Interconnecting transport modes more efficiently by preferring collective, active and low-carbon solutions.

Helping to plan sustainable transport

The use of combustion engine vehicles has become universal since the 1950s. Private cars have become a symbol of freedom and completely changed the face of our cities and countryside. At the same time, maritime transport experienced unprecedented growth as a direct result of the globalisation of trade and production systems. This was followed by a boom in aviation enabling high-speed national and intercontinental travel, which stimulating business and prompting the rise of large-scale tourism. Today, faced with the climate crisis, this entire system of transport and the associated lifestyles, which consume a great deal of energy and emit carbon, are being called into question.

We help many urban and regional authorities in looking at the organisation of their transport systems. We offer our experience in the various transport modes, our extensive knowledge of urban and regional development and our expertise in environmental issues to help them draw up sustainable transport master plans. We emphasise coordination between the various modes, the adoption of low-carbon solutions – in particular public systems – and support for active modes over short distances. We design urban development projects that aim to reduce unavoidable travel, especially commuting between home and the workplace. We also pay great attention to the efficiency of connections between the city and its surrounding area. We collaborate with rail and river transport management companies with a view to improving the performance of their infrastructure and regional services, thus helping to encourage use of the modes that consume the least energy and emit the least carbon (per passenger or tonne transported).

Preferring low-carbon transport solutions

At present, taking all categories together (land, sea, air – people and goods), transport is more than 90% dependent on fossil fuels, and especially oil. The transport sector is one of the principal emitters of CO2, but also of nitrogen oxides and fine particulates. It is therefore logical that it should be a prime target of strategies aiming to combat climate change. Several initiatives have therefore been taken to encourage the take-up of alternatives to oil (electricity, gas and biogas, liquid biofuels, hydrogen, etc.) and create the infrastructure needed for them to be deployed (production, storage and distribution facilities).

We are engaged in this transformation of transport systems at various levels. As specialists in the design and construction of urban transport infrastructure, we are involved in the development of public – and especially electric – transport systems (metros, tramways, buses, cable transport), for which we are also conducting R&D. Carbon assessments clearly show the advantages of preferring public and active modes for personal travel over short distances. We have also built up considerable expertise in the design and integration of infrastructure dedicated to bicycles and pedestrians.

We also collaborate with players in the fuel distribution field in various countries in order to create networks of service stations offering electrical charging points, hydrogen and biofuels. In parallel, we are working with these distributors and local authorities with a view to creating urban networks for recharging electric vehicles. We are also taking part in the development of innovative train demonstrators running on hydrogen, notably in Germany and Italy.

Assisting transport hubs with their transition

Even though transport hubs (stations, ports, airports) only account for a very small proportion of the sector’s emissions, several initiatives have been launched to reduce energy costs and the carbon footprint inherent in their activities. In conjunction with improving the way they operate, several major transport hubs, notably airports, have begun to draw up roadmaps and transform their infrastructure in order to achieve net zero carbon emissions within the next 10-20 years.

We are fully involved in these changes. For example, we are helping with the Marseille Provence Airport project (France), which is aiming for energy self-sufficiency and “”net zero”” by 2030. We are also working on port infrastructure, in particular on the roll-out of renewable energy and electrical supply systems for berthed ships, with a view to reducing the carbon emissions from their diesel engines that otherwise operate uninterruptedly. Our teams perform detailed audits of existing systems, study different technical solutions, identify the best scenarios, propose the relevant contractual and financial arrangements and oversee implementation of the measures chosen.


Shifting transport systems towards lower-carbon solutions


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