The campaign to combat climate change hinges on an ability to better curb greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions resulting from human activities. This issue represents a major commitment on the part of Veolia Environnement in its partnership with customers. It also provides a seedbed to develop innovative solutions.
The company's carbon strategy
The company's carbon strategy targets three key areas:
Veolia Environnement invests in low-carbon technologies such as biomass, solar power and recovery of unavoidable energy (that energy which cannot be delayed and which would be wasted if it were not converted to electrical energy). The company also conducts research into carbon-storage solutions.
Promoting renewable and alternative energy sources
We support wind power, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy (large solar power plants), biomass and biofuel. Such initiatives help "decarbonize" the energy mix of the municipal and industrial facilities we manage. However, for technical and economic reasons, these technologies cannot completely replace fossil fuels, so we encourage a balanced approach to energy use.
Rationalizing energy use
Veolia seeks to reduce (fossil) fuel waste and improve energy efficiency wherever possible.
The company's carbon performance
CO2 emissions avoided and reduction of GHG emissions
Reduction of CO2 emissions and emissions avoided through:
- the consumption of part of the heat and electricity obtained from renewable sources on site
- the sale of energy produced from on-site renewable sources (biogas from sludge digestion, hydraulic microturbines, heat pumps, etc.)
CO2 emission reductions through:
- using renewable and alternative energy instead of fossil fuels
- ensuring proper use of energy transformation facilities (energy efficiency)
- developing an optimum supply of energy services (integrated energy management)
- providing combined production of heat and electricity (cogeneration)
CO2 emissions avoided by:
- limiting transportation in private vehicles
Veolia Environmental Services
CO2 emissions avoided through:
- the sale of energy produced from the biogas collected at landfills
- the sale of heat and electricity from the combustion of incinerated waste
- the recovery of raw materials contained in waste
Reduction of GHG emissions through:
- the on-site consumption of part of the electricity generated by the incineration of waste and recovery of biogas
- the collection of biogas at landfills
Carbon intensity of revenue
Veolia Environnement's carbon intensity (GHG emissions as a function of revenue) is steadily dropping, underscoring the effectiveness of our actions at a time of increased activities.
In 2012 the company enabled an overall GHG reduction totaling 21.5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.
There is clearly a steady improvement in the ratio between emission reductions achieved through Veolia Environnement's management of facilities on behalf of local authorities and companies, and overall emissions under its responsibility.
Energy services, public transportation and waste treatment are nonetheless critical emitters of carbon dioxide and methane. Water distribution is less directly concerned by GHG emissions, but is affected by the impact of global warming on the availability of water resources.
Total Direct and indirect GHG emissions (million metric tons CO2 eq.)
Measuring and monitoring the carbon footprint of Veolia Environnement's business activities is becoming more widespread, as is the company's bid to incorporate carbon efficiency into its services. In 2008, Veolia developed and implemented decision-making tools that allow it to better take into account the impact of GHG emissions in the services it offers customers.
Germany - Driver-assistance system
In 2007, Veolia Transport rolled out its new driver-assistance program on a number of rail lines in Germany. The software analyzes the position of trains in real time using GPS technology and gives the driver feedback on optimal speed. The goal is to ensure trains run more reliably while, above all, enabling fuel savings and reducing CO2 emissions. In 2009, the new system helped save 800,000 liters of fuel and cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 2,200 metric tons.