Almost no one expected the security sector to become involved in environmental, social or societal responsibility. However, it is clear that this sector is starting to roll out initiatives for environmental protection, inclusion, diversity and ethics. This is a reminder that the primary mission of the forces involved and the players supporting them is, as ever, the protection of goods and people.

At the heart of environmental protection

More and more companies are taking a stand and introducing ambitious CSR policies. One is the French safety and security group SERIES, which has clearly-established guidelines for its environmental policies: reducing the environmental impact of its activities, recycling its waste, raising awareness of eco-gestures and participating in the proper application of its clients' environmental policies at their sites.[1] Public security is also committed to respecting the environment. Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin has announced that he is "massively reinforcing the resources of OCLAESP (the central office for the fight against environmental offences)" and creating "3,000 'green police' positions." He says: "The aim is to have officers trained in environmental offences in each gendarmerie squad." [2] OCLAESP will thus see its ranks swelled at a time when damage to nature is becoming increasingly prevalent, as witness the rise in illegal waste dumping and illicit wood trafficking, where tracing is now problematic.

The issue of decarbonisation, which is causing a considerable stir in civil society, is also central to the challenges facing defence and security companies. Airbus, Air France-KLM, Thales, Safran, Dassault Aviation and the ADP Group have announced their support for the Toulouse Declaration on Decarbonisation and Sustainable Development. As they have said, "We will continue to invest in maturing, developing and implementing decarbonisation technologies, including next generation operations, aircraft and engines, sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and synthetic fuels. We will look to institutions to support the development and roll-out of innovations, including through tried-and-tested public and private research partnership instruments (such as Clean Aviation, SESAR and CORAC), as well as appropriate support policies to accelerate fleet renewal and the incorporation of SAFs in a way that is economically viable for all stakeholders."[3] Since 2020, all aircraft produced by Airbus have emitted as much CO2 over their 20 years of service as France in one year, reflecting the company's efforts to improve its carbon footprint

RAID police officers, some equipped with climbing gear, surrounded by exhibition stands at Milipol Paris

Inclusion and security

Women in the private security industry represent 14% of the workforce.[4] This figure is not much different from the cybersecurity sector, where women only represent 11%.[5] A glaring under-representation that several companies are trying to do away with. The management committee of Securitas France, which is 40% female, is one example in the sector.[6] In the SERIS Group, over 20% of employees are women, exceeding the national average for the sector.[7] Other encouraging initiatives are emerging, such as Ligencia, a private security organisation created by Pascale Ah-Toy after 10 years in intelligence. "At Ligencia, all the employees are feminists; there is no difference between the sexes, we are all equal in our opinions and complementary in our actions," she says. "It is true that there are few women in this profession, but I am convinced that security is instinctive to us."[8]

Public security is also getting involved. The DCRFPN (national police central recruitment and training department) has created a teaching tool designed to train and raise awareness of diversity and equality issues among all new police officers. Since the autumn of 2021, the Gendarmerie Nationale has been providing information on the Accè website about the accessibility of gendarmeries, to "make it easier for people with disabilities to choose which gendarmerie to visit, for example to file a complaint or sign a procedure, so they know where access is easiest for them,"[9] says Lieutenant-Colonel (LCL) Marielle, who is behind the institution's commitment to this approach.

A man and a woman shaking hands on a stand


The security world has also had to face many detractors on the issue of their attitude to ethics. In 2014, the public authorities drafted the Code of Ethics for natural persons and legal entities carrying out private security activities for professionals in the sector. This legislation contains some fundamental principles including confidentiality, a ban on all violence except in legitimate defence, and the prohibition of claiming to be a public authority. Beyond these initial legislative milestones, various private groups have drafted their own ethical charters. Lutèce Sécurité Privée recruits mainly through co-option to ensure the quality of its employees. The company accepts an applicant "only if their behaviour and skills are recognised by at least two managers in the company."[10] Deveryware, a company specialising in global security investigation technologies and services, has been awarded the Toumaï CSR label, which covers several areas including consumer interests, ethics, the environment and human rights.

Cybersecurity is also very much involved. Tehtris, a firm that fights cyber espionage and sabotage, has been recognised as a mission-driven company with strong commitments, particularly in terms of ethics, with programmes set up within the company to prevent corruption, avoid conflicts of interest and combat fraud and money laundering. The firm has made a commitment to meet various complementary social and environmental objectives, in line with section 2 of Article 210-10 of the French Commercial Code. These include looking resolutely to the future through ethical actions: controlling its carbon footprint for a low-impact digital environment and serving future generations. “We want to make cybersecurity a trusted environment, reflecting our own corporate culture. Attention to ethics, sustainability and inclusion are naturally central to our activities. Being a cybersecurity player AND a mission-driven company all means new opportunities for our own development and that of the sector, where the goal is better collective protection for organisations,"[11] says Elena Poincet, co-founder and CEO of TEHTRIS.

The Police Nationale and the Gendarmerie also have a code of ethics based on various principles, including integrity, discernment, secrecy and impartiality. With the development of new technologies, particularly the use of artificial intelligence within the security forces, new questions are emerging. The Gendarmerie Nationale, a leader in terms of these issues, has published an ethical charter on artificial intelligence. The Gendarmerie ensures that human beings remain central to the decision-making process when AI comes into play.

While the security sector takes dedicated action in the field to making the world safer, it is clearly committed to a more sustainable and inclusive world as well.

A man wearing a brown jacket and carrying a rucksack is observing two outfits on display, one a military fatigues, the other a police uniform with protection
  • [1] Seris Group environmental charter, Seris-group
  • [2] Atteintes à l’environnement: Gérald Darmanin promet «3000 postes de gendarmes verts», Le Parisien, 21 August 2022
  • [3] Airbus, Air France-KLM, Thales, Safran, Dassault Aviation ou encore le Groupe ADP annoncent soutenir la Déclaration de Toulouse sur la décarbonation et le développement durable aux côtés des institutions européennes, 4 February 2022, Thales Group Website
  • [4] Survey on the prevention and security sector, Observatoire des Métiers de la Prévention et de la Sécurité Privée, 2019
  • [5] “Les femmes dans la cybersécurité : il est temps de briser les stéréotypes !”, Le Journal du Net, 11 March 2022
  • [6] Notre ambition : participer à un monde plus sûr, Seris-group
  • [7] Securitas, entreprise citoyenne engagée pour l’intégration des femmes, 2 July 2020, Infos-securitas
  • [8] Press release: Ligencia, agence de sécurité "féministe" fondée par une ex agent du renseignement, Ligencia
  • [9] Capitaine Marine Rabasté, “Avec mon handicap, vais-je pouvoir franchir la porte d’une gendarmerie ?”, GendInfo, 1 December 2021
  • [10] Ethical charter, Lutèce Sécurité Privée, Lutece-securite
  • [11] Tehtris
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