31 march 2015
Corporate strategies to win the climate battle
During the opening conference of the Produrable exhibition in Paris, Antoine Frérot, Vice-president of the EpE (Business Environmental Network) and CEO of Veolia, presented corporate climate strategies to limit global warming to 2°C.
The objective was to prepare for the United Nations COP21 conference which will bring together 194 nations in Paris this December and win the climate battle. Policy makers, civil society and businesses worked together at the Produrable exhibition
to develop solutions to stabilize the temperature increase at 2°C and gradually decarbonize the economy. Businesses deploy their strategies in several areas: energy savings, energy efficiency, renewable energy and technologies to capture and recycle greenhouse gases.
Change of model
Climate change is a result of an economic model based on fossil fuels that release high greenhouse gas emissions and a linear "Extract - Make - Discard" pattern where increasing quantities of materials, water and energy are extracted from nature. A new more circular and energy efficient economic model which uses renewable resources needs to be adopted by the whole world. To achieve this, Veolia has developed resource-efficient solutions for its municipal and industrial customers that improve the productivity of each calorie and kilogram of raw materials as well as each cubic meter of water extracted from nature.
An example of this is that the production of secondary raw materials from waste emits far less CO2
than the extraction of raw materials. Using recycled plastic (PET) reduces CO2
emissions by 70% compared to non-recycled plastics.
Therefore, locally favoring recycling to turn the end-energy of some into energy resources for others or to turn the waste of some into raw materials for others, enabled Veolia to avoid emitting 6.8 million tons of CO2
equivalent and emit 15.3 million tons of reduced CO2
equivalent in 2014 which is equivalent to the annual emission of a city of 2.7 million people.
Joint and coordinated action
We need to increase innovation and cooperation efforts to organize the permanent recycling of resources in a continuous or near continuous cycle and generalize this new low-carbon economy that does not affect the climate. All internal and external business stakeholders are now concerned and involved from the government to shareholders, including suppliers, lenders and, of course, the entire civil society.
"None of these solutions are sufficient on their own. None of our businesses can create markets that will ensure the success of these strategies alone. On the contrary, the remedy for our climate ills resides in joint and coordinated action. Deepening dialogue with governments and all stakeholders is a key issue for a wider implementation of "proven anti-CO2 solutions" in the field", said Antoine Frérot.
Veolia wants to contribute to low carbon and resilient development through its "Resourcing the world"
mission. To ensure the success of the COP21, Veolia recommends:
- a stable and robust carbon price to direct funding to low-carbon technologies
- clear, legible and ambitious objectives to limit global warming to 2°C
- proposals limiting short-lived air pollutants, such as methane, which have a significant environmental impact in the short term
The Produrable exhibition is organized under the aegis of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and backed by the leading professional networks: ORSE, OREE, IDDRI and EpE
Source CDC Climat – Key Figures 2014, according to a regional approach, a European emits 8.2 tons of CO2 equivalent on average.