Photo credit (banner): Matthieu Raffard

At SNCF, we’re working with our entire stakeholder community—and especially our employees—to fulfil our mission and serve the public good.

8-minute read

Continuing dialogue

We’re in constant dialogue with our stakeholder ecosystem, both inside and outside our organization. By factoring their expectations into every decision we make, we’re consolidating our position as a crucial player in tomorrow’s mobilities.

For the same reason, we practice transparency and other ethical principles and position ourselves to meet the highest international standards.

Ethics and international standards of conduct

In 2003 we signed the UN Global Compact, and in 2015 we qualified as Global Compact Advanced, the highest differentiation level in the UN’s Communication on Progress programme—a demanding standard for CSE performance and transparency. Our social engagement is also grounded in commitments to national, European and international charters.

These include the membership of the Paris Climate Action Charter and the Railsponsible initiative, as well as certification under France’s Top Employer and Responsible Procurement and Supplier Relations (RFAR) programmes.

Learn more about the Paris Climate Action Charter

Measuring our social engagement

At the request of our customers and investors, our sustainability efforts are regularly evaluated by non-financial rating agencies. This has given us the opportunity to take a close look at the effectiveness of our social and environment policy, and to develop corrective action plans to improve our CSE performance.

  • 77 /100

    our score from EcoVadis, an environmental and social evaluation platform

  • 74 /100

    our score from Vigeo Eiris, a social and environmental rating agency

A shared vision of the future

SNCF has stakeholders in a wide range of categories:

  • employees
  • customers
  • non-profits
  • suppliers
  • financial partners
  • academics
  • public officials
  • civil society

Using surveys, panels, working groups, meetings, agreements and other tools, we’ve developed a multi-layered dialogue with each of these groups.

Parties prenantes et dispositif de dialogue

Parties prenantes et dispositif de dialogue

The illustration shows a pale grey box with the SNCF logo in the centre. The logo is surrounded by a circle of five speech bubbles in five different colours, with a specific topic in each. Going around the circle clockwise, the five topics are: 

  • clients (blue bubble)
  • employees (orange bubble)
  • civil society (yellow bubble)
  • government and regional officials (dark grey bubble)
  • investors and suppliers (green bubble)

Description of each bubble, with the topics in the order listed above. In each case, the bubble contains a series of words. 


  • social networks
  • satisfaction surveys and questionnaires
  • meetings with consumer organizations
  • talks on contracts and agreements


  • meetings with employee representative bodies
  • collective bargaining agreements 
  • labour-relations and image surveys
  • well-being at work initiatives

Civil society

  • working group
  • conferences
  • partnerships
  • research chairs
  • standards—development and compliance

Government and regional officials

  • contribution to development of statutes and regulations
  • back-to-work project offers
  • partnerships with local government

Investors and suppliers

  • financial, management and corporate social engagement reports
  • satisfaction surveys
  • engagement with SMEs

Multi-layered dialogue

We’re cultivating a broad range of partnerships with French non-profits such as France Nature Environnement (FNE), Nicolas Hulot’s Foundation for Nature and Mankind (FNH), and the French Bird Protection League (LPO), as well as the Laboratory for Inclusive Mobility, academia and academic networks. In particular, we’ve worked with Orée, an environmental non-profit, and the Mobile Lives Forum, a think tank.

Learn more about our partnerships

Founded in 2011 and supported by SNCF, the Mobile Lives Forum is tasked with imagining the mobilities of tomorrow. At a time when we can no longer ignore the challenges facing our environment, our energy sources and our democracies, the Forum brings thinkers, researchers, artists and transport practitioners together to envision the sustainable mobilities we want and make them a reality.

Learn more

Under a 2008 partnership with France’s Chantier École network, we’re helping the unemployed get back to work—or even get into the labour market for the very first time.

All across France, our employees are working with Chantier École organizers to create back-to-work projects in and around railway stations.

Learn more (in French)

Since 2007, SNCF has worked actively with the French State to roll out a community service programme designed to prevent delinquency and repeat offenses, steering offenders away from a life of crime.

In practice, this means that instead of going to prison, participants serve community service sentences by coming to work for us, repairing damage in stations, filing archival material and cleaning up outdoor areas as an exercise in education and good citizenship.

In addition, SNCF employees regularly speak to groups as part of civic responsibility courses designed to give participants more respect for people and property.

Stations and other rail facilities often serve as a refuge for the vulnerable and destitute—migrants, transients and the homeless. We’ve launched targeted programmes to give these individuals the help they need.

More than ever, we’re eager to work hand in hand with non-profits throughout France. Under our partnership agreements with them, SNCF station employees team up with local non-profit leaders to identify transients and ensure they’re getting the right kind of help.

Sharing our vision for the future

We’re committed to maintaining positive dialogue with our employees through SNCF’s 33 Social and Economic Councils—the new name for combined employee representative bodies in France.

A new deal for our employees

At SNCF, we want to make sure that France’s rail reform package wins buy-in from all of our employees.

