IFPEB reminds us, the operation goes well beyond technical performance: it encourages the involvement of all stakeholders as a real team made up of users, landlords and property managers in order to make energy a real driver of progress within organisations.

"Acting for the climate is a subject that drives us at BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Real Estate. We take it into account in our operations and in our various businesses, whether in development, advisory, asset management or property management. It is also an important part of our social and environmental responsibility strategy. This is why we have supported the CUBE competition since its inception," says Catherine Papillon, Global Head of Sustainable Development/CSR, BNP Paribas Real Estate.

The CUBE 2020 competition brought together 260 service sector buildings (offices, skyscrapers, shops, semi-industrial buildings, public buildings and universities) which, thanks to their commitment, managed to reduce their energy consumption by an average of more than 17%: 
 

Reduction of energy consumption in figures

  • 2,300,000 m²
    committed
  • More than 72 Gwh
    saved
  • Nearly 7,500 tonnes
    of CO2 avoided

As for the 2020 winners, they have outperformed, even meeting the objectives of the ELAN law almost 10 years ahead of schedule. The French law on the evolution of housing, development and the digital economy aims to reduce energy consumption (compared to 2010) for all buildings concerned by at least 40% in 2030, 50% in 2040 and 60% in 2050. The overall CUBE 2020 ranking therefore rewards the exceptional scores of Orange (up to -55.8% for offices and shops), Carrefour (-49% for a hypermarket), BNP Paribas (-44% for offices), ENSA Normandie (-40.2%) and Korian's EHPAD (up to -24%).

It is also worth noting that the health crisis had little impact on results. In this respect, the IFPEB specifies that the drop in the occupancy rate of buildings did not cause a significant drop in consumption, as most of the energy expenditure items mainly concern structural elements (ventilation, heating). 
 

BNP-Paribas-Real-Estate-Direction-Committee-catherine-papillon

Acting for the climate is a subject that drives us at BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Real Estate. We take it into account in our operations and in our various businesses, whether in development, advisory, asset management or property management. It is also an important part of our social and environmental responsibility strategy. This is why we have supported the CUBE competition since its inception

Catherine Papillon
Global Head of Sustainable Development/CSR at BNP Paribas Real Estate
France

Strategies where every action counts

Beyond the figures, the CUBE highlights certain concrete actions that do not necessarily require major investments. BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management has helped several of the winning projects to reduce their energy consumption:

  • Recurring buildings category: Orange, Place d'Alleray, which achieved energy savings of 26.43%.

  • Certified buildings category: Generali Real Estate, 3/5 Malesherbes, which recorded -28.4% energy savings

  • Non-certified office category: Orange Cœur Défense, which achieved -22.4% energy savings

  • Non-certified office category: BNP Paribas Odyssée, which achieved -17.31% energy savings

For the 2021 edition, which will be launched at the beginning of July, nearly 300 buildings have already entered the competition. Among the participants are the town halls of Paris, Lyon and Rennes, the companies Orange, BNP Paribas and EDF, and La Défense, Europe's leading business district, which will unite its major users around the CUBE 2021-2022. CUBE clearly demonstrates that through the mobilisation and commitment of each individual, we are able to collectively meet the challenge of climate change. Every action counts.

*Sources: Ademe, Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition