ISO 26 000 / THE BENCHMARK
Heating system, plants, sheep, birds, bio-waste … At Fontevraud sustainable development is seen everywhere. Following the original idea of the ‘ideal city’, dating from the creation of the abbey nearly 1,000 years ago, ecology is an important area of consideration for the 21st-century Royal Abbey. Important enough that we have managed to meet requirements for the very demanding ISO 26 000, a first for a historical monument and tourist site.
ENERGY PLANT / TECHNOLOGY SERVING ECOLOGY
An ambitious energy plant was built in 2013 (the first building to be constructed within the abbey walls in 100 years) to enable the use of renewable energies. A wood-chip-fired boiler heats all the buildings. The energy plant is powered by photovoltaic cells, another first for a listed historical monument in France. The plant, with its impressive array of piping, features as part of the visit of the Abbey.
BIODIVERSITY / ON ALL LEVELS
Fontevraud Royal Abbey is also a classified LPO bird sanctuary (LPO - ligue de protection des oiseaux) thanks to its engagement to promoting biodiversity. Some 235 different plants species, of which 22 are rare, and 39 bird species have been recorded. An eco-pasture has been designated, where sheep of the French breeds of Ouessant and Solognote graze together. Ten beehives provide honey, which is served at breakfast in Fontevraud L’Hôtel. Finally, organic waste from the entire site is recycled thanks to a giant composter, and reused as fertiliser for our 13 hectares of green space.