Faced with the issues of social acceptability arising when business activities are performed near local residents, the Group’s business units endeavour to provide an ever-improving response to stakeholder’s needs and expectations, optimise the management of impacts and avoid any inherent risk of mutual misunderstandings by adopting consultation and communication strategies and taking suitable initiatives according to local circumstances.
The Group’s social policy, described in the section on Regional development, makes allowance for the impacts of activities on its workforce and the many different aspects of dialogue with external stakeholders. The Group and its divisions work ceaselessly to improve their communication and consultation strategies by reducing adverse impacts of worksites, organising full information campaigns for motorway projects, ensuring the meticulous management of work on occupied sites, making proper allowance for user convenience and safety, and engaging in partnerships and sponsorship.
Controlling impacts of business activities on residents
As land purchasing is a key component of motorway construction projects, APRR endeavours to consult extensively with all parties concerned by means of regular public meetings enabling any specific issues relating to business and farming activities or residential areas to be given proper consideration, and appropriate measures adopted on a case-by-case basis. A dedicated system is set up to provide ongoing information and priority is systematically given to finding amicable solutions regarding purchases subject to a decision establishing a project's public utility and the settling of compensation.
The impact of business activities on residents and nearby communities, in terms of noise, odour or visual nuisances is addressed in the section headed: Impacts under control.
Focus on road users for trouble-free mobility
APRR and AREA maintain the customer focus and availability of their employees in order to achieve the three goals of protecting users, keeping them informed and providing them with quality services.
APRR and AREA implement a strategy aimed at achieving constant improvement and managing road risks. Traffic management and emergency responses are coordinated by central control stations that can be alerted 24 hours a day from emergency call terminals or using the "SOS Autoroute" smartphone application which was downloaded 500,000 times in February 2016.
Tunnels, which require specific safety systems and procedures, are the subject of particular efforts. The aim of achieving constant improvement also applies to the coordination between internal operators and external partners: fire, ambulance and police services.
The APRR-AREA network covers areas exposed to inclement winter weather and the two companies therefore deploy a winter road clearance programme every year to ensure quality of service and user safety in all weather conditions. As weather forecasting is of prime importance, AREA works in partnership with Météo France for 48-hour weather forecasts, targeted according to the physical geographic features of its motorway network (such as lakes, mountains and frigid regions). The partnership formed with the Red Cross to support and care for users in case of extreme weather conditions is an integral component of the user safety and protection plan.
A new awareness campaign was launched in 2015 on the subject of winter driving, with a new communication strategy targeting safe drivers in order to secure greater compliance.
The two companies are also using new information technologies to improve and facilitate communication with users, transmitting updates on traffic conditions, weather and accidents in real time. A “road service text” system is now available on the APRR network to inform users directly and easily when managing an incident.
New applications are to be launched between now and 2017 to enhance the customised assistance given to customers using the motorway network. The introduction of these new digital tools optimising customer relations was heralded by the Planning+ app, developed in 2015 to inform subscriber-users of all the work planned on selected sections of road and the consequences for traffic.
Employees get close to users
Employees once again made an important contribution on a voluntary basis in 2015 to highlighting motorway services and promoting customer satisfaction. Wearing red jackets, these APRR and AREA employees formed pairs to go out and meet customers in motorway service areas on busy days to provide information and answer their questions, notably about traffic conditions, services available on their routes and motorway business activities.
Steps taken at motorway rest and service areas in line with APRR and AREA quality policy included improving waste collection and increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations. Mobile device points are available for motorway users to recharge their mobile phones and laptops, and meeting rooms, photocopiers and fax machines are being installed. New services proposed include parcel delivery pick-up points, letter boxes, launderettes, photo booths, digital photo printing terminal and DVD rentals.
APRR has opened dedicated customer information corners at five service areas: La Chaponne, Beaune, and Dracé on the A6 motorway, Dijon Brognon on the A31, and Écot on the A36. These new communication facilities provide information under four different headings: "Your network" (Votre réseau), "Your teams" (Vos équipes), "Your journey" (Votre trajet) and "Your T-badge" (Votre badge-t).
Public consultation and communication exercises are standard practice for our divisions and a crucial factor in ensuring the acceptability of activities and projects of all kinds, including linear infrastructure and construction projects, renovation of occupied sites and quarry operation.
To optimise existing infrastructure, APRR’s Villefranche district has taken over the operation of the section of road (RN 7 and RN 489) currently linking the A6 and A89 motorways in the Rhône department. In tackling this new challenge, local teams will apply their skills to improve this stretch of road carrying suburban commuter traffic of all types (including tractors, three-wheeled cars and small motorcycles), with a traffic volume of more than 30,000 vehicles a day. Work will be conducted in several phases to convert the two-way section of road into two-lane motorway. The new link is due to come into service in early 2018.
Relations with stakeholders
All APRR-AREA motorway projects include a comprehensive public information strategy deployed across multiple media to reach a wide public: posters, special works signage, printed newsletters, dedicated websites and email addresses, etc. In some cases, special initiatives to highlight the Group’s expertise are organised in addition to this approach.
Official public consultations required by law are organised prior to some projects. In May and June 2015, the Prefecture of Haute-Savoie conducted a public consultation campaign with the assistance of AREA regarding the widening of the A41 motorway to three-lane dual carriageway between Annecy Nord and Saint-Martin-Bellevue.
