SNCF Group is a state-owned company headquartered in France. In 2021 its revenue was USD 39.6 billion. SNCF is France's national railway company operating the country's national rail traffic and infrastructure. The company also offers multimodal freight services through its subsidiaries Geodis and Rail Logistics Europe and other public transport services through Keolis.
SNCF has a procurement policy which covers all suppliers including transport subcontractors. This policy includes corporate social responsibility metrics (including GHG emissions reduction). In addition, 100% of strategic suppliers are assessed by a sustainability rating agency.
SNCF has set a target for a significant proportion of its suppliers to set their own science-based targets by 2024. These suppliers account for 70% of SNCF’s emissions. SNCF has collaborated with vehicle manufacturers to develop and pilot low-carbon vehicles. SNCF includes high-speed rolling stock in its green bond framework to ensure carbon impact is minimised in vehicle purchasing decisions.
SNCF has set 2030 emissions reduction targets for all its operations. The company’s targets covering French railway activity have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and are in line with a 2°C pathway. However, the company does not disclose sufficient data to assess its progress towards these targets. SNCF should improve its disclosure so its targets can be assessed and should ensure its targets are in line with a 1.5°C pathway.
SNCF is collaborating with vehicle manufacturers to help develop and pilot low-carbon technologies. These projects include the trialling of hydrogen trains, rechargeable battery trains and the use of biofuels across all modes. R&D expenditure on low-carbon vehicles and energies will be essential for SNCF to develop a low-carbon product portfolio. However, the company does not disclose financial data for R&D, therefore the scale of this investment cannot be assessed. The company should ensure that a significant proportion of its R&D investment is in low-carbon vehicles and fuel development.
SNCF has created a transition plan with a long-term focus on aligning with the French government’s target to achieve net zero by 2050. However, SNCF did not conduct climate scenario analysis to inform its transition plan to ensure the plan’s ambition is sufficient for a 1.5°C pathway. The company has implemented board-level oversight of climate change but there is no evidence that board members have significant expertise in the low-carbon transition. The company should incentivise low-carbon performance through its executive compensation.
SNCF receives a trend score of =. If the company were reassessed in the near future, its score would likely remain the same. SNCF’s current business model is compatible with a low-carbon transition and the company has taken actions to reduce emissions. However, the company does not disclose sufficient data to measure progress towards its goals. In addition, the current transition plan only addresses action in the period up to 2030.
SNCF has set near-term decarbonisation targets for 2030 for all its operations and these targets are specific to each operation. The company states that these targets are in line with the French government’s net-zero ambition for 2050. However, SNCF has not set a net-zero target.
The company’s transition plan relies on expanding the use of alternative fuel vehicles for all modes, investing in the development of new technologies such as hydrogen vehicles and hybrid trains and promoting a modal shift to rail for its freight forwarding operations.
SNCF is investing in low-carbon vehicles across its network, expanding the electrification of its railway lines and implementing energy efficiency improvements. SNCF’s subsidiary Geodis is expanding the use of biofuels across all modes.
The company’s emissions intensity for rail freight decreased from 6.4 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne-kilometre (gCO2e/tkm) in 2015 to 4.7 in 2021. Emissions intensity from passenger rail increased from 8 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per passenger kilometre (gCO2e/pkm in 2015 to 9.2 in 2021 (7.2 in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic). Emissions intensity data for other modes is not disclosed.
SNCF has set emissions reduction targets for 2030 which are in line with a 2°C pathway. The company has a transition plan which details how it plans to decarbonise its operations. However, the company’s lack of long-term targets undermines the credibility of its transition planning.
The company publicly discloses a commitment to engaging in social dialogue with workers and unions. However, no relevant disclosure was found regarding the categories of stakeholders it engages with on a just transition. Nor was there any evidence to show the company’s ongoing social dialogue and meaningful engagement with affected stakeholders.
No evidence was found of the company undertaking low-carbon transition planning to mitigate the social impacts of the transition on workers, affected stakeholders and business relationships. Additionally, no evidence was found to demonstrate the company’s engagement in social dialogue or engagement with stakeholders in its just transition planning.
The company discloses the actions it takes to create jobs, such as financing regeneration funds for new jobs. It also discloses the measures it takes to ensure that these jobs embed equality of opportunity for women and vulnerable groups. In particular, the company actively recruits women and men from disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods. However, no evidence was found of the company committing to create and support access to green and decent jobs as part of the low-carbon transition. Furthermore, no relevant disclosure was found of the company’s assessment of employment dislocation risks.
The company discloses the actions it takes to provide up-skilling and training opportunities for workers and affected stakeholders. For instance, it offers a digital training platform, with over 4000 training modules and programmes. Furthermore, the company discloses the measures it takes to embed equality of opportunity for women and vulnerable groups in these actions. It does this through a training collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and taking particular care to ensure gender equal access to training. However, no evidence was found of the company having a process for identifying skills gaps for workers and stakeholders affected by the low-carbon transition or a public commitment to help workers displaced by the transition to reskill or upskill.
No relevant disclosure was found to show if the company identifies impacts of the low-carbon transition on social protection for workers and affected stakeholders, nor how it contributes to social protection. Additionally, no evidence was found that the company expects its business relationships to contribute to the social protection of their workers and affected stakeholders.
No relevant disclosure was found to show how the company identifies any misalignment of its lobbying activities with policies and regulations that support the just transition, nor of the measures it takes to address misalignment. Furthermore, no evidence was found that the company lobbies for policies and regulations for green and decent job creation; retention, education and reskilling; and social protection for workers.
No company policies or commitments related to respect for human rights were found in the public domain. While the company has some disclosure on grievance mechanisms for its workers, the necessary policies and systems are missing by which the company can ensure respect for basic human rights in its operations and supply chain.
No evidence of company policies or commitments related to key decent work issues were found in the public domain. These issues include the provision of secure, safe and healthy workplaces, where workers are fairly remunerated and have a meaningful say in decision-making. However, the company does disclose some indicators of workforce diversity.
No company policies or commitments related to key ethical business topics – personal data protection, tax, and lobbying and political engagement – were found in the public domain. The company only publishes a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption. This includes ensuring ethical business conduct throughout its operations and in its relationships with business partners.