According to the United Nations (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment), over 60% of ecological services are currently deteriorating. The loss of biodiversity impoverishes and endangers humankind. Protecting biodiversity and maintaining the quality of ecosystems is a priority.
Veolia contributes to research on characterizing ecological services and implements tools and actions designed to protect and strengthen them.
Reducing pollution and protecting ecosystems and health
Playing an active role in the ecological health of the Seine
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies subsidiary OTV was awarded a contract in France in 2012 to develop the Seine Aval site, the second-largest wastewater treatment plant in the world, introducing a new, more sophisticated biological treatment, particularly in respect of nitrogen, to make an active contribution to the ecological health of the Seine.
Limiting negative impacts on health and natural environments
Veolia Environnement contributes to limiting negative impacts on health and natural environments through specialist activities to reduce pollution and restore the environment:
- collection of wastewater and waste to avoid dispersal of pollutants,
- treatment technologies to improve the quality of treated wastewater discharged into the natural environment,
- soil remediation,
- preservation of air quality (incinerator gas treatment, avoidance of emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere thanks to passenger transportation systems, etc.)
Limiting pollution of surface water
In Saint-Brieuc (France) and Indianapolis (United States), Veolia has set up the Aquisafe project to create artificial wetlands to capture nitrates used in agriculture, thus limiting the pollution of surface water and, among other benefits, promoting the diversification of flora on river banks and creating new habitats for wildlife.
Identifying impacts to reduce them more effectively
Veolia Water has signed a partnership agreement at its site in Dungun (Malaysia) with the University of Terengganu to produce an inventory of local biodiversity, assess how it is affected by Veolia's activities and offer recommendations designed to preserve biodiversity.
Developing a proactive biodiversity policy
Veolia Environnement, as a partner to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2008, is responding to the major challenge of the erosion of biodiversity by pursuing an active policy based on three main areas:
1. Improving its understanding of biodiversity and continuing to describe its impact and dependence on ecosystems:
- the group has developed tools designed to identify the sites it operates in key biodiversity areas and tools to carry out biodiversity assessments at those sites.
2. Acting to preserve biodiversity and promote ecological services:
- by improving the benefits of its processes for biodiversity,
- by incorporating ecological services into its activities to a greater extent (for example, the Organica FBRTM process for natural treatment of wastewater through combined operation of ecological environments),
- by avoiding, reducing and compensating for the impact of facilities throughout their life cycle,
- and by participating in conservation projects in partnership with local players, in particular through the Veolia Foundation.
3. Informing, training and raising awareness about biodiversity issues amongst both employees and clients.
- Monitor the number of sites that have carried out a biodiversity assessment:
- Carry out an assessment and implement an action plan at 95% of sites with significant potential in terms of biodiversity (Veolia Environmental Services)
- Include a biodiversity impact assessment in 100% of development projects (Veolia Environmental Services)