Our History

2013-2014

One Veolia

  • Waste and water businesses become one
  • Official planning permission granted for our Leeds recycling and energy recovery facility which will feature a unique ‘Living Wall’ and is due to open 2015.
  • Veolia named as Vocational Employer of the Year and Large Employer of the Year for the £5m investment and outstanding support it has provided to its workforce
  • Business in the Community (BitC) awards Veolia second place in its national Corporate Responsibility Index
  • Telford & Wrekin selects Veolia to manage its recycling and waste services in a new long-term PPP contract
  • Southwark Council and Veolia launch London’s first low carbon energy from waste district heating network which is based at SELCHP will save 8,000tpa of carbon emissions
  • Agreement signed for Dalkia to join One Veolia.
  • Veolia commits to supporting the British Government’s Syrian chemicals’ initiative by destroying 190t of ‘B’ precursors at its Ellesmere Port high temperature incineration facility
  • Veolia receives a Queens Award for Sustainable Development for setting the sustainable benchmark in manufacturing green products and energy
  • Estelle Brachlianoff receives CBI First Women Business of the Year Award
  • Company strengthens its position in the Northern North Sea offshore decommissioning and recycling marketplace by winning a 14,000t Norwegian oil platform decommissioning project
  • Veolia signs a three year contract worth just under £6m Siemens UK to provide an integrated range of recycling services and take resource management to the next level
​2011 - 2012

In 2011 we were awarded a prestigious onshore contract for the decommissioning of eight gas platforms from the Southern North Sea at the former Swan Hunter shipyard on the River Tyne.

We won a fourteen-year contract with the London Borough of Haringey for municipal waste collection, cleansing and street cleaning and a three year contract extension with BOC to deliver commercial and hazardous waste services at its 80 UK locations.

In partnership with Whitbread, the UK’s largest hospitality company, we were given the Best Initiative for a Large Business at the Climate Week Awards for our landfill diversion initiative.
Our Pitsea and Croft Farm (Doncaster) landfill sites were both selected for the Wildlife Trusts’ prestigious Biodiversity Benchmark certification.  Pitsea is a haven for wildlife and flora and fauna and played host to BBC2’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes.

Hertfordshire County Council awarded us a contract for a new recycling and energy recovery facility which will power over 50,000 local homes and divert thousands of tonnes away from landfill.

We opened our new regional head office in Kingswood Lakeside, Cannock, which received a prestigious BREEAM “Excellent” rating and a new commercial recycling facility in Birmingham.
In 2012, our investment of £260m saw four new recycling and recovery facilities located across the UK fully commissioned and operational.  These consisted of the Newhaven ERF,  Gillmoss MRF and the Southwark and Padworth  Integrated Waste Management Facilities.

We launched ‘A Clean Sweep for Britain’ in partnership with ‘The People’ newspaper to give something back to communities where we live and work. The public selected four community spaces in Stoke-on-Trent, Lancashire, Andover and Haringey.

Business in the Community (BitC) awarded us a top “Platinum” Rating in its Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI) – one of only 25 companies nationally to receive this accolade. We were also the most improved company within the CRI and went on to win the BitC’s Climate Change Award.

Leeds City Council appointed us preferred bidder for its 25-year residual waste treatment PFI contract. The proposed recycling and energy recovery facility in the Cross Green Industrial Area will create 300 jobs during construction and 45 permanent posts.

We also gained planning approval for a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at our Garston solvent recovery facility in South Liverpool, significantly reducing its carbon footprint and opened a new commercial recycling facility in Basildon.
​2009 - 2010

2009 saw a major milestone in our quality, environmental and safety performance.

The OHSAS 18001 award coincided with the company achieving a 27% reduction in Lost Time Incidents (LTIs) and winning the National Recycling Award for Innovation in Health & Safety.
This was a direct result of the development of a strong safety culture through increased training and awareness as well as the launch of RAE (Risk Assessment Expert) a cartoon crash test dummy that highlights accident prevention.

The Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) awarded the company a twenty year integrated recycling and waste management contract to update the area’s recycling infrastructure.

We used the platform of the first ‘Futuresource’ exhibition at ExCeL to launch our ‘Waste Manifesto’ which includes a series of position statements contributing to the national debate on recycling and waste management issues. A second Waste Manifesto followed in 2010.

Our landmark sponsorship of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in partnership with the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine saw our Chief Executive, Jean-Dominique Mallet help present the awards at a ceremony attended by over four hundred people. All our staff and their families were entitled to free admission to the exhibition and were given the opportunity to enter our own Staff Photography Competition.

In 2010 we started the year by announcing that every employee was entitled to a half day’s volunteering activity. The company won the flagship seven year Westminster municipal services contract worth £260 million with an option for a further seven year extension and was praised by Westminster City Council for the “strong partnership” we had developed with them since we were first awarded a contract with them in 1995.

Our Integrated Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) portfolio was further strengthened with a new contract with Staffordshire County Council. 

Since coming to the UK we have invested over a billion pounds in a nationwide recycling and waste management infrastructure through our integrated contracts. Our Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), ERFs, composting facilities, Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and transfer stations have all contributed to the UK’s significantly improved landfill diversion performance.

Agreement was reached with Whitbread for three hundred of its restaurants and hotels across the UK to receive dedicated collections of food waste which are sent for anaerobic digestion.  The company also opened its first commercial services Materials Recovery Facility in Castle Donington, near Derby as part of the expansion of our commercial recycling infrastructure.

In June, the Chief Executive of Veolia Environmental Services worldwide, Denis Gasquet, attended the launch of our £2 million purpose-built marine barge ‘Sea Green’ based in the Port of Southampton.  The barge undertakes waterside collections on behalf of the cruise and commercial shipping industries and then treats and recycles the waste at our Marchwood marine service centre.

