With the COVID-19 situation evolving quickly, Veolia’s top priority is to safeguard the well-being of our employees and maintain our essential service commitments to our customers.
Please be assured we are monitoring the situation closely to ensure a timely and effective response to any circumstance which has the potential to disrupt our services to you.
From Monday 16 March a significant proportion of our non-operational employees will be working remotely. These roles were typically in corporate and regional offices which had a higher proportion of employees working in a single location. Veolia believes this is the right decision, not only to keep our employees and customers safe but also to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting social contact. As a business which provides essential services to the community we believe we have to provide a strong and proactive role to limit the spread of the virus.
Rest assured, our team is available via usual channels on email and phone and we will continue to deliver a high level of business continuity during this period. If you have any questions please reach out to your Veolia contact in the usual way.
At our operational sites, we are planning to ensure we have coverage in the event of any possible skills shortages we may face. We are confident we have the capacity to deliver to our customers in accordance with their needs and expectations.
Our teams in Australia and New Zealand have been actively preparing for this pandemic. As Veolia provides essential services to our customers in the supply of drinking water and providing wastewater-treatment, waste-management and energy-management services we have put into effect the following measures to reduce the risk of disruption and to ensure business continuity:
Internal response team Our CEO, Danny Conlon has established an internal Crisis Response Team who will guide the business through any impacts as a result of COVID-19. This team is in regular contact with health authorities, governments and other experts to make sure our business operates as efficiently as possible during this period while safeguarding the health of our employees and customers.
Business continuity Veolia has in place a comprehensive Business Continuity Program (BCP) to ensure effective and timely response to any business disruptions that might arise. The program ensures that our employees are trained and ready to ensure business continuity with minimal disruption to our service commitment to customers. Our BCP is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure its effectiveness and relevance by our Crisis Response team, our Safety, Health, Environment and Quality team (SHEQ) and is supported by our Executive Leadership team.
Employee preparedness Internally Veolia has put into effect protocols since 5 March 2020 that have been communicated to our employees including ceasing all non-essential business travel, both international and domestic. Employees who were on personal leave, or business, travelling overseas have been required to self-quarantine on return to Australia for a 14 day period. This extends to those with family members who have also travelled from restricted countries, and staff are being encouraged to use our digital resources for meetings which are not business-critical. At our operational sites, we are upskilling and cross-training employees to ensure we have coverage in the event of any possible skills shortages we may face.
Procurement Supply continuity of critical products and services has been highlighted as a key priority for Veolia. Our Procurement team has engaged with our key suppliers to seek assurance and understand the likelihood of future supply disruptions. At this time no concerns have been raised outside the well-known limitations on face masks and disposable overall supplies. In addition, Veolia requires all labour contractors to declare any overseas travel they have made during the past four weeks for risk assessment before commencing work.
Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) at Veolia Our SHEQ teams are constantly staying abreast of the current reliable information published by the Australian and New Zealand health authorities and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Information shared to our employees has been made with reference to information provided by the World Health Organization, Safe Work Australia, Australian Department of Health, New Zealand Ministry of Health and Veolia’s global Technical and Performance department. The SHEQ team continues to monitor the information and advice provided by these organisations on a daily basis and provides weekly updates to our employees including recommended changes to workplace procedures.
Our company takes this situation very seriously and has an unwavering commitment to the protection of our employees and our customers. We will continue to monitor advice from the relevant Government authorities, adjust our plans as necessary and keep you notified of any updates.
Thank you for your valued business, and please feel free to reach out to me directly, or your regular point of contact.
Managing Director and CEO