Colas is a world leader in transport infrastructure construction and maintenance, using its activities and innovations to promote infrastructure solutions for responsible mobility.
A world leader
Colas operates in over 50 countries around the world through a decentralised network of 800 profit centres and 3,000 units producing and recycling construction materials such as aggregates, asphalt mixes, binders and bitumen.
Its 57,000 employees share a common corporate culture, and the values of respect, sharing and boldness.
Colas completes over 72,000 projects a year, generally small in size but also more complex in nature, such as PPPs, concessions and long-term contracts, that take account of social, environmental and societal issues such as road safety, traffic flow, environmental protection and road network preservation. Colas generated sales of €13.7 billion in 2019, of which 52% on international markets (26% in North America, 18% in Europe excluding France and 8% in the rest of the world).
Three main business activities
- Roads, Colas’ core business, spans the construction, maintenance and upkeep of roads and motorways, airport runways, ports, logistics hubs, urban roads and amenities, external works, reserved-lane public transport (tram lines and high-service bus routes), leisure facilities and environmental amenities, as well as the fitting of road safety and signalling equipment. The roads division includes Colas’ civil engineering and building businesses.
- Construction materials: Colas has a significant activity in the production, distribution, sale and recycling of aggregates, emulsions, asphalt mixes, ready-mix concrete and bitumen.
- The Railways activity comprises the design and engineering of complex, large-scale projects and the construction, renewal and maintenance of rail networks (conventional and high-speed rail lines, trams and metro systems).
A ground-breaking and responsible player
Colas has been a constant innovator since its creation in 1929. Its research and development policy focuses on sustainable development in areas such as recycling, energy-saving cold techniques, eco-designed products and vehicle detection sensors. In 2015, Colas launched a major ground-breaking innovation: Wattway, a photovoltaic road surface. Uses are currently being trialled on around forty pilot sites around the world and 2019 saw the commercial launch of Wattway Pack, an independent energy supply solution for roadside equipment such as charge points for e-bikes.
With Wattway, roads are no longer just a way of getting from A to B but also become local sources of clean and renewable energy. In line with the global objective of energy transition, this revolutionary technology paves the way for the future through smart and positive-energy roads.
In 2017, Colas launched a new dynamic road-marking solution called Flowell. This innovative technology will help resolve local mobility challenges by organising the shared space of roads and city streets thanks to a system based on the dynamic control of light-emitting signalling. For example, spaces reserved for deliveries in the daytime can be turned into car parking spaces at night. The solution can also be used to secure pedestrian crossings by enhancing their visibility, and that of pedestrians, with light-emitting markings (the first experimental pilot site was opened in 2019). Instead of just places of transit, roads become places for sharing.
In addition to these new features for infrastructure (Smart Road), Colas offers innovative solutions to predict when infrastructure requires upkeep and maintenance for road safety purposes (Road as a Service), like the ANAIS digital service which harvests and analyses data in order to detect danger zones, or to provide services to users (Smart Mobility), like the Moov’Hub smart and pooled parking solution, or Qievo, which optimises transport flows around urban worksites.
From its inception, Colas has taken numerous CSR initiatives within business units and at production sites wherever the company operates. After overhauling its sustainable development policy in 2019, including extensive consultation of stakeholders, Colas is rolling out its new CSR policy in 2020, with measurable targets. Alongside ethics, health and safety and a carbon strategy, the company’s main corporate social responsibility initiatives focus on biodiversity, the circular economy, the value chain, responsible quarry and worksite management, human rights and managerial practices.