Sustainability Report 2021: Having a positive impact on society

Beyond providing essential water, waste and energy services, we are committed to supporting societal development in all of the regions in which we operate. That's why society is one of the five areas that make up our multifaceted performance, which we have analysed and measured in our 2021 Sustainability Report.

Read on for some examples of how we support local communities and economies.

Sustainability Report 2021

Understanding the social value we create

We continue to assess and measure our socio-economic footprint, to give us a better understanding of our societal impact. In 2021, we worked with Utopies to produce a global Socio-Economic Footprint of our operations, which found that €4,197 million of wealth (GDP) is generated in the UK and Ireland thanks to our operations and spending worldwide. Our global operations also support 48,713 jobs (FTE) in the UK and Ireland. To examine this in greater depth, we also use the Local Footprint evaluation model to track every pound that we spend. By analysing our purchasing expenditure, salaries and taxes, we can calculate how much economic activity and added value is being created or maintained in the economy.

Making a difference with Groundwork

In 2021, we embarked on a partnership with Groundwork, a charity all about mobilising community action to eradicate poverty and protect the environment. Our partnership has enabled many Veolia employees to make a difference in their local community, for example through the Walk the Earth challenge and a range of fundraising activities supporting 17 projects close to our homes, offices and depots. In addition, our employees have the opportunity to volunteer in the local community, which three separate teams did at Groundwork's Old Brickworks project in the West Midlands. The teams helped to enhance the green space and biodiversity at this former brickmaking factory, by installing benches, seeding wildflowers, creating a bug hotel and much more.

Supporting all members of the community

We know that young people have some of the brightest ideas when it comes to protecting our planet, which is why we've teamed up with Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland to sponsor the organisation’s Young Environmentalist Competition - an opportunity for young people to showcase their unique solutions to environmental problems. One of the winning ideas was a formula and website to help people calculate the amount of carbon that might be stored in an individual tree. This tool will enable people to understand the carbon implications of cutting trees down, hopefully discouraging them from doing so to protect the planet. Our social impact in 2021 was also focused on supporting the most vulnerable members of our society. Our Road to Work programme for the homeless and vulnerable combines specialised support services like couselling, housing and advice with flexible workplace arrangements. We have now offered opportunities to more than 100 candidates and have had 13 new starters stay on with the company.

Society is just one area we are focusing on through our multifaceted performance goals, alongside employees, planet, customers and shareholders. To read our Sustainability Report 2021 in full, download your copy below.


Discover how we are achieving Ecological Transformation.

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