History of Veolia Environnement.
Founding of Compagnie Générale des Eaux
Compagnie Générale des Eaux (CGE) was created on December 14, 1853 by imperial decree. Its founders had two goals: to irrigate the countryside and supply water to French towns and cities. The first contract was to supply water to Lyon. Just seven years later, the company was awarded a 50-year concession to supply water to Paris.
Founding of Grandjouan and Soulier
Francois Grandjouan won a contract with the municipality of Nantes to "clear the streets of sewage and waste and convert the latter into manure."
In 1870, Soulier Brothers set up a business in Rouen and Chauny to collect, buy and sell old rags and paper. Both businesses merged with CGE, in 1980 and 1990 respectively.
Founding of Compagnie Générale Française de Tramways
Founding of Compagnie Générale Française de Tramways (CGFT). The style of city planning introduced by Baron Haussmann revolutionized urban transportation, triggering a boom in a new mode of transportation, the horse-drawn tram, to offset a shortage of horse omnibuses.
CGFT operated its first tramway (light rail) in Le Havre, Nancy and Marseille. The company merged with CGE in 1980.
Venice: Our first success outside France
An agreement gave CGE water production and distribution rights in Venice.
Constantinople (Istanbul) followed suit in 1882 and Porto in 1883. CGE first extended its capabilities to wastewater treatment in 1884, in Reims.