Climate resilience: time for action

By Julien Villalongue

Managing director - Leonard

Leonard, a stakeholder working in the field on regional and infrastructure resilience, will be partnering the “Biennale des Territoires” organised by Cerema from 18 to 20 March 2019. This meeting of decision-makers and regional players will be an opportunity to discuss a new view of transport network resilience through feedback and experimenting with innovative solutions to help better prepare the future. In this tribune, Julien Villalongue, Director of Leonard, runs through the achievements of the foresight working group addressing these issues.

Résilience climatique

Leonard is the VINCI group’s foresight and innovation platform. Our mission is to explore forward-looking scenarios about the future changes affecting all our construction and infrastructure concession markets and businesses. We are providing our employees and partners with the keys to better understand the uses, trends and innovations that are shaping territories and transforming our businesses.

Since July 2017, we have had to grasp the notion of resilience when examining the transformations affecting our businesses and their models in response to climate change. Other working groups are, for example, exploring the impact of artificial intelligence on our construction and concession businesses, and even the transformation of infrastructure pointing to the appearance of connected and autonomous electric vehicles.

Climate change affects the cities and regions where our worksites, constructions and infrastructure operated by VINCI are located. Natural disasters are the most visible manifestations, but our environment is changing forever resulting in higher average temperatures and sea levels.

Our responsibility as a construction concession group is to embrace all the challenges faced by our customers and the users of our constructions. The changes in their environment are driving us to come up with and build ambitious solutions adapted to the time’s new imperatives.

For a whole year, Leonard accompanied the discussions of a working group addressing the issue of infrastructure resilience to the effects of climate change. Chaired by Jérôme Stubler, CEO of VINCI Construction, it pulled together experts representing the full diversity of VINCI’s businesses. The conclusions to their discussions led to a four-point action plan being adopted and which must now be the focus of all VINCI businesses:

  • mobilise out technical expertise in response to our customers’ expectations
  • raise our employees and our stakeholders’ awareness of the concept of resilience, its challenges and potential operational applications
  • capitalise on all our knowledge and skills
  • incorporate the notion of resilience in our project proposal procedures including financial, insurance and contractual innovation.

The vulnerability and resilience of transport networks, at the heart of the Biennale des Territoires, is therefore closely aligned with the concerns of VINCI’s innovators brought together by Leonard. We are pleased to be part of this initiative enabling us to contribute to developing a more resilient approach for regions. Loyal to our aims and our method, we hope to boost discussions between experts and the diversity of the urban and infrastructure authorities involved.