Touring exhibition for BPL rail link
A touring exhibition created by Eiffage Rail Express (ERE) to spotlight the BPL rail link has been on the road since 2012. This 60 sq. m exhibition in a semitrailer fitted with projection room has attracted 15,850 visitors. In addition to showcasing the rail link project, ERE has been answering questions raised by the general public and local government officers (regarding funding, the project’s purposes, compensation, jobs, route plans, schedules and works). The exhibition has visited more than 50 towns and villages. The construction site itself has received more than 9,000 visitors, and the project’s website has clocked up 46,950 visits. In parallel, the first symposium organised by the socioeconomic observatory in Rennes on 17 September 2015 proved a success, attracting 150 participants
Public information is a priority for the Infrastructures division which conducts regular campaigns to explain its activities and projects, enhance their acceptability and, even, influence young people’s career paths. Employees at Eiffage Génie Civil have developed a communication strategy targeting people living in the vicinity of a worksite in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, using films, newsletters and direct communication via social networks.
Quarries frequently welcome pedagogical visits from students and schoolgoers and organise open days spotlighting the career opportunities they offer. The monitoring of quarries, which is essential to ensure the sustainable working of their deposits, has become a specialised job requiring close collaboration with public authorities, local residents, farmers and other parties with interests in their operation. Local consultation and monitoring commissions are organised on several sites to promote dialogue and the responsible use of resources (including water, biodiversity and agricultural land).
The Clemessy Maine Normandie unit implemented an ecodesign strategy which entailed offering customers a technical variation taking environment protection and energy efficiency into account. A question aimed at gauging customers’ receptiveness to this strategy was included in the "2015 listening to customers" survey. Half of customers said that ecodesign issues were, or were becoming, critical criteria in making their choices. The goal for 2016 is to implement this strategy as part of Clemessy’s offering so as to ensure, in particular, that environmental requirements applicable to products and services are determined in relations to their life cycle.
Dialogue with local residents around Europe’s biggest solar power plant
Like our major infrastructure projects, the worksite of the Cestas solar power plant was the focus of dialogue and consultation with local residents and councillors before the project got underway. Biodiversity was a key issue in this consultation process as this site is located in a wetland zone.
The Group seized a number of opportunities to engage in discussions with its partners and, also, with the general public during its participation in the Africa France Forum and during the COP 21 summit in Le Bourget and at Grand Palais, Paris.
Work at occupied sites requires special attention to the needs and restrictions of the customer or users, excellent responsiveness and flawless organisation. This means engaging in particularly active dialogue. Work in these conditions is illustrated by the following examples :
For the underground installation of utility networks (electricity, telephone, public lighting) along Chemin des Izards conducted for Toulouse Métropole in 2015, the Eiffage Energie teams had to direct works vehicle traffic, collect household waste, manage the presence of a variety of stakeholders, and organise arrangements to be made with some 80 residents to connect their homes to the networks with the least possible inconvenience.
At Eiﬀage Construction, with the development of energy-relation renovation worksites – involving revamping, joinery and external insulation – social mediation is becoming an increasingly essential step prior to the performance of work in people’s homes. The division implements consultation policies focused on the concerns and questions of results and people living nearby.
Local residents are very appreciative of face-to-face meetings in addition to poster campaigns and information leaflets. The division assigned a manager to the task of handling public relations on a full-time basis. This social mediator facilitates projects by chairing information meetings and overseeing communication relating to the project (via the regional daily press, website and posters, for example). This type of organisation was employed for the Bois Hardy project (Nantes Habitat) for 423 apartments in 2015.
In September 2015, Eiffage Construction started work on the occupied site of a 349-apartment residence in Caluire-et-Cuire. Grand Lyon Habitat set up a social project management unit to assist tenants, with a 24/7 renovation support team on call throughout the duration of the work. In addition, 3,000 man-hours are to be allocated to work integration action in partnership with CREPI Lyon-Rhône
At Eiffage Construction Provence, an organisation and communication pack was specially created for projects involving work on occupied sites, to optimise worksite supervision. This pack includes special communication follow-up documents for tenants, project managers and clients.
Partnerships and corporate philanthropy
Eiffage Group companies are acknowledged economic stakeholders in their host regions, and are committed to cultural and social philanthropy initiatives and partnerships.
Partnership with Villefranche-sur-Saône prison
As part of the Orient Express employment forum organised by Sodexo Justice, two Eiffage Construction employees visited the prison of Villefranche-sur-Saône to tell inmates about opportunities for employment in construction and public works. This action reflects Eiffage's strong backing for the CREPI clubs which promote social and work integration for long-term employed people.
AREA partnered the world rowing championships held in 2015 at Aiguebelette lake in Savoie, a majestic location served by the A43 motorway. This partnership during an international sports event strengthened links between the department of Savoie and the motorway operator.
Eiffage Construction, Unibail–Rodamco and architect Jean-Paul Viguier, builder and architect of the Majunga tower (named after a province of Madagascar) in La Défense, worked together with local Malagasy organisations to build a school for 90 children. The techniques employed in building this school use only local materials suitable for the local climate and resources.
- Eiffage Energie is supporting the operation organised by the "Tout le monde chante contre le cancer" cancer prevention and support association, backed by more than 100 hospitals, centres for patients’ families and associations in France, which strives to improve daily living conditions for patients and their families.
- Clemessy is selling its IT equipment for recycling, via a partnership with EMC Europe, and donates the funds raised to the "Autour des Williams" association which supports research and care for people afflicted by Williams syndrome.
1 building, 1 work of art - Eiffage immobilier the contemporary art promoter
Eiffage Immobilier boosts the art work with the signature of the « 1 building, one work of art » charter on the 16th of december 2015 with the Ministry of Culture and 12 other real estate players. Everyone committed to order or buy a work of art (paint, sculpture, photography, etc…) when a building is constructed or renovated. « The art and architecture have been always closely tied, said Philippe Plaza, the General Manager of Eiffage Immobilier. To insert all kind of art in the daily lives of our customers, in their living and working environments, to participate to our social responsibility as a real estate developer and city actor. The works of art encourage social contacts and intergenerational links.