The growing success of the circular economy, and the real benefits the approach is delivering to the UK Economy has now been highlighted with the publication of Veolia’s latest Sustainability Report, published today. The results show that Veolia’s £1.5 billion investment in UK recycling and energy infrastructure is enabling customers to save money, secure supply chains, and achieve major CO2 reductions, and shows how the company is pioneering the new technologies that lower resource use.
By taking the leading role in resource efficiency the report details how Veolia is using innovation to advance sustainability for businesses and the public sector. With a focus on manufacturing green products and energy, and developing tailored solutions for resource efficiency, the company now saves over 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions for its customers.
Getting the energy and resource balance right is fundamental to ensure competitiveness and reduce the energy and carbon cost per product. With the UK grid stretched Veolia is contributing to energy security and lowering energy costs using 496 MWe of low and carbon neutral energy supplies for industry, healthcare, commerce and communities – enough electricity to power 1.2million homes. This includes helping the water industry to become energy self-sufficient and deriving renewable gas supplies, electricity and heat from food waste and manufacturing by-products.
During 2017 the company made significant progress to increase social inclusion with 35% of operatives recruited from groups such as NEETs (not in education, employment or training), ex-offenders and former military personnel. The highly successful apprenticeship scheme has expanded with 220 people completing the programme last year and over 300 in training.
Innovation over the last few years has given us an unprecedented opportunity to minimise resource use, guarantee energy supply and cut climate changing emissions, and this is reflected in our progress.
We believe, now more than ever, is the time to make a step change in the approach to carbon emissions and we plan to fund this growth with a planned further investment of £1 billion by 2022. By driving this innovation we are creating new skills and jobs, and delivering wider social impact for all.
With growing numbers of businesses already diverting 100% of waste from landfill, Veolia has extended this approach to its decommissioning operations and recycled 98% of the 80,000 tonnes of materials received from the North Sea. Key recent examples of recycling include converting 60,000 tonnes of used glass into home insulation and recycling 21 million disposable coffee cups, to producing 10,000 tonnes of food grade plastic from recycled milk bottles. The company is also helping the water industry preserve essential water resources using advanced data driven technologies that now reduce water leakages from an industry average of 22% to below 4%.