Creating sustainable value

Sustainable Value glove


We engage with employees and external stakeholders to ensure we operate effectively and responsibly, and create environmental and social value.

Our approach to value creation
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Read more about our how we’re creating sustainable value.
To maintain a diverse team and an innovative, high-performance culture, we offer our people learning and development opportunities at all levels of the business, and we never compromise on the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees. 

We also seek to increase the positive, long-lasting social value we bring to our local communities by offering opportunities for employment, apprenticeships and work experience, investing our time and money in good causes, and protecting the environment where we operate. 
Marguerite Ulrich

“By sustainably engaging our employees, we believe everyone at Veolia can reach their true potential. Through learning and development , our diverse workforce are better placed to meet our customers’ needs.”
Marguerite Ulrich, HR Director, Veolia



222 Apprentices gained accredited vocational qualifications

More than 8,000 hours Employee volunteering in the community

£6.8 million Awarded to community and environmental projects through The Veolia Environmental Trust


18% Reduction in frequency of workplace injuries where time was lost

12 Ex-offenders on work placements were subsequently employed

520 Managers attended our Inspirational Leadership course

Empowering our people
Chemist Veolia

We are committed to being a fair and responsible employer, providing a safe and sustainable environment, and empowering our people to fulfil their potential.

Health and safety

We have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards of health and safety throughout our business, proactively identifying potential risks, raising awareness and finding ways to prevent incidents. We are working towards our ambition of zero accidents through initiatives such as Veolia Safety Week, ‘Stand Down’ days, when selected sites shut down to focus on safety improvements, and ‘Think Safe, Work Safe, Home Safe’, our behavioural safety management programme.

Leveraging people’s differences

Inclusivity starts right at the top, championed by our Senior Executive Vice-President, Estelle Brachlianoff. For us, diversity is about making the most of individuality – attracting women recruits, for example, and retaining young employees. By recruiting people from different backgrounds with a range of skills and perspectives, our workforce better reflects the UK population, making us more responsive to our customers’ and communities’ needs.

Developing our employees

By bringing out people’s true potential, we are better able to serve our customers, improve employee retention and become a more attractive employer. In 2014, we delivered more than 15,300 training hours via Campus Veolia, our dedicated training centre, and new targeted leadership programmes will help to develop strong, effective managers and encourage innovation.
Protecting our environment
Solar houses

Environmental regulation and legislation are constantly evolving, so we need to raise our standards and drive awareness of environmental issues to ensure we always operate in a responsible manner. 

Environmental compliance

To ensure all our sites meet the compliance requirements of our permits, we are in the process of training all employees in environmental issues and the impact of our actions. Relevant staff will also undertake more specific courses administered by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH).


We work with environmental groups to conserve and protect the flora and fauna on our operating sites, and implement Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) in all sites with significant biodiversity issues. We also distributed biodiversity kits to schools around the UK through our long-standing partnership with The Wildlife Trusts.
Supporting our suppliers
Veolia workers

We only work with suppliers that meet our social and environmental standards, as defined by our procurement policy, and audit those considered to be high risk.

Local procurement

Wherever possible, we do business with small, local suppliers. In 2014, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) comprised more than 87% of our supplier database and received over 71% of the £869 million our waste and water operations spent during the year.

Supplier engagement

Our UK & Ireland procurement team engages with our suppliers through a variety of channels, including supplier workshops. These events involve presentations on a range of relevant topics and a group exercise, where attendees work in teams to address a particular challenge. Participants complete a survey after each event. After our most recent workshop in September 2014, 100% of the participants rated the event as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. 
Engaging our communities
Employees volunteering

Healthy communities are vital to our business, as they create a strong talent pipeline, a resilient supply chain and a thriving customer base.

Employment opportunities

We create social value, both directly as an employer of [14,000] people and a taxpayer, and indirectly through our infrastructure projects, which will help to create (28,000) jobs for local people by 2018. Working closely with social enterprises and charities, we recruit apprentices and young people on work experience, targeting those marginalised from mainstream employment, such as ex-offenders, young people not in education or training (NEETs), the long-term unemployed, the homeless and former military personnel. 

Community investment

Community, environmental and restoration projects near our sites receive grants through a number of trusts and funds, and we run educational and outreach programmes, such as recycling lessons for schoolchildren and residents. We also encourage our employees to get involved, providing one paid day to volunteer. 

Reuse schemes

We work with social enterprises and charities to facilitate the reuse of unwanted items collected at our Household Waste Recycling Centres. Items such as electrical goods can be repaired and reused, and we are currently exploring ways to extend such schemes more widely, while a number of our sites have their own arrangements for donating bicycles, furniture, garden tools and textiles to local charities for resale. Some offer disadvantaged groups training in how to repair these items and even employment opportunities.