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Combating pollution and accelerating ecological transformation

Faced with the environmental and climate emergency and the resulting social and human consequences, Veolia is more than ever committed to making a positive impact on the planet.
The Group has set itself the goal of being the reference company for ecological transformation.

To this end, all major challenges related to environmental protection are at the heart of our commitment to environmental performance:

These priority objectives of the Group environmental performance contribute to 6 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN:






"The world is facing a serious climate emergency. Climate change is happening, and it is happening to all of us. (...) We are engaged in a fight for our lives. But it is a fight we can win.” 
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, 01/07/2019.

No one can now ignore the absolute climate emergency our civilisations face. To limit warming to below 1.5°C by the end of the century and thus limit the damage caused by climate disasters, it is necessary to:
reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2100,
adapt to the extreme conditions that await a large part of the world's population in the short and medium term.

Mitigation, emission reduction and adaptation solutions already exist and Veolia is implementing them. They are outlined in particular in the 2020-2023 Environmental Plan.

The Group is also working on the implementation of future solutions, such as CO2 capture and sequestration, and even recycling.


  1. Increase the production and use of low-carbon energy (especially renewable forms) and replace high emitting fuels with alternative fuels.
  2. Develop the capture and recovery of biogas from waste.
  3. Optimise the energy efficiency of installations in various sectors of activity of the Group.
  4. Increase material recycling, replacing virgin material.
  5. Deploying adaptation solutions to cope with the extreme, even catastrophic, conditions to which territories are increasingly exposed.


GHG emissions reduction: progress made by the Group's investment plan to phase out coal in Europe by 2030

Target 2023
Implementation of 30% of the planned investments by 2030, i.e. around 400 million euros by 2023

Why was this indicator created?

Veolia's approach to reducing its emissions to be compatible with the low-carbon trajectory (< 2°C) is identical to that of the investment plan to eliminate coal in Europe. This is a very concrete, long-term target that is equivalent in terms of emission reductions.

Avoided emissions: annual contribution to avoided GHG emissions

Target 2023
15 Mt éq. CO2

Why was this indicator created?

This indicator fully covers the scope of the associated objective.


30 % of total investments made (8.1% of total investments made)

14,1 Mt of avoided emissions (12.4 Mt CO2 eq. of emissions avoided in 2021)


Veolia and Waga Energy join forces for a biomethane production unit

Veolia and Waga-Energy announced the construction of a WAGABOX® in the Ile-de-France region in 2020, at the Claye-Souilly landfill site. From 2022 and for a period of 15 years, this biomethane recovery unit from landfill waste will produce 120 GWh of gas per year, making it the second-largest project in France and the largest green gas production capacity. It will supply biomethane to 20,000 homes in the Ile-de-France region and will contribute to avoid 25,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year.

usine de production du biométhane

Producing renewable electricity from biogas from organic waste

Since October 2021, three new power plants installed at waste recovery centres in the states of Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina have been generating renewable electricity from biogas produced from the decomposition of organic waste. Veolia's ultimate goal is to generate the equivalent to the electricity and heating needs of a Brazilian town of 42,000 inhabitants. Veolia is also studying other solutions for recovering biogas in the country, in particular through the production of biomethane that can be used in the natural gas network or as automotive fuel," explains Pedro Prádanos, CEO of Veolia Brazil.

homme sur centrale électrique pour produire de l’électricité

Producing clean and competitive energy: Solvay and Veolia launch the "Dombasle Énergie" energy transition project in France

In February 2022, Solvay and Veolia launched the construction of the "Dombasle Énergie" industrial ecology project, which aims to replace coal with solid recovered fuel (SRF) for the production of clean and competitive energy at the historic Dombasle-sur-Meurthe plant.

centrale électrique






Veolia is committed to the sustainable management of natural resources by encouraging the circular economy, i.e. an economy that no longer uses fossil fuels and that no longer produces waste thanks to the infinite re-circulation of material goods.

