Caring for the planet
Preserving and promoting natural heritage
We are aware of the importance of ecosystems, and are committed to preserving France’s natural heritage, as well as restoring it when it is damaged.
Preserving and looking after nature is one of the keys of the environmental transition. Nature is a strategic resource for rural development, agroecology, forestry and tourism, and protecting it reduces the risk of natural disasters.
The Brigades Nature is an organisation (with branches throughout France) that provides work experience in green jobs, with a focus on respect for the environment and biodiversity. The organisation is aligned with public work integration policies. It pursues this intention for solidarity by offering its employees the chance to work on sustainable development projects: green spaces, natural areas, restoration of small heritage sites, cleaning, etc.
Every year, more than 350 people on work integration programmes are trained over a period of 3 to 24 months, with the goal of making a lasting return to employment. The Brigades Nature from the Rhône region currently work for 230 local communities around Lyon.
For the past 20 years, Orchis has been offering a back-to-work scheme for people distant from employment, looking for solutions adapted to their individual needs, to eventually lead them back to a lasting employment or a training course leading to a qualification.
The organisation (which works closely with local authorities, businesses and non-profits) is an integration workcamp that employs more than 50 people in 3 areas: restoration of ancient heritage buildings, upkeep of green spaces and natural environments and filing of public archives. Orchis helps to restore and promote local heritage, thereby helping to safeguard special locations and protect the environment in Indre-et-Loire.
Orchis thus joins the regional and ecological development activities of the group. Our Brigades Nature division, which include integration through and into green jobs, is indeed in line with the Orchis’s DNA. This division also hosts similar activities in integration workshops and workcamps (ACE) in the South of France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and in the Grand-Est region. To date, no fewer than 800 people a year in 7 different regions have passed through Groupe SOS Brigades Nature integration projects.
Les Amis des Marais du Vigueirat
Located 20 km from the centre of Arles, the natural sites of the Vigueirat Marshlands (1,200 hectares) and of the Meyranne Marshlands (275 hectares), owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral, are internationally recognised and have been classified as National Nature Reserves. The Vigueirat Marshlands are open to the public to help raise awareness on the need to protect the environment. More than 30,000 visitors discover the marshes every year, and the site’s educational potential is leveraged through activities designed for schoolchildren.
The area is also home to local farmers who breed bulls and horses. The presence of herds contributes to ecological management and the maintenance of open natural environments and promotes local traditional livestock farming.
The organisation Les Amis des Marais Vigueirat (Friends of the Vigueirat Marshlands), which manages these natural heritage sites, is pursuing its committed efforts in 3 main areas:
- Protection of natural areas.
- Local and sustainable economic development (ecotourism and agriculture): enabling as many people as possible to discover natural sites and maintaining and developing farming respecting biodiversity (extensive livestock farming, local food networks, etc.).
- The development of work integration activities for people living in rural areas to compensate for the lack of local work integration opportunities. The teams of the Amis des Marais du Vigueirat work alongside the Brigades Nature, a Groupe SOS Environmental Transition organisation specialising in the development and upkeep of natural sites by people on reintegration schemes and rely on the expertise of the ésaj (Ecole des Paysages de la Transition écologique), a school training for green jobs, which will be joining Groupe SOS Environmental Transition in 2019.
Wings of the Ocean
Wings of the Ocean is a non-profit organisation founded in 2018 that carries out ocean clean-ups at sea, on the coastline and on a decentralised basis throughout France and Europe. By tackling the consequences as well as the causes of systemic human pollution, the organisation focuses on 3 major areas:
- Cleaning up of coastal areas: collecting litter and carrying out at least three clean-up operations per week and per project.
- Raising public awareness: organising periodic events (ship visits, conferences, presentations, workshops, stands, etc.).
- Reducing waste: seeking to reduce pollution at the source by helping companies reduce their plastic output; working with public authorities to reduce pollution in their areas; setting up a network of recycling partners to give waste a new life.
By 2022, with nearly 4,000,000 square metres of pollution cleaned up and 93,500 items of waste collected, Wings of the Ocean will have become the leading pollution clean-up organisation in France!