Environmental commitment

Alongside the infrastructure they build, AGIFI members are also responsible for managing environmental projects on a sometimes-impressive scale. These environmental aspects are a key part of the project agreements.

To limit the environmental impact of their projects and meet natural habitat preservation targets, AGIFI members rigorously apply the “avoid, reduce, offset” (ARO) principle. To do so, they develop close collaborations and partnerships with local stakeholders (environmental organisations, institutional partners) and experts in the field.

Beyond protecting biodiversity, AGIFI members have launched a number of initiatives to decrease their carbon footprint, reduce water and energy consumption, and improve waste management.

Some examples of environmental measures

AGIFI members have rigorously applied the “avoid, reduce, offset” approach to reduce the environmental impact of their projects.

Carbon Footprint

As railway infrastructure managers, AGIFI members support low carbon mobility solutions and contribute directly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Public-Private Partnership model leads to comprehensive and long-term optimisation of all aspects of the project.

This provides a direct and immediate reduction in the quantity of “materials used”, with a positive impact on the project’s carbon footprint.

Examples of initiatives:

Reusing excavated material
For the SEA HSL, 70.9% of around 55 million m3 of excavated material was reused (25% after treatment) to form most of the backfill.
Reducing the carbon footprint after construction
The carbon footprint of every HSL km built is 14% lower on the BPL HSL than the Rhine-Rhône HSL. Its carbon footprint is 53,000 T CO2 lower than a typical SNCF Réseau project.
LISEA estimates the project will become carbon neutral before 2030.

The SEA HSL avoided more than 109,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2019 thanks to the modal shift from road and air transport to rail. This corresponds to the annual carbon footprint of more than 9,900 French people. Thanks to the CO2 emissions avoided each year, LISEA estimates that the project will become carbon neutral before 2030, after offsetting CO2 emissions generated during construction of the line.

Source: 2019 study by the Setec design office.

Environmental Observatories

These unique structures monitor public land-use planning investments to provide public scientific data about biodiversity protection to inform future projects.

The SEA, BPL, and CNM have created environmental Observatories on their lines.
These Observatories have several objectives:

These Observatories have several objectives:

  • Evaluate the broad-ranging environmental impact of HSLs over time and verify the effectiveness of measures taken
  • Improve knowledge and share lessons learned for future large-scale transportation and land-use planning projects.


Project companies are spearheading a variety of initiatives to improve their waste, water, and energy management. As part of this effort, AGIFI members have sought out certifications.

In 2018, OPERE obtained ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) certification for the Bretagne-Pays de la Loire line and the maintenance base. Oc’via and MESEA (the company that maintains the SEA HSL) are also working to obtain these certifications very soon.

Hervé Le Caignec graduated from École Spéciale des Travaux Publics (TP86) and started his career building and maintaining road infrastructure.

He then oversaw the development and operation of major infrastructure through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) both in France and abroad. He spent 14 years at the VINCI Group, 4 years at SNCF, and 10 years at the Caisse des Dépôts Group. In March 2017, he was named Chairman of LISEA, the concession holder for the Tours-Bordeaux high-speed line.

A graduate of École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Gilles managed the Île-de-France regional branch for Egis Aménagement (transport and mobility engineering, urban development, etc.). He then served as Managing Director of the European Economic Interest Grouping that manages and operates the Mont Blanc Tunnel for ATMB and the Italian Mont Blanc Tunnel Company (SITMB).

He became the new Managing Director of Oc’Via on 1 May 2019.