Customer case

Building an operational environmental management system

Controlling and reducing environmental footprint is still a complex issue for many companies today. It is a matter of addressing two major challenges: controlling the environmental footprint of digital technology and using it as a lever for the ecological transition.

In this respect, for more than ten years, Orange France has been strongly committed to taking into account its environmental footprint and working to reduce its environmental impacts. As part of its Engage 2025 strategic plan, these environmental issues are key and emphasize its social responsibility, particularly at the Orange France "central" environmental team level, which wishes to support the business transformations of its network. The goals of this team were threefold leading up to this project: to be able to meet the commitments made in terms of climate and circular economy, to guarantee the absence of pollution and biodiversity risks related to Orange France's activities, and finally to ensure that Orange France is an exemplary company in terms of regulations.

Towards an E.M.S. Understood and Shared By All

In order to succeed in developing a homogeneous and coherent network of about 150 correspondents in the business units and in the territories, and to ensure that they fully adhere to these new objectives and challenges, the "central" environmental team of Orange France decided to call on Sofrecom and its environmental expertise.

The Environmental Management System also called environmental management, or eco-management, designates the management methods of an entity aiming to take into account the environmental impact of its activities, evaluate it and finally reduce it.

The challenge was to develop its E.M.S. for all its entities, in order to meet the group's commitments in terms of climate and circular economy. The purpose of this target system was to take into account the company's new environmental challenges, but also to share "good" sectoral and extra-sectoral practices concerning the management of compliance and environmental exemplarity. Finally, the aim was to formulate operational recommendations concerning the implementation methods.

Sofrecom proposed to put its methodological know-how and its expertise in corporate social responsibility issues, as well as in compliance and change management issues, at the service of Orange France/CSR to help it design and implement this support system in line with the expectations expressed in its specifications.

A CSR approach built in two phases with our client: framing and co-construction

Two consecutive phases constituted Sofrecom's global approach:

  • A phase of framing, study of the global context, external benchmark, in particular with the identification of the internal and external targets to be questioned. This phase was followed by the drafting of interview guides for the conduct of the latter, and a complete documentary study and its analysis.
  • A phase of co-creation, synthesis and recommendations on the target model and its implementation, with collective workshops to reach the target system.

This co-construction process was carried out in several interaction phases:

  • 20 interviews conducted internally with 13 entities involved in Orange France's EMS, in order to identify the pain points of the current system
  • 3 interviews with groups that have placed environmental issues at the heart of their purpose to identify inspiring practices in governance and communication
  • The study of 10 alternative or complementary reference systems to ISO 140011
  • The publication of an MSurvey with 40+ EMS actors to evaluate ways to optimize the EMS

All this material allowed the creation of scenarios for the future EMS of Orange France during remote workshops, and the emergence of:

  • Future EMS scenario based on different ISO 14001 certification perimeters and recommendations according to the ambitions and constraints of the group
  • Precise dimensioning of the resources necessary for the EMS, for each of the entities
  • Prerequisites description of the future EMS, in terms of strategy, governance, resources, and communication
  • And lastly, putting forward the points of vigilance and recommendations for change management


Orange France had to develop the EMS to ensure that it would meet the demanding ISO 14001 framework for its activities, products and services in the long term. The update of the EMS has made it possible to ensure the control of processes and activities that have an impact on the environment while continuing to rely on the rigorous framework of the ISO 14001 standard, which certification by an independent organization is a tangible guarantee of Orange France's commitment to the environment for all its stakeholders.

The main benefits of this certification are:  Good control of processes and activities that have an impact on the environment and the possibility of providing tangible guarantees to all its stakeholders via certification by an independent body.

This central and perennial vision has been obtained thanks to Sofrecom's methodological know-how and expertise in corporate social responsibility.

1 ISO 14001 standard: standard used as a basis for the Orange France EMS, which defines a series of requirements an organization's environmental management system must meet in order to be certified – by an external body and for a limited period of time – as meeting the standard.