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By now, most of you are familiar with our company’s Greenlight strategy for reconciling economic growth and environmental sustainability over the next five years. The plan is underpinned by three strategic axes : development, differentiation and transformation.

You may be less familiar, however, with how Bouygues Construction’s three business divisions are approaching this ambitious strategic shift. In this issue, we look at the development, with Jean-Philippe Trin, CEO of Civil Works, Pierre-Eric Saint-André, CEO of Building International, Philippe Jouy, CEO of Building France, sharing their visions and strategies for growth in their respective business areas.

Pierre-Eric Saint-André notes, “Our construction markets are still very dynamic, despite the gloom, the economic uncertainty and the GDP slowdown in many countries, and despite inflation pushing up costs (for energy, food, materials, etc.) and higher interest rates making financing more expensive.We are lucky to have macro trends on our side. Demographic growth is still strong: imagine a city the size of Beijing emerging every month on Earth. Urbanization is  generating massive needs, with 25% of the world’s population expected to move to urban areas in the next 30 years. In addition, urgent needs to tackle climate change, demographic growth and migration trends along with digital transformation, are accelerating demands for more housing, healthcare and education facilities, logistics and data centers, hotels and public transportation, as well as new ways of designing, financing, building and operating them.
“Demographic growth is still strong :
we have macro trends on our side"

Focusing our efforts on being the best player in these markets, thanks to our super-skilled teams and our strong track-records around the world, we can set growth ambitions. For Bouygues Bâtiment International, our ambition is to double our revenue in 5 years to reach €4.6 billion.”

My Way in Casablanca, Maroc

Jean-Philippe Trin agrees: “We see growth coming from large projects in the energy sector as countries move to renewable energy sources, such as nuclear and wind farms. We are historically active in these areas, working with French electrical utility EDF on its latest-generation large nuclear plants (EPR) in France, the UK and other countries. We also see a market for small and medium-sized reactors (SMRs), which are attracting new developments. In wind, we recently completed 71 gravity-based foundations off the coast of France in Fecamp, and few years ago we designed and built the first floating wind tower. This type of farm, we see huge potential for it along the many coasts of France but also in England, Ireland and other countries around the North Sea.
"We recently completed 71 gravity-based foundations
off the coast of France in Fecamp"

As Pierre-Eric mentioned, public transportation is another growth area. Big cities need new or extended subway lines, for example, and many authorities have adopted stricter emissions targets. We expect that to become more common in the future. Not all clients are sensitive to our proactive approach to sustainability but for some it’s already part of the scoring process for selecting a partner.”

Fécamp offshore wind farm, France

Philippe Jouy adds, “Our business plays a public interest role. We design, build and refurbish places where people live, work, study, and enjoy their leisure time. Like most countries, France has significant needs in terms of housing, schools, hospitals and other collective buildings, and we expect these needs to grow in line with demographic trends. The French State will have to continue to invest to meet these needs. At the same time, the energy crisis has helped raise awareness about the need to reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of buildings. 
"We design, build and refurbish places where people live,
work, study, and enjoy their leisure time."

In France, we talk about the ‘energy sobriety’ of buildings and businesses. New French environmental regulations are being progressively implemented. This will create opportunities for us in the coming years to renovate, refurbish and better insulate residential and commercial buildings. The French President recently announced a commitment to the renovation of schools, for example.”

Philippe Jouy : “In France, customers are increasingly sensitive to environmental considerations, partly because of market pressure from investors. We think we can gain market share by approaching projects in new ways, offering sustainable alternatives. For example, we have developed expertise in urban regeneration. We clean up and transform former industrial sites into nice neighborhoods, complete with apartments, offices and green spaces, which are easily accessible by public transportation. In this area, our Linkcity property development business has opportunities for growth. Linkcity should soon account for 30% of our revenue, up from 18% currently.
"In France, customers are increasingly sensitive
to environmental considerations."

We have also decided to set up Business Lines, which will provide additional strength to our existing Business Units. These Business Lines will capitalize on our market knowledge and technical expertise around specific products and markets: housing new build, housing refurb., offices, education, healthcare, etc. These Business Lines will allow us to provide the best solutions for our clients nationwide and support our organic growth. Thanks to our network of 1200 engineers, including experts in wood construction, biosourced materials, the circular economy and biodiversity, we believe we are well placed to address the sustainability needs of society.”

Ilot Fertile, Paris, France

Pierre-Eric Saint-André : :“You can grow when you have an organization adapted to sustain that growth, with clear strategies addressing the right markets at the right time and good delegation mechanisms to train, trust and empower 
new teams while you are expanding. At Bouygues Bâtiment International, we have re-invented our organization to focus on 2 distinct segments:
         • Local Markets, where we operate autonomously to seize local opportunities with repeat clients in our 11 subsidiaries
         • Oversea Markets, where we operate with key support from expatriates working in an overseas environment

We have also invested over €20 million more in 2023 than in 2022, mainly in business development to expand, differentiate and transform our companies. For each segment, we develop specific growth strategies. 
In Local Markets, we promote our local ‘bread and butter’ products to expand our market share organically with limited risk exposure. We have a special focus on property development, for example launching our first property fund in Switzerland (Losinger Marazzi Foundation) with local pension funds. For Oversea Markets, we have increased our resources to secure more projects while managing our risks within the new Greenlight framework. Setting up global business lines, better managing our key accounts and pioneering the way in climate change will also contribute to accelerating our organic growth.

"We plan to strengthen our global footprint through
targeted acquisitions in Australia, Germany and the USA."

Lastly, we plan to strengthen our global footprint through targeted acquisitions in some key markets we have selected for their growth potential : Australia, Germany and the USA. By expanding our activities in the heart of key growth markets in the world (North America, Europe and Asia), we aim to bring more resilience to our global business model in construction.”

Ridge Hospital, Ghana

Jean-Philippe Trin : “In Civil Works, we want to grow organically by developing the decarbonized energies sector I mentioned earlier. We are also focusing on public transportation, with several projects involving new subways or extensions in France but also in Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, Abidjan and elsewhere. More and more of these projects involve green energy, low-carbon concrete and re-used steel so our sustainability approach is key.
In geographic terms, we aim to grow in France, Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. We plan to do it organically, not through acquisitions. We can also do FiFo (fly in fly out) for complex projects, such as the Line 1 of the Abidjan Metro we are starting in partnership with Colas Rail and Alstom. 

"Drainage project is an another way that we are helping
our customers deal with the effects of climate change."

In the US, we have all seen on the news the severe flooding in California and other places. With the tunnel in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, we are working on a storage capacity project for rain and water drainage so water treatment plants can better manage floods. There is a great need for this type of solution in the US, and we are hoping this project will lead to many others. We also just completed a water project in Hong Kong. This is another way that we are helping our customers to deal with the effects of climate change.”

Specific Measures
All 3 divisions are taking specifics measures to achieve their Greenlight growth and sustainability objectives. 

All three are working to diversify their project range and customer base. The expansion of Linkcity’s property development business in France and internationally, and Civil Works working on mid-sized reactors and wind projects, are just two examples. 

Key account management is also being implemented to better meet the needs of big clients. This type of organization leverages knowledge sharing to enhance efficiency and consistency in managing projects for the same client in different countries. 

Streamlining building processes by working more with modular components that can be easily produced at industrial scale and assembled is another way to complete more projects faster while maintaining the quality and reliability that are the hallmarks of Bouygues Construction.

Greenlight Ambitions

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