Finally, in October the company was awarded the Carbon Trust Standard certification for reducing its carbon emissions by more than 19% over the past three years.  The Carbon Trust Standard recognises organisations that have measured, managed and reduced their carbon emissions and are committed to further reductions.
​2006 - 2008

In September 2006, Veolia became the UK recycling and waste management market leader.

This represented an excellent fit in terms of complementary skills, infrastructure and geographic coverage and included the major high temperature incineration (HTI) facility at Ellesmere Port.

Three months later, we strengthened our position in the commercial waste recycling market through the acquisition of the West Midlands paper and recycling company, Hollands Recycling. 

The same year, we were awarded a 26 year contract with Nottinghamshire County Council and the seven Borough/District Councils, aimed at increasing recycling in the County to 52% by 2012.

In 2007, we were awarded a top AAA rating by BMJ Ratings for our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy and performance in five key areas – environment, human resources, sales and marketing and purchasing and civil society. This was further endorsed again in 2010 where we were once again acknowledged for our high performance by BMJ Ratings.

In October, Shropshire County Council awarded the company a 27 year integrated contract to improve recycling and waste services for residents.

Offshore oil rig2007 was indeed a busy year; our £1.2m oil rig decommissioning facility in Lerwick Harbour on Shetland, which we manage on behalf of SBS Logistics, became fully operational. The pad was central to the implementation of a joint contract with Aker Kvaerner Offshore Partners to decommission 16,000t of material from TOTAL’s Frigg offshore platforms.

In 2008, we made a number of acquisitions including Liverpool-based Albion Distillation Services, a leading chemical distillation and solvent recovery business and Caltech Holdings Ltd, the Grangemouth based industrial cleaning company.  Further purchases included Bury-based C&C Recycling and the Liverpool (Canada Dock) commercial business of Shanks Waste Management.

The Olympic Development Authority (ODA) awarded us the prestigious contract to establish a centralised waste management service and consolidation centre at the Olympic Park in Stratford. Movement of waste by water was a key facet of the operation thus reducing road traffic congestion. 

Other major contracts signed included a two year cardboard recycling contract with ASDA and an agreement with Astra Zeneca to provide a total waste management solution to all its UK manufacturing, research and office facilities.

Within the municipal sector we joined forces with the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM) to deploy the RecycleBank® system to incentivise recycling.  RBWM piloted the scheme with participating residents rewarded with Points that can be redeemed at local and national businesses including Marks & Spencer.

We also commenced long term partnerships with the London Borough of Southwark and with West Berkshire Council to provide recycling and waste management services for residents as well as new infrastructure to better manage municipal waste.

By the end of 2008, we had in place national recognition and procedural agreements within municipal services with a number of trade unions including UNISON as well as Unite the Union and GMB.  Additionally we had a joint national agreement with URTU and Unite the Union within our commercial services activities.
​2000 - 2005

The new millenium began with the strategic acquisition of KD Offshore in Marchwood, Southampton.

Three years later, we won the contract to service the Queen Mary 2 – the world’s largest cruise liner – and the marine pollution facility now serves the 300 + cruise liners visiting the port every year.

In 2001, we signed an on-site contract with pharmaceutical giant, Astra Zeneca, at its Macclesfield site.  We also gained a 35 year integrated recycling and waste management contract with Sheffield City Council, which included responsibility for operating their award winning District Energy Network.

A testament to the work of our refuse and street cleaning staff in Westminster came with the title Britain’s Cleanest City in 2003 and we began work on a 25 year integrated waste management contract with East Sussex County and Brighton and Hove City Councils.

The same year we became the refuse, recycling and cleansing contractor for Camden and won a new contract to service the Bullring Shopping Centre and an emergency response contract with Midlands Expressway for the M6 Toll Road.

Underground storageOur dry salt mine, Minosus, was given the go-ahead to be used as an underground storage facility for hazardous waste in 2004.  We took full control in 2006 and the site is now the first facility of its kind for the permanent disposal of a range of solid and granular hazardous wastes.

In 2005, we acquired Shanks’ hazardous waste business for £28 million, foreseeing expansion in the sector following the implementation of new regulations redefining more products as hazardous. We developed compliance schemes for hazardous waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment and packaging waste in line with new legislation and signed major contracts with BP and Shell.

The year closed with a major milestone for the company.  We adopted a powerful new brand system in which the four businesses within Veolia Environnement would share the same name: Veolia Environmental Services (formerly Onyx), Veolia Water, Veolia Transport (formerly Connex) and Veolia Energy/Dalkia.
​1990 - 1999

Veolia won its first refuse collection contract with Broadland Council in 1990 - a partnership which continues to this day.

In 1993, the company gained the first of ten major regional PPP (Public Private Partnerships) or PFI (Private Finance Initiative) waste contracts from Birmingham City Council, which included building and operating a new Energy Recovery Facility (ERF).

This was followed two years later by the awarding of the landmark 28-year Hampshire waste management contract as part of Project Integra, now a byword for excellence in landfill diversion.  Our partners are Hampshire County Council, 11 district/borough authorities and the unitary authorities of Portsmouth and Southampton.

In 1997, we made the first of a number of major acquisitions in the form of Leigh Interests, later to form our commercial and industrial waste management arm. The launch of our packaging regulations compliance scheme and our own independently run Environmental Charity followed a year later. Since that date we have donated £5 million to worthwhile causes up and down the country.

A major development in 1999 was the opening of the UK College of Environment and Transport, forerunner of Campus Veolia UK. The Campus is an award-winning facility which offers a centre of training excellence for our entire workforce.