Paris €29.55 (+1.16%)

Creating value for all

Companies are now confronted with the need to revive trust in the components of their ecosystem. They need to explain their value-added because they are now expected to contribute to the common good. Given its mission of “Resourcing the world,” Veolia is able to put forward innovative collaborative solutions based on creating and sharing value with its various stakeholders.

Maryse Aulagnon, Senior Independent Director of the Veolia Board of Directors, presents her viewpoint.

Maryse Aulagnon
Senior Independent Director of the Veolia Board of Directors


Creating shared value is central to Veolia’s strategy.

In early 2018, Laurence D. Fink, CEO of the BlackRock investment fund, sent a long letter to the heads of the companies in which BlackRock had invested. He explained his vision of what a company is and his desire for new governance and investment criteria.

“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”

BlackRock is clearly inviting us to go beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards, as it considers that a company’s financial performance must go hand in hand with its social, societal and environmental “profitability.”

Creating shared value is central to Veolia’s strategy. It informs our goal of “Resourcing the world” and is embedded in our nine sustainable development commitments for 2015–2020: three for the planet, three for regions, and three for employees.

However, above all, these commitments emerge from our businesses as a manager of environmental services for public-sector and industrial customers. During World Water Day on March 22, 2017, UN-Water, which coordinates all water-related actions within the United Nations, asked us to present our actions in Durban, South Africa, as part of the presentation of the world report on “Wastewater: The Untapped Resource.” Durban, a city of 3.5 million people, is confronted with growing pressures on its water resources. Under a public-private partnership, Veolia not only manages the wastewater treatment plant but sells treated wastewater to industry for use in their manufacturing processes. The profit is shared with the municipality, which allocates the money to improve water access within its region. The contract includes a significant social clause covering diversity, local employment, training and skills transfer. The origins of this “shared value” experience are the trust established between the municipality and the company, an overview of the entire region and its difficulties, and a call for innovation – not only for technology, but also for social and contractual aspects. Only innovation can lead to doing more with less, which implies conserving resources while continuing to find answers to our customers’ growing needs.

I am in no doubt that the creation of shared value will, in the near future, lead us to specify conditions for sharing between customers, shareholders, employees and the other stakeholders, especially regional authorities and suppliers. “A company’s ability to manage environmental, social and governance matters demonstrates the leadership and good governance that is so essential to sustainable growth, which is why we are increasingly integrating these issues into our investment process,” wrote the CEO of BlackRock.

In February, it announced that it had exceeded the 5% threshold of ownership in Veolia’s share capital.



65% recovery rate for treated waste


73.7% efficiency rate of drinking water networks


87% energy efficiency of heating networks



72% of employees trained each year


34% reduction in accident frequency between 2012 and 2017



Return on investment:
Current net income per share at December 31, 2017: €1.13


2017 P/E ratio: 18



85.4% of expenditure reinvested in regions



99.7% compliance rate for drinking water quality


96 million for drinking water


40 million for solid waste collection



€4.4 billion revenue from the circular economy


44 million metric tons CO2 eq. emissions reduced since 2015


18 million metric tons CO2 eq. emissions avoided since 2015


78% of business units have produced a biodiversity conservation plan