How can we get around without leaving a footprint? - ALTEN Group

How can we get around without leaving a footprint?


The energy transition is now at the heart of economic recovery plans and people’s expectations. In its magazine Eureka, published at the beginning of the year, ALTEN already wondered about the possibility of developing greener mobility and technologies. Here is a closer look at a few ideas to start the march towards a low-carbon society!

Transport accounts for nearly a quarter of global CO2 emissions so logically it appears at the top of the list of sectors where action is urgently required. Until recently, public policies and eyes were mostly turned towards the automotive industry, with the government imposing a punitive framework to force manufacturers into investing in alternative solutions to the combustion engine.

Since late 2018, there has been a movement instigated by civil society and circulated via social media which has cast aspersions this  time on air travel, referred to as “flygskam” (flight-shaming).

A trend which today has spread far beyond the borders of Sweden where it started and which is taken very seriously indeed by airlines and manufacturers. So things are on the move with transport and have been for several years. Manufacturers in both the automotive and aviation industries have not been sitting idly by as regards technology.

However, as Stéphane Ougier, ALTEN Executive Director, explains:

“the technological response in the transport sector, as indeed in other sectors, won’t be enough to drastically reduce CO2 emissions. This issue requires a complex and multiple response. Every citizen must become involved and change their behavior to limit the number of vehicles they own and adjust the journeys they make by using clean transport (electric bus, train, tram, bicycle, etc.). Apart from passenger transport, the supply chain must also be reviewed, prioritizing the relocation of production and thereby limiting the movement of cargo planes and container ships which also pollute.”

During the Aix-en-Provence Economic Forum in June 2018, Guillaume Pépy, then CEO of SNCF, mentioned three avenues for reinventing transport.

  1. Shared mobility for people and goods. With an average vehicle occupancy rate in France of 1.1 people and considering that “all modes of transport (train, bus, car or lorry) travel between 1/4 and 3/4 empty”, he quite rightly felt that “filling up” was the first step.
  2. The development of soft modes of transport: Cycling continues to grow, even though the political will in terms of infrastructure is still not forthcoming at times. The enormous success of scooters (and their share of setbacks) shows that the French are ready for simple, accessible solutions.
  3. Communal services, developed using digital technology. Carpooling apps for booking available vehicles, journey sharing, etc.

Joint effort using these various tools gives us hope that the zero CO2 emissions target will be reached in transport by 2050.


ALTEN is committed – Implementation of a Commuting Plan

Within the Group, it is transport that has the greatest impact on our carbon footprint: 85% of CO2 emissions.
So a Commuting Plan has been implemented in France to cut back on employees’ use of their cars for commuting between their homes and work.

To go further, focus on the automotive sector: how can we drive green?