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How do you ensure that your stakeholders’ expectations are taken account of as far as possible, along the lines of the aspirations for partnerships set out in Sustainable Development Goal 17?

SDG17, which calls for partnerships between multiple actors, is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to offer new forms of collaboration, using their capacity to innovate to rise to the challenge of preserving resources and meeting residents’ needs.

As an operator of local services, Veolia interacts with its stakeholders to jointly create solutions that suit local conditions and create shared value. 

In Durban, South Africa, we have come up with an updated form of public-private partnership. In a part of the world where water stress and strong population growth combine with ever-increasing pressure on water resources and rising conflicts centered on water usage, Veolia recycles the city’s post-treatment wastewater, which is then sold for industrial uses. Profits from selling the water are shared with the municipality, which uses them to improve access to water in the townships around Durban, South Africa’s third most-populous city. This solution helps to limit the amount of water taken from the environment and preserves drinking water for use in the home. 

Veolia joined the Toilet Board Coalition in 2018, the first global platform dedicated to accelerating the sanitation economy. This is a public-private partnership whose members are multinationals, NGOs, intergovernmental bodies and social lenders, all focused on a single aim: sanitation for all. Veolia and the Toilet Board Coalition are working to roll out decentralized solutions that can operate as add-ons to existing infrastructure, helping to increase access to toilets and improve the performance of centralized systems. 

Both these activities are fully in line with Goal 17.17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.