22 november 2016

“Cities for Life”, Forum Smart City La Tribune: Veolia helps cities meet their climate challenges

Laurent Auguste, Veolia Senior Executive Vice President Innovation and Markets, spoke this morning at the Cities for Life Forum - the world summit dedicated to the inclusion, innovation, and resilience of cities which is being held at the Hotel de Ville in Paris from 21 to 22 November. As part of the Round Table on "The City and climate change", he explained how the Group helps municipalities tackle climate change.

Cities for Life - Laurent August

Cities, whose populations are growing very rapidly, contribute significantly to climate change. One of their main challenges is to invent innovative solutions to ensure more resource-efficient economic growth and reduce their environmental footprint. To remain attractive, they must also increase their resilience to climate change, improve quality of life, and strengthen social cohesion. Cities now want to associate their citizens with the new urban dynamism and encourage collaboration between the various local partners. Veolia helps municipalities to meet all these challenges.


Collaborative and circular solutions aggregator

To bring out innovative solutions to the challenges presented by climate change, the Group favours collaboration with partners whose expertise complements its own. For example, the partnership with Swiss Re developed under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation will make it possible to increase the resilience of New Orleans to climate disasters. Furthermore, Veolia is also breaking down silos between players in the same territory – cities, business and citizens – and is helping to put local circular economy loops in place. In Milwaukee, Veolia locally produces biogas and compost from wastewater in a circular economy loop.


Citizens and social cohesion at the heart of the climate change challenge 

Veolia enables citizens to become players in their city’s resilience through the Urban Pulse application. This improves responsiveness and transparency in the event of dysfunction. Furthermore, smart technologies help urban dwellers reduce their spending and also strengthen the inclusiveness of the city. For example, in Nice, which was voted the fourth smartest city in the world in 2015, households with modest incomes have been able to reduce their electricity, heat and water bills by 10 to 15% thanks to the installation of sensors in their apartments. Veolia helps cities improve social cohesion and encourages job creation: in Mexico City, Lyon and Toulouse, the Pop up platform supports social entrepreneurs working in areas related to the Group's businesses.
 

The challenges of the inclusive and resilient city faced with climate change

According to the Cities Footprint, since 2000 the most attractive cities have contributed 60% to job creation and GDP growth in OECD countries. However they are also responsible for 60 to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions and concentrate social inequalities, particularly in Europe, where 13% of households experience fuel poverty.


More: 

>The circular economy  and climate solutions, on Veolia’s “Let’s talk climate” blog
>Cities for life