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M. Jean-Michel GENESTIER

Director of European Affairs at SNCF

M. Jean-Michel GENESTIER

Everyone knows SNCF but today we know that there are new challenges. Can you at first describe to us the contours of this major corporation?

SNCF is known to almost everyone but its business lines are not always fully grasped. The well-known business lines are related to rail infrastructure and the transportation of passengers and goods by railway. The business lines related to engineering, station management, logistics and road transport are not always publicized. SNCF is present in more than 120 countries, particularly through its subsidiaries. One third of the turnover is being realized internationally.


What is SNCF’s sustainable development policy, particularly in the business lines related to freight transport and logistics?

More than 50,000 employees work in these business lines and ensure that shippers, mainly producers of consumer goods, are provided with transportation and logistics from point A to point B whatever their position is worldwide. The objective is to ensure the safe transport of goods by meeting the requirements of the just-in-time, all the while providing the choice of the most deserving modes according to the possibilities of each segment. The freight forwarding business line continues to meet all the requests of freight transportation worldwide. Logistics makes it possible to process the segments of the economy with the required expectations and with all due haste.

The presence in Europe under the Captrain brand ensures the transport of goods by railway on all trans-European transport networks.
The carbon footprint of all flows is provided to our customers so as to respect the law and the requirements of the countries crossed but above all to mark the importance of these business lines with regard to the environment.

We mainly note the carbon impact of the business lines and the flows but we also know how to use the best means to limit the production of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles whose health impact is known. The company’s social and societal responsibility depends, among other things, on these factors. The combined transport activity which, as the name suggests combines at least two modes of transport, also limits the environmental impact of the flow of goods.

SNCF also wanted to develop rail motorways; they make it possible to carry heavy-duty trailers on trains, mainly on long journeys, and provide customers with savings of one tonne of CO2 per vehicle for distances of 1,000 km at competitive rates.

The digital freight train is an innovation that commits the rail freight transport business to a major evolution ensuring traceability for customers and the assurance of knowing the arrival times of goods. These connected trains will also provide a multitude of customer services and will enable maintenance optimisation.

There are many innovations in this sector to respond to the expectations of shippers and to make transport always have a lower impact on the environment.


SNCF is very aware of climate change and especially air quality as an issue for public health. Can you tell us what your actions are in this area?

SNCF is committed to impregnating a sustainable development policy in all business lines across all its sites and with each activity.
This policy is proposed to the competent authorities but also to each of the group’s customers.

For example, a hybrid prototype of a regional express train (RET) is now being prepared to go over the entire network, including the non-electrified parts with the help of batteries, which further reduces pollutant emissions and CO2.

The entire chain of businesses, which brings forth 15,000 trains a day in France, is ensured with extreme vigilance on environmental issues without neglecting the number one priority of safety.

The training of drivers in eco-driving, whatever the vehicles, can significantly reduce energy consumption and therefore the environmental impact.
SNCF goes as far as the recycling of used work clothes: this is part of the group’s indispensable requirement which is committed to a green purchasing policy.

SNCF is a member of Airparif, an organization that measures air quality in the Île-de-France region with a recognized excellence throughout the world.

Ensuring a continuous monitoring in this sector is essential to the SNCF global group.


The citizen is at the centre of all public policies, transport services are no exception to this rule. How does SNCF intend to improve the quality and efficiency of its services?

SNCF puts the client, who is a citizen, at the heart of its thoughts and actions. Ensuring the safe transport of passengers with an on-time arrival is always an objective for employees working in the public rail group.

Whole teams are dedicated to auditing and regulating the hazards of the railway world so that we can always be a global reference in our business. In France the renovation of the existing network is a priority. The reversal of the trend today allows emphasizing the mobilities of everyday life. They are a priority.

Offering trips for all with OUIGO and at the same time ensuring quality and adapted services with TGV inOUI on high-speed rail are incomparable assets.

Accessibility to station and train services is a constant feature of the group’s work. The development of Wi-Fi on TER and, this year, on a first Intercity route will allow massive development of the essential connection of every citizen in motion. The personal mobility assistant that SNCF is developing will allow it to assemble the offers of several mobility service operators and to obtain a ticket on the same application in a door-to-door logic.

European transport is driving players to be more virtuous and to offer services that are better adapted to our fellow citizens while preserving the general interest of the environment. We are committed on all fronts for the well-being of our client-citizens. Europe and its territories are a space in which we must provide transport excellence for travellers and goods.

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