Our principles



RESPONSIBILITY

French contractors have a long tradition of providing their clients with services that offer the best value in terms of price, deadline, quality, safety and environmental impact.

Their technical expertise, their constant drive to improve and innovate, along with their project management skills, have allowed these companies to offer global, tailored and cost-effective solutions.
Within the framework of their activities, companies comply scrupulously with the laws of host countries and respect the social regulations and the rights of their workers. As far as possible, they employ local workers and improve their qualifications through appropriate training actions.

Keenly aware of the challenge of implementing infrastructure projects in certain countries and the contribution of such projects to development, French international contractors are committed to being responsible partners for local authorities and international organisations. They attach particular importance to building with all the actors involved in a long-term relationship that benefits all parties concerned.

ETHICS AND TRANSPARENCY

The OECD has played a key role in this area with the adoption in 1998 of the «Convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions». SEFI member firms have always sought to promote ethics and transparency in their business activities. Therefore, SEFI, in partnership with BIAC, has closely monitored the negotiations on this agreement. It has always campaigned for the implementation of the compulsory provisions in a way that is equal for all and effectively applied by all the operators concerned. This agreement was ratified by France in 2000. SEFI is in favour of extending these provisions to worldwide level through the WTO or the United Nations.

In order to ensure security and efficiency in the awarding of contracts, French contractors, in cooperation with their insurers and international institutions, promote the use of the «Contract Bond» (URCB 524 of the ICC). The main advantage of the bond issued by a third party (generally an insurer) is to monitor events and to guarantee as upstream as possible, as early as the shortlist phase, that an objective assessment is carried out of the capacity of companies to implement the project according to the stipulated budget and by the given deadline, if they are awarded the contract. Some aspects of this system are now being proposed within the framework of the projects financed by the World Bank.

HEALTH, SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Health, safety and environmental management are among the most important concerns of SEFI member companies. In this area, they are constantly looking for ways to improve their practices and performance. To this end%2C they implement a very active prevention and safety policy and give priority to research into and implementation of new techniques, training and staff awareness.

Furthermore, in the last few years these companies have committed themselves to a process of certification of their activities. While seeking to improve their processes, they have been striving to optimise their environmental management. As part of this process, they have set in place certified quality and environmental protection management systems (ISO 9000 and ISO 14000). In addition, they encourage the development of these approaches within the framework of their relations with clients, subcontractors and national and international organisations. Lastly, they constantly monitor developments to adopt any improvements that come on stream.

THE COMMUNITY

French construction firms are aware of the visibility and impact of the major works projects that they undertake. They are therefore conscious of the effects of these projects and their contribution to economic, social and environmental progress within the framework of their concern to foster sustainable development.

Infrastructure do much to improve the living conditions of citizens (home, work, transport or leisure), and they have major impact in terms of growth and jobs.

Nowadays, one of the major challenges facing developing countries is supplying underprivileged population groups with basic infrastructure and services under socially acceptable conditions. All the studies in this area have demonstrated that these imperatives are fundamental to economic and social growth and the first step towards reducing poverty.

In industrialised countries, rehabilitation and the construction of new infrastructure can do much to improve the life of citizens and the competitiveness of businesses. Furthermore, they together constitute an important factor when it comes to attracting new inward investments.