Waste Management Review caught up with Richard Kirkman, CEO and Managing Director of Veolia ANZ to hear his insights and vision on how Veolia will achieve Ecological Transformation.
A brief excerpt of the article is below
A new report published by the United Nations Environment Program has named Australia as having the lowest spend on green recovery solutions, post-pandemic, across the globe. The research looked at the world’s 50 largest economies, analysing how much stimulus spending was directed towards ‘clean and green’ innovations such as electric vehicles and renewable energy. Australia ranked weakly in all categories, with its gas-fired recovery assigned a net negative impact on environment and human health.
While these findings may be cause for concern for some, for Richard Kirkman, Veolia Australia and New Zealand’s newly appointed CEO and Managing Director, they highlight significant opportunity for growth, investment, and environmentally focused invention. “There’s a lot of room to grow,” he says.
Kirkman explains that the appetite for change is here, with Australia and the world exploring how carbon reduction and sustainable materials can restimulate economies. He points to Veolia’s purpose which is ecological transformation, highlighting the key role the private sector can play in green recovery and wider environmental protection.
“Ecological transformation means working to radically change patterns of production and consumption, to rebalance the ways humans impact the planet” Kirkman says.
“It means placing ecology at the heart of every process and every assessment, and providing meaningful solutions to clean-up the environment.”
SOLUTIONS FOR TOMORROW
Kirkman’s CEO appointment was announced in September last year, and core to his leadership is achieving Veolia’s ecological transformation ambitions.
He will pivot the organisation to be a trusted partner for complex infrastructure solutions, while influencing policy as an authoritative voice on waste, water and energy challenges facing the region.
Kirkman has a depth of experience in this area, having been a founding member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Council for Sustainable Business, a member of the UK Government’s Council for Sustainable Business, a member of the UK Plastics Pact Board, a Commissioner for the Green Innovation Policy Commission, and most recently a member of the ANZPAC Plastic Pact.
“The world is looking for some positivity post-Covid – a green recovery – and I think we can do that in Australia and New Zealand. I am really excited about the opportunity,” Kirkman says.
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About Veolia Australia and New Zealand:
Veolia Australia and New Zealand (Veolia) is the region’s only environmental solutions organisation with specific capabilities across water and wastewater treatment, energy management, waste and resource recovery services, and industrial cleaning and facilities maintenance services. Veolia employs 4000 employees and operates across more than 240 locations within the region.
Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 171,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2018, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 63 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 56 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 49 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.91 billion in 2018 (USD 30.6 billion). www.veolia.com
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