Veolia has set out its progress towards the circular economy (CE), saying it has been transformed in the past two years from an energy, water and waste services provider to one that manufactures green products and energy and promotes resource efficiency.
The claim comes in the company’s latest Sustainability Report, which says that more than 20% of Veolia’s business is already ‘circular’, although the figure has since been updated by the company to over 25%. The company is aiming to reach 40% by 2020.
At the launch of the report, Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice-president of Veolia UK & Ireland (pictured), says the business has to be bolder still in realising what the CE presented for the UK.
“Traditional ways of working need to give way to new and more dynamic operations and business models,” she says. ”This will include increased collaboration across industry, commerce and the public sector, and a rethink of how products are manufactured and sold in order to create new efficiencies for customers.
“Today’s technologies are limited by old world materials. In the future, materials will be lighter, stronger and greener than those we use today, providing new opportunities for innovation.“
The report says that, in the UK, Veolia diverts up to 98% of customer waste from landfill, generates sufficient low carbon and renewable energy to power the equivalent of more than 1.5 million homes and produces 200,000 tonnes of compost.
More than 350 apprentices are employed, 65% of procurement spend is with SMEs and, in the public sector, up to £4 of social value can be achieved for every £1 spent.
“Our customers are getting on board with the benefits this can bring, drawing on our know-how to think smartly about how they use, recover and generate these valuable resources,” Brachlianoff added.
Veolia’s efforts have been widely recognised through a number of leading awards including Business in the Community’s (BITC) Responsible Business of the Year, BITC Sustainable Products and Services Award, and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.