Located in northern France, the urban community of Beauvaisis needed a clearer picture of energy consumption levels for its digital tools and facilities, with the goal of identifying potential levers for improvement. To guide it through this process, the urban community surrounded itself with experts from Orange Business. Now, the local government is equipped with a practical roadmap for reducing its digital carbon footprint.

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Forward planning for new regulatory requirements: France’s REEN law

Enacted in July 2021, France’s REEN law (for “Réduire l’Empreinte Environnementale du Numérique”) on Reducing the Digital Carbon Footprint stipulates that by 1 January 2025, towns and urban areas with over 50,000 inhabitants must have developed a responsible digital strategy. In practical terms, this means first obtaining precise measurements in order to limit the environmental impact of digital tools and practices. The first deadline set by REEN requires townships to undertake an assessment of the maturity of their responsible digital strategy by 1 January 2023.

As it comprises 53 towns and villages with over 100,000 combined inhabitants, the Beauvaisis urban community is affected by this law. In order to get on track as quickly as possible, Beauvaisis sought to establish a detailed picture of its digital energy consumption, making the use of more energy-efficient and low-carbon digital tools a top CSR priority.

Although Beauvaisis is aligned to the national average, with a digital carbon footprint of around 2.5%, the local government wanted to do better. “This isn’t cause for celebration – quite the opposite. There are various initiatives we need to take in order to try and bring the number down,” insists Nicolas Schockaert, Head of IT Systems and Telecoms for the Beauvaisis Urban Community.

Now that we’ve identified which areas we need to focus on, we finally have a clear vision of what our future responsible digital strategy will look like.


Nicolas Schockaert, Director of IT Systems and Telecoms for the Beauvaisis Urban Community

Calling in the experts to provide a clearer picture

Responsible IT purchasing, the running of its data center, energy consumption by departments and by civil servants, the role of re-use and recycling, the impact of IT and mobile equipment, device lifecycles, eco-design for websites, services and applications, etc. – how did Beauvaisis measure up in these key areas? Without specialist help, it was impossible to know for sure.

The local Director of IT Systems and Telecoms was well aware of this need, which is why he opted to call in Orange Business to perform the evaluation. The first step involved assessing the maturity level of the town’s responsible digital strategy – the first “deliverable” required by REEN.

“The Orange approach was highly convincing,” confirms Nicolas Schockaert. “They brought in experienced consultants who’d worked on similar projects for other cities, with a high level of expertise in the field of responsible digital practices.

An in-depth approach resulting in a comprehensive roadmap

Having already helped a number of local governments to address the same requirements, Orange Business experts are well-versed in the processes involved. This began by mapping out the scope of the diagnostic assessment, as the entire urban community of Beauvasis needed to be taken into account. This was followed by a comprehensive equipment inventory, while the third step consisted of answering seven topical questionnaires on responsible digital practices.

Building on the information obtained, Orange Business specialists were then able to produce a deliverable: “They produced a work plan that allowed us to get the necessary projects started,” explains Nicolas Schockaert.

The recommendations provided by Orange Business address the regulatory requirements set in order to prepare for REEN’s second phase, which must be completed by January 2025. Above all, they equipped the Beauvaisis teams with a crucial roadmap for making their digital practices more responsible.

This visibility was particularly valued: “Now that we’ve identified which areas we need to focus on, we finally have a clear vision of what our future responsible digital strategy will look like.”

improvement to digital carbon footprint score