Veolia Northern Ireland Sustainability Report 2020 banner image

Sustainability Report 2020

Our current progress and a look ahead

At Veolia, we are committed to a multifaceted performance that aims for a new balance between economic, social and environmental demands. This approach is a powerful driver for recovery from COVID-19 and for creating a positive impact on our people, our customers and the sustainability of our society in balance with the planet. This has been the mission of our business for over 160 years.

This, our latest Sustainability Report, shows how Veolia’s team right across the island of Ireland is continuing to deliver sustainable solutions for our customers and our communities while looking after our people.

Download our report

Sustainability Report 2020 (20.73 MB)
Background image for our response to COVID
Our response to COVID-19

Delivering essential services during COVID-19

As our government implemented a range of exceptional measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus Veolia responded by continuing to deliver essential services to our customers and communities while minimising the risk to our employees.


Business Continuity

By prioritising Business Continuity Planning, any impacts to our employees, customers and operations were minimised. Our certified ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management System (BCMS), which is audited externally, delivered direct benefits. The BCMS is championed by the Chief Risk and Assurance Officer who ensures the Business Continuity arrangements are in alignment, meet corporate objectives and support  customers.


Crisis management 

A COVID Response Team (CRT) chaired by the Chief HR Officer and supported by the Chief Risk and Assurance Officer was set up. It comprised experts in Health & Safety, Risk & Assurance, Business Continuity, HR, Operations, External Affairs, Internal Communications and Supply Chain.  This team was fundamental in shaping our robust response to the pandemic. 

The way our teams responded to the Covid-19 pandemic is an incredible example of business continuity in action

Inclusive teams with the right skills

Health and Safety is always our number 1 priority and during 2020 we placed a special emphasis on mental health and wellbeing as the COVID-19 restrictions impacted our people in different ways.

We continued to implement our HR strategy, develop our approach to Learning and Development and worked closely with our colleagues across Veolia UK and Ireland to support our teams.

Safety Statistics

Our LTIFR* was


with Combined Days Lost as % Total Days Worked of



opportunities to prevent injury were reported.


*LTIFR = Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate.

The Frequency Rate is the number of accidents per one million hours worked that resulted in lost or modified duties.

Human Resources

We launched our Four Year HR Strategy based on four pillars

  • Stakeholder Engagement 
  • Future of Work
  • Purpose Led
  • Change Capability


Total number of employees on the island of Ireland at the end of 2020 was 669.

We hired 70 new people.

Our approach to succession planning led to 23 internal promotions.

24% of employees took up the option to buy shares in Veolia.

* Island of Ireland

Learning and Develoment

As part of our drive towards digitisation, a new learning and development platform called SABA was launched in 2020. Accessible everywhere, this platform puts employees in control of their learning and development. It is changing how we learn at Veolia by allowing employees to browse and book courses and accreditation updates online, anytime, anywhere.


In 2020 446 individuals recorded 35,589 hours of training, almost tripling the number of hours recorded in 2019.

* Island of Ireland

Employee Engagement Survey

Every year we carry out our “Voice of Resourcers” employee survey. Employees are encouraged to share their views on working in Veolia. We use the feedback to constantly improve our employee experience.

2020 key numbers

  • Participation rate: 62%
  • Overall engagement score: 89%
  • Recommend working for Veolia: 83%
  • Veolia took the right steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: 91% positive
  • Proud to work for Veolia: 88% positive
In 2021 we will continue to implement our HR Strategy and our Inclusion Strategy to build inclusive teams with the right skills for success
Donna Marie Masterson
Head of HR

Supporting the communities we live and work in

Veolia Connect Community Fund

Veolia Connect celebrated 10 years of supporting community projects right across Ireland and Northern Ireland where our employees are personally involved. Each year we open up three rounds of funding so that our employees can help improve their local communities thereby building Veolia’s connection with the places where we live and work. The types of projects supported included environment, education, community, disabilities and sport.

10 years of the Veolia Connect Fund

307 applications from 24 counties

120 projects funded to a total of €150,000

Building Awareness

For Earth Day 2020 we challenged our teams in Northern Ireland to take one action, big or small, to mark Earth Day.
Veolia's 2020 International Health and Safety Week, which ran from 14-18 September, focused on raising awareness of behaviour reduces risk.
Illustration of night sky from our Sustainability report 2020

Biodiversity and Public Consultations

All Ireland Pollinator Plan Business Supporter logo

Veolia in Northern Ireland signed up as a business supporter of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. We assembled local teams to develop plans for our sites across Northern Ireland to make those sites friendly to pollinators and to local biodiversity.

Packaging waste being recycled

Drawing on our experience across the UK and Ireland, as well as our work on the ground, we contributed to Northern Ireland’s Public Consultation on Recycling.

Veolia engineer reporting on GHG emissions

We are continually looking to improve our carbon footprint reporting. So, from 2021, we will produce an independent carbon report to increase our transparency and accountability.


Continued commercial success

Utilities and Facilities Management in Northern Ireland

Our utilities management and waste management contract with a major food ingredients manufacturer in Northern Ireland was renewed. During the previous contract we delivered an 83% improvement in reliability and a 30% improvement in energy performance while facilitating a move to seven-day production.


We upgraded an Effluent Treatment Plant for a large pharmaceutical facility. The upgrade, which included the installation of Veolia’s patented Actiflo system, will improve the quality of water treatment to meet the Best Available Technology directive.

Hazardous waste treatment in Northern Ireland
Waste management

During the COVID-19 pandemic we used the power of our European network of hazardous waste facilities to guarantee the extra capacity required by our customers to keep treating waste in a safe and compliant way with no business interruption.

Economic and Financial

Investment delivers Business Continuity

Investment in technology infrastructure

Over the past number of years Veolia has invested significantly in upgrading our IT infrastructure. 

Our approach is to provide all Veolia employees with a secure and mobile workplace so that our teams can access the information they need, when and where they need it.  Additionally, we implemented a suite of collaborative and easy-to-use tools to allow all team members to work together on the same file, at the same time, across their different devices.

We have redesigned the way we work to make faster decisions, act in an agile way and harness the power of our people, as well as our technology, in a safe, secure way.


Business continuity

The real impact of this investment was felt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost overnight, entire teams were able to change from office based work to remote working. Administrative and support staff on customer sites could continue to provide the support the front line teams needed but without having to go to site. On site teams providing essential services continued to have full access to all the IT systems they needed to do their jobs.


Our investment allowed us to keep our employees safe and continue to collect and treat waste, operate water and wastewater treatment plants and deliver secure, reliable supplies of industrial utilities.

AVA online safety reporting logo


The AVA tool we deployed allows us to track health and safety performance across the business to keep our employees safe. 

VMS logo


VMS, the Veolia Management System, gives instant access to all approved policies and procedures to maintain the highest standards of performance.

Saba online learning logo


The Saba online learning platform allows our employees to keep up to date on the skills and engage in Continuous Professional Development.



Our well established remote working IT system based on our SATAWAD philosophy allowed our teams to transition seamlessly to remote working.