In this, we believe that four goals are particularly important:

  • growing our skill base, building a tech-savvy and digitally fluent workforce, and positioning our people to cope with the changing face of mobility.
  • adopting a balanced, merit-based pay and career progression system that attracts quality talent keeps our people motivated and engaged
  • acknowledging the role that well-being at work plays in driving performance; viewing corporate policy as a way to build a united, loyal workforce; and recognizing that we have a duty to take care of our most vulnerable employees.
  • maintaining an open, continuing dialogue with our employees to keep our finger on the pulse of life at SNCF

Safety first

For both people and goods, safety is essential to mobility—which is why we’ve rolled out a broad range of programmes for SNCF companies and business units. Like the Prisme programme we launched in 2015, all of these initiatives aim to strengthen the safety culture across our entire workforce.

Our No. 1 goal is crystal-clear: 0 deaths, 0 serious accidents. And by 2020, we aim to halve the number of workplace accidents with time lost due to injury.

Learn more

Fighting anti-social behaviour

Some 2,800 trained and specially qualified SNCF security personnel patrol our trains and stations, and we support them with a broad range of video surveillance systems. Every day, they work to keep you and their fellow employees safe.

Learn more (in French)

School outreach

In 2006 we signed an agreement with the French Education Ministry with the aim of teaching young people ages 8-18 how to use the rail system responsibly, how to be good citizens and how to stay safe in the public transport system. In addition, teachers have access to our supporting materials and can request a classroom presentation by an SNCF employee, free of charge.

Want to invite an SNCF employee into your classroom or get more information on our prevention programme?

Email us at

On track for safety

Our Safety Train, launched in 2017, made no fewer than 56 stops around France between late November 2018 and early March 2019, attracting a total of 14,000 employees. When they exited the train, the satisfaction rate was around 93%, reflecting a keen interest in safety issues within our workforce. The core message of this awareness campaign is to stay vigilant together and know what to look for to change behaviour and avoid accidents in the workplace.

Well-being at work

Our 272,000 employees are SNCF’s most valuable source of performance and competitiveness—which is why we put people at the centre of our corporate strategy.

Making SNCF a great place to work is part of our responsibility as a good corporate citizen, but it’s also a powerful force for long-term success across our entire business.

We’re working hard to meet our employees’ expectations by putting special emphasis on:

  • helping them adapt to changing technologies and job requirements
  • boosting career mobility
  • practicing the principles of secularism and neutrality
  • taking a proactive approach to hiring permanent employees

During 2019 we asked all of our stakeholders to provide input for a roadmap to make SNCF a workplace that’s fit for the future.

Promoting diversity and equality

Addressing the social issues that shape our daily interactions is critical to our business. To make SNCF welcoming to all, we live by three core principles:

  • gender balance and equality in the workplace
  • jobs for people with disabilities
  • diversity

Learn more about our policy on gender balance and equality

Training for success

Like the rail industry itself, SNCF is constantly changing, so we’ve geared our human resources policy around training, internal mobility and innovation. Our HR priorities are to lock in the skills we need to run our business, and to ensure that our workforce can adapt as technology evolves.

To achieve these goals, we’re harnessing digital tools—from videos, webinars and e-learning modules to in-person seminars and advanced courses—to meet new needs and deliver made-to-measure training for each career path.


Innovation for all

The initiative and creativity of our employees are critical to our success, and we encourage them to share their ideas and suggest new products and services.

We’ve launched two initiatives to harness employee innovation in areas ranging from customer relations and operational efficiency to safety and sustainability:

  • our Léonard programme gives every employee a way to suggest practical improvements in our day-to-day operations
  • the SNCF Trophies showcase team projects that produce major breakthroughs for our business. Over 800 entries were submitted in 2019

École des Métiers

As the digital revolution continues, new jobs are created and others are eliminated, positioning human resources as a vital asset in preserving SNCF’s longevity and competitive edge.

That’s why we created École des Métiers, a specialized trade school where rail employees can expand their skills and earn new qualifications and diplomas.

  • 1600

    new employees hired in 2018 through École des Métiers

  • 96 %

    success rate at the École des Métiers Apprentice Training Centre (CFA)¹

  • 70 %

    job placement rate for graduates of the rail Apprentice Training Centre (CFA)

Practicing responsible procurement

At SNCF, we know that our business affects the economy, the environment and society at large, so we’ve adopted a responsible procurement strategy that gives preference to SMEs and very small businesses.

Responsible procurement at SNCF

Responsible procurement at SNCF

  • inclusive procurement by the core Group (GPF):
    €57M including €15.3M disability and €41.7M job creation
  • procurement from SMEs:
    72% by number of suppliers, for a total of 13,260 small businesses
  • regional impact:
    109,000 indirect jobs created in France in 2017
  • CSE requirements:
    69% of core Group procurements (by amount) apply “enhanced” CSE requirements

SNCF Foundation

We’ve been supporting good causes for decades, and in 1995 we grouped all of them together in the SNCF Foundation, with participation from all of our subsidiaries and business units.

The Foundation’s success is built on three core principles:

  • forge close ties with local communities
  • partner with charities and other businesses
  • harness the engagement of our employees through volunteer efforts and skill-sharing programmes

1 Centre de Formation des Apprentis