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As a professional organisation, the Fédération Nationale des Travaux Publics, better known as the FNTP [National Federation of Public Works], brings together and represents 8,000 companies across the sector. More specifically, what is its role and what is your involvement within the organisation?
Jean-Philippe Trin (JPHT) / As a professional organisation dedicated to developing the civil works sector and representing companies across the industry, the FNTP has three major missions.

The first is its role as a key partner of public authorities when defining national, regional and local strategies relating to civil engineering infrastructures and defending the long-term planning and visibility of public investments in the construction and renovation of such infrastructures.

Its second mission is to serve as a public ambassador for the civil works sector, targeting in particular young people and women, the aim being to increase the sector’s attractiveness. To this end, the FNTP works continuously to modernise the image of our business lines and operations in order to prepare young people to meet tomorrow’s challenges: building low-carbon towns and cities and rethinking mobility to meet new usages, integrating cutting-edge technologies (artificial intelligence, new materials, digital project platforms, mixed and sustainable eco-district design, etc.). In particular, this is the challenge that the network of higher education schools that I run as FNTP Vice-President wants to take up. The aim of this network is to make the training provision for our sector clearer, more efficient and, consequently, more attractive, and to prepare young people for these new business lines across all territories. 

The FNTP’s third and final mission is to provide the necessary impetus for the profession to engage on key issues for the sector, such as diversity or the ecological transition. It was against this backdrop that, on 21 January, the FNTP issued the “Civil Works’ Commitment to Climate Action” manifesto.
With the publication of this manifesto and the organisation of a forum whose theme this year is “Investing in the Ecological Transition”, how can the FNTP be a key player in redefining the construction process and the commitment of civil works to climate action?
JPHT / Our business sector has a permanent and pivotal role to play in addressing the main environmental and societal challenges of the day. On 21 January, the FNTP issued its manifesto on the sector’s commitment to sustainable construction and the climate. The federation worked alongside two expert environmental consultancies - Carbone 4 and Utopies - to draw up a diagnosis, define a costed trajectory for decarbonising worksites, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the Stratégie Nationale Bas Carbone (SNBC) [National Low-Carbon Strategy] and, finally, to come up with a roadmap to help companies follow this trajectory.

The carbon footprint of civil works infrastructures is determined at two levels: directly via the infrastructure construction process itself, i.e. via the activity of the sector’s companies and the exercise of their business lines, which mobilise materials, suppliers and energy, as well as innovative techniques; and indirectly via the way such infrastructures are used, i.e. the degree of sustainability of mobilities and resulting flows. The FNTP’s diagnosis focused on the direct footprint and calculated that the infrastructure construction process accounted for 3.5% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in France. That is why the commitment of the civil works sector can have a real impact on the national low-carbon trajectory. Well aware of this key role played by the sector, the FNTP has set a reduction target of 40% for GHG emissions across the sector as a whole by 2030, compared to 1990.

The Civil Works forum being held today in Paris, attended by five presidential election candidates, aims to give an overview of the sector’s commitment and make our voice heard.
In concrete terms, what are the levers to achieve this goal? How do companies fit into this trajectory as set out by the FNTP?
JPHT / The FNTP has identified seven levers to help companies achieve the goal of reducing the carbon footprint of their worksites, with proposals concerning energy, materials, digital technology and innovation. It is now up to companies to implement the necessary measures, find the means and come up with solutions to decarbonise the construction process.

At Bouygues Travaux Publics, we did not wait for the FNTP to commit ourselves to this path! For several years now, Bouygues Construction’s engineering and materials division (PIM) has been working closely with cement-manufacturers to design fundamental and applied programmes concerning ultra-high-performance fibre-reinforced concretes, recycled concretes and low-carbon concretes. Also worthy of mention is the Pawtucket tunnel construction project in the USA, with its extensive use of recycled steel. From an energy perspective, our mining business is currently working on developing a hydrogen-based mobility solution for the various transport vehicles in its fleet. Whether it be via PIM, LAB TP or our numerous internal partnerships with Bouygues Energies and Services as well as C2S, our innovation-focused initiatives are extremely well-structured and enable us to develop solutions that will set us apart in tomorrow’s market.

In conclusion, while the FNTP provides the impetus and creates the necessary drive, it is we, the companies, who will collectively make it possible to follow the sector’s low-carbon trajectory.
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