Veolia will shift its business model from waste management towards manufacturing, its executive vice-president for UK and Northern Europe has said.
In an exclusive interview with MRW, Estelle Brachlianoff set out her vision for Veolia over the next five years. She said the UK was a “core market” for the company and that it had has committed around £1bn in UK projects.
“We want to be a real actor of the circular economy, doing a lot more than recycling,” she said. “We want to be a manufacturer of green energy, green products and green compost instead of just being the ones that help you to get rid of your waste.”
Brachlianoff indicated some steps Veolia had already taken in this direction, including the opening of a facility at Ling Hall, Warwickshire, to extract rare metals such as palladium from street sweeping and a closed-loop plastics recycling facility in Rainham, Essex.
Veolia has also been selling compost to garden centres and civic amenities sites.
Electricity and heat production would play a significant role in the transition, Brachlianoff said.
“With energy-from waste (EfW) facilities and energy from landfill we can produce up to 10% of the renewable energy in this country,” she added.
At the end of November Veolia will open a district heating scheme, its second in the UK, in Southwark, London, to supply heating and hot water to 2,500 residents of the borough.
The energy will be generated by utilising excess heat generated by the South East London Combined Heat and Power energy recovery facility.
“We will be able to fix the price of energy for heat for the consumers in Southwark in the next 15 years,” said Brachlianoff.
She added that all Veolia’s EfW plants in the UK were already equipped to produce heat for district heating schemes, and that the company would create other schemes if councils or companies expressed interest in working in partnership to build the necessary pipelines.
Brachlianoff’s full interview with MRW will be published in the 7 December issue.