Interview with Jonathan Sebbane, Managing Director, Sogaris Group

This edition of Urban Chronicles™ focuses on the Grand Paris area. We interviewed Jonathan Sebbane, Managing Director of the Sogaris Group, expert on urban logistics. With Jonathan Sebbane, we discussed the Group’s development strategy to offer services that are perfectly aligned with the needs of the city’s stakeholders and the territory’s ambitions in terms of environmental excellence.

Dive into the heart of Parisian logistics and read about

  • delivery platforms adapted to autonomous electric vehicles,
  • transformation of underground parking into service and storage centres,
  • dedicated delivery platforms to help reduce city pollution.

Green Soluce: Can you briefly present the activities of the Sogaris group?

Jonathan Sebbane: Sogaris is a Paris Region property company specialised in urban logistics. Founded more than 50 years ago to operate a unique platform located at Rungis, the Group’s recent development makes it the pioneer in urban logistics in Greater Paris. Over the past three years, we have refocused our strategy on this rapidly expanding segment of the real estate market, with a genuine environmental approach and a concern for the integration of our logistics sites into the urban fabric. To reduce the role of trucks in Greater Paris, we are developing innovative multimodal, and mixed tools.

Sogaris’ activity aims to meet the economic needs of distributors who need well located real estate surfaces to better deliver to their customers (many of whom have constantly changed consumer practices). At the same time, we ensure a development in harmony with urban public policies to combat climate change and air pollution.

Sogaris’ development continues with a €300 million investment plan over three years and a pipeline of projects that will enable us to reach 700,000 m2 of assets by 2025 (compared to 550 m2 today).

Green Soluce: How do Sogaris’ activities fit into the Grand Paris project?

Jonathan Sebbane: Grand Paris is within our our territory of action and development. Our stakeholders are present, eg Paris City Hall, and the departmental councils in the inner suburbs, and also our distributor customers. Grand Paris is an important economic locomotive for the French territory and a major global city in competition with the largest international cities: London, New York, Singapore, etc. In this competition, urban logistics is a lever for attracting and developing activities: Sogaris therefore has a key role to play in strengthening Paris’ attractiveness.

In this context, Sogaris is fully involved in the calls for projects launched by the City (Reinventing Paris), the Grand Paris Metropolis (Inventing the Grand Paris Metropolis) or the Port of Paris (Reinventing the Seine) and we are working to create an agile ecosystem on these subjects.

Green Soluce: Can you tell us about some of the winning projects in these competitions? 

Jonathan Sebbane: Sogaris has, for example, carried out the “Quai Bercy” project with Poste Immo and Icade, winner of the “Inventons la métropole du Grand Paris” competition. Located in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, this multimodal logistics hotel will combine road, rail and tram to serve the south of Paris. As a place for experimentation and pooling, innovative logistics services will be offered to users, such as shared delivery platforms for autonomous electric vehicles. All this will be integrated into a new 50,000 m2 project with shops, hotels and co-living spaces, offices, sports fields, etc.

The Quai Bercy project / Credit: Bocolishvili/Enia/Mimram/Coloco

Sogaris also convinced the jury to “Reinvent Paris 2” thanks to its project for an inverted building in the Grenier Saint-Lazare (Paris, 3rd arrondissement). This project proposes the transformation of a former underground car park into a service and storage centre entirely dedicated to the needs of merchants and residents. This space dedicated to district logistics will allow, on six underground levels, the establishment of remote reserves and services dedicated to professionals (shopkeepers, craftsmen, gallery owners) as well as local storage areas for individuals combined with surface services related to the social and solidarity economy.

The inverted building of the Grenier saint-Lazare / Credit: Construction Cayola/Syvil

Green Soluce: In your opinion, how does the Sogaris group cultivate an original identity?

Jonathan Sebbane: At Sogaris, our identity is divided into three essential points:

  1. We operate as a historical logistics player with a single objective: to better organize flows to the capital so that they generate fewer trucks, less pollution and less congestion.
  2. We have a global vision of our sites. We want each project to ensure the profitability and sustainability of services by ensuring perfect architectural quality and successful urban integration.
  3. We want to be in perfect agreement with the public policies of our shareholders, in particular the City of Paris, by promoting intermodality and clean mobility. This is reflected in particular, on certain highly coveted sites, by an obligation for our tenants to use their own modes of mobility.

Green Soluce: On what principles & values are the Sogaris Group’s CSR strategy based?

Jonathan Sebbane: At Sogaris, we address the issue of CSR first and foremost through the environmental exemplarity of our platforms. Currently, our Rungis platform is ISO 14001 certified. We would like to continue the deployment of this standard on other sites with the long-term objective of covering all assets with identified operational objectives, particularly in relation to energy and water, whether on sites already in operation or new construction.

Green Soluce: In your opinion, how can sustainability create value in logistics?

Jonathan Sebbane: Our job at Sogaris is first and foremost that of a real estate company and real estate operator, and as such, we are extremely attentive to the new challenges of the real estate market and we integrate them into our projects (for example reuse of materials, wood construction, biodiversity, etc.)

We are in a market where urban and logistical constraints are pushing us to reinvent our models and approaches to the construction and exploitation of real estate. At Sogaris, we are resolutely committed to creating value by capitalizing on the latest innovations in sustainability.

Interview by Constance Flachaire and Pierre Rostan for Urban ChroniclesTM  

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Green SoluceInterview with Jonathan Sebbane, Managing Director, Sogaris Group
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