From drinking water and sanitation to waste collection and treatment, and energy distribution... Access to essential services is part of the dignity of humankind and one of the cornerstones of economic development and poverty reduction. Essential services help to improve well-being and human development and play a part in social fairness.
Developing access to services
Providing universal access to drinking water
In Nagpur (India), Veolia Water will be helping to provide a continuous supply of drinking water to 2.7 million residents, including the 36% of the population living in 450 slums, thanks to financial arrangements and a pricing policy designed to match the ability to pay of residents living in the various neighborhoods.
Providing access to drinking water for disadvantaged populations
In Latin America, Proactiva has created social management services responsible for implementing systems for access to water and sanitation for people living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Nearly all of the population living in areas managed by Proactiva has minimal access to high-quality drinking water at a socially acceptable price.
Developing innovative solutions
In India, Africa and South America, Veolia Environnement is involved in Delegated Management Contracts for which access to essential services is a major component of the contract. Working alongside the authorities responsible for organizing the services, the Group is a key partner and actor for its clients in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
To guarantee the success of the access to services projects in which it is involved, Veolia Environnement has developed ACCESS expertise, which it turns into solutions for its clients. This is a form of societal engineering applicable to all its areas of activity incorporating technical, financial and legal innovations and specific marketing and communications designed to cover all aspects of the topic, including the creation of individual "social" connections or regulated, secure forms of community supply and the development of an appropriate pricing structure and neighborhood customer services.
Veolia Environnement also works with all its partners to offer innovative financing solutions so that it is able to offer its clients affordable services: Results-Based Aid (World Bank), cross-subsidies drawing on local economic dynamism and micro-credit.
Finally, the company is looking to test new models to be able to offer high-quality services in specific contexts. This is why it has joined forces with Grameen Bank in the subsidiary Veolia Grameen in Goalmari to provide treated water to rural populations in Bangladesh in the context of a social business.
- In north and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia and Latin America, more than four million inhabitants have access to an individual water and/or sanitation supply thanks to the actions of Veolia Environnement. The group has therefore made a significant contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in these countries.
- Veolia Environnement is currently involved in several delegated management contracts with the aim of improving access to services. Amongst other things, the group is set to connect almost a million people in the slums of Nagpur to drinking water networks within five years.
Maintaining access to services
In developed countries, the business is also concerned about maintaining access to services for the most disadvantaged. As part of its efforts, Veolia Water has launched a solidarity solutions program called "Water for all." Twenty-seven initiatives have been launched, affecting more than 200 municipalities and almost five million people in France.
The program is based on three types of aid:
- emergency solutions to maintain access to services by offering financial assistance to reflect individual situations (payment schedules, write-off of debts and water vouchers).
- assistance solutions to help people manage their budget and consumption sustainably,
- prevention solutions for alerts if consumption is unusually high.
Supporting users with a customized program
In France, Veolia Water has created the "Water Solidarity" program as part of its contract with the SEDIF (Paris region). This is aimed at people who are experiencing difficulties with paying their water bill either temporarily or on a long-term basis, especially when it exceeds 3% of their financial resources. One percent of revenue from water sales collected within the SEDIF area (that is, more than €2 million per year) is allocated to a fund combining emergency, assistance and prevention solutions aimed at the most disadvantaged users. This is the only program of its scale in France and provides substantial assistance to the poorest users, who benefit from lower service costs.
Offering progressive pricing
The conurbation community of Perpignan (France) has also made solidarity a priority in the way it operates its public water service. The authorities in Perpignan, Bompas, Canohès and Le Soler have opted to create a progressive pricing structure in which the first 60 cubic meters consumed are billed at a third of the costs of additional cubic meters, as well as implementing the "Water for all" program.
Supporting and helping populations
Maintaining access to public services for people who risk being denied them for financial or administrative reasons, a lack of information or because of mobility problems is also an essential issue in the services we manage. In France and elsewhere, Veolia Environnement implements solutions to help people maintain access to services.
Along with its public-sector partners, it offers appropriate pricing structures and implements social assistance programs.
It also works with community programs on understanding how to use the service effectively and controlling consumption. Several Veolia Environnement divisions and the Veolia Environnement Foundation have entered into a partnership with Uni-Cité and its "Mediaterre" to help Veolia's customers to save water and energy and/or sort their waste more accurately.
326 volunteers have been involved in these actions - 1,004 families have received support and 12,267 people have been made aware of the project.