Sharing the experience published on: 21-10-2013

The Lourmel Paris Metro Station (line 8 running between the two end-stations Balard and Créteil) is a small station of 219 m² against 600 m² on average. It was recently the focus of great attention and even had the honour of a very grand official inauguration on 13 November last, after 2 months of renovation work. The work was done between 8 September and 14 November and was the first ‘Green Renovation Project’ rolled out by RATP - the Paris Transport Authority. It was a pilot scheme driven by the General Delegation for Urban Ecology and Sustainable Development jointly with ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

RATP wanted to use this experiment to test how to limit the environmental impact of worksites carried out under the “Metro Renewal” Programme (it involves some 30 stations a year). Also, this gave RATP an opportunity for improved cost control of these environment-related activities. 

Two Annexes had been added to the Lourmel Station renovation project’s Invitation to Tender. The first listed the Service Specification, i.e. the tasks that would guarantee “a strict management of waste, water and energy consumption, effluents/discharges of all types and negative impacts of the project on the environment”. The second Annexe encouraged the companies to submit an itemisation of the global price that would bring out the cost of this green management. For increased transparency, each company was to itemise: worksite electric power consumption; rubble handling and transportation costs; waste disposal costs at a waste sorting facility; volumes of water consumed, etc.


Traceability & clarity


Anita Ferrary, in charge of Communication at the Delegation, explained: "What we wanted was to set up a full chain of responsibilities. Each one was to report on what was being done, which clarified costs and improved cost management. Up to that time, we had no trail of what became of the waste recovered by the contractor for instance. We designed a Tracking Note system that each contractor was to fill in each day with the help and monitoring of the RATP Environment Coordinator, thus monitoring what became of the various loads”. This daily report, added to raising awareness of all employees, and training them in “green-reflexes”, generated the rigour required for this type of operation. According to Anita Ferrary and to Florence Voile in charge of communication for ‘Operation Metro Renewal’, although the effort towards transparency and “tracking” wasn’t going to be easy to achieve, the whole experience was received positively by all ten SMEs involved in the project (electricity; masonry; signage).


Feedback from the experience


RATP has already stated that it was ‘humanly and technically’ satisfied with the project outcome: the workers became truly involved. Wash water settling ponds were put in place and led to the recovery of over 60 litres of sludge; 100 m3 of waste were sorted per categories (cardboard, pallets, metals, paints, neon light tubes, batteries, rubble) and worksite lights were extinguished at the end of the workday.

RATP wishes to generalise this green approach, which could involve some sixty SMEs who work on green renovation every year. However, RATP will wait for full economic, technical and human feedback from the project before “professionalising” the initiative. This measured approach would then be enshrined by the public company in its global environmental management system being deployed on line 8, first Metro line to have been ISO 14001 certified in 2001, before lines 1 and 14 who have since also been certified. What it implies for a Metro line is that all maintenance staff i.e. 800 people at line 8, have been made aware of the meaning of good resource, energy and waste management during each maintenance operation: rag sorting; water and electricity consumption monitoring; sludge removal management; fluorescent tubes management with tracking of waste; etc. An ‘improvement initiative’ as RATP calls it. 


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