The challenges facing the world today coincide with the focus of VINCI’s work. Our expertise in construction, energy and mobility bears on the energy transition. We have for some time been delivering low-carbon solutions to our clients in all those areas.
We began measuring our own emissions in 2007 and have set precise targets to reduce them. Specialists rank us as one of the French companies with the most transparent carbon strategies.
We have also invested in initiatives designed to support teamwork and foster innovation to tackle climate challenges, including the lab recherche environnement, which we set up with ParisTech, the Fabrique de la Cité think tank and the VINCI Innovation Awards, which encourage our employees to be creative.
Yet we are aware, as COP21 reminds us, that if we are to help contain global warming we will have to take these efforts to a new level.
We do not need further technologies and tools – there are many perfectly serviceable ones available – but we do need to change the way we tackle projects. We need to do more to take the time factor on board in every project. This means giving thought to the life cycle of the projects we build and including end-of-life recycling in their design. We will also need to shift our focus: instead of thinking in terms of single projects, we need to start thinking in terms of urban and regional landscapes. This means giving thought to the way the structures we build interact with energy networks and transport infrastructure. It also means analysing behaviour patterns and travel requirements, and factoring these variables into the project equation.
Ultimately, this will require a new approach to project governance. All too often, we still work sequentially in silos, with each participant handling a part of the project in turn. Instead, we should be taking a holistic approach. This means that programme managers, architects, engineers, building contractors, future users and maintenance providers will have to work together from the inception of the project to jointly and concurrently put it together. Only by doing this will we be able to achieve new energy-efficiency and environmental goals within realistic budgets.
In short, what is needed is a paradigm shift, especially in current public procurement processes. The climate emergency calls on us to become more creative and more efficient by working together. This applies to both the new construction solutions we will have to invent and to the way they are financed. Financing is another area in which we need to think outside the box in order to devise smarter ways of combining public and private investment.
Our goal is to blaze a trail in all these areas. Our business, our expertise in construction integration and our experience in operating concessions and managing infrastructure – in other words, our ability to take long timeframes on board – cut across all the sustainability challenges currently facing cities and regions. At the same time, as entrepreneurs we also have our feet on the ground. We can therefore play a useful role by thinking about the issues and doing something about them; and by devising solutions to efficiently and effectively address climate change and then implementing those solutions. We stand ready to do our part as a private-sector partner serving the public interest.
Our commitments in facts and figures
14,064 Since 2007 we have been quantifying our global GHG emissions in accordance with ISO standard 14064.