To implement it, a transition economy is needed. Veolia offers concrete solutions:

  • Significantly reduce resource consumption by improving the energy performance of its customers or its own facilities.
  • Reuse goods and materials to produce less waste, through the reuse of water or eco-design services for packaging.
  • Produce electricity and heat from renewable resources, from non-recyclable waste or biomass.
  • Produce renewable energy sources such as biogas, captured in waste recycling and recovery centres or produced by methanisation of organic waste and water treatment sludge.
  • Sort and recycle waste to replace chemical fertilisers and fossil raw materials.

Veolia is working with local public authorities and its industrial customers to implement new contract models that are decoupled from the fossil fuel economy, as well as more energy-efficient processes.

The circular economy also brings many environmental benefits beyond resource conservation. Veolia also acts on:

  • Reduction of pollution that degrades natural resources by reducing discharges into the environment;
  • Restoration of biodiversity by returning organic matter to the soil;
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions through reuse and recycling.

Finally, the circular economy is by nature decentralised and inclusive, as it finds its raw materials wherever waste is produced. In this way, Veolia contributes to the development of a local, innovative and sustainable industry and jobs. In emerging economies, the Group is also helping to transform the precarious societal models of the informal waste management economy.


  1. Recycling of materials, especially plastics.
  2. Water recycling for new uses.
  3. Reduction of fossil fuel consumption


Volume of plastics recycled in Veolia's processing plants

2019 reference350 kt

Target 2023 
610 kt

Why was this indicator created?

Plastic is symbolic of the challenges of the circular economy and the environmental (pollution, climate, fossil resources) and societal (industrial globalisation, informal recycling economy, health) impacts. Its worldwide consumption is growing exponentially and will exceed, at the current rate, 1 billion tonnes in 2050 and 20% of oil production.
This indicator reflects the full integration of Veolia's commitment to the development of the circular economy at the heart of its Impact 2023 strategic program.

2022 RESULTS490 ktof volumes of plastics recycled in Veolia's processing plants (476 kt in 2021)


Veolia commits to a Europe-wide plastics recycling and recovery strategy

In March 2020, Veolia signed the "European Plastics Pact along with many EU member states and more than 130 players in the value chain (producers, packagers, brands, retailers, collectors and recyclers).

homme et camion de recyclage de déchets

Veolia and Solvay join forces to ensure the life cycle of electric vehicle batteries in Europe

In 2020, Solvay and Veolia have joined forces to create a circular economy consortium to optimise the recycling of lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles in Europe, in particular by improving the management and reuse of critical and rare raw materials.

homme travaille sur des batteries électriques

Building broad-based partnerships for better resource management

Tetra Pak and Veolia entered into an innovative partnership in 2018 to recycle the components of used food cartons (75% cardboard, 20% plastic and 5% aluminium) collected in the European Union by 2025.

schéma de recyclage des emballages pour liquides alimentaire





homme au bord d'un lac

Under the impetus of demographic growth, economic development, industrialisation and increasing urbanisation, the challenges linked to the management of water resources have become multiple and more and more significant. They concern:

  • access to safe drinking water;
  • overuse of water resources;
  • pollution of soil, groundwater and watercourses;
  • destruction of wetlands and the degradation of aquatic environments;
  • resilience of territories to climate hazards.

Water is at the centre of climatic processes and these issues are now exacerbated by global warming. This causes an acceleration of the water cycle, resulting in an intensification of extreme weather events. Sustainable water resource management is therefore a key line of defence against the consequences of global warming and is at the heart of the ecological transformation.

Veolia's proven expertise in the sustainable management of water resources enables it to make ambitious commitments to its customers and to meet the expectations of citizens.


  1. Promote people's access to essential water and sanitation services.
  2. Significantly limit the discharge and transfer of pollutants into the water resource.
  3. Preserve resources through wastewater reuse and water recycling, which help secure access to water in sensitive areas.
  4. Collect, manage and recover solid waste for a healthier environment.
  5. Reduce the water footprint of the Group's customers.


Performance of drinking water networks

2019 reference

Target 2023

Why was this indicator created?

The indicator chosen measures the volumes of water wasted.

2022 RESULTS76,3 %of efficiency of drinking water networks serving more than 50,000 inhabitants (volumes of drinking water consumed/volumes of drinking water produced) (75,6 % in 2020)


Agua del Sinai: a solution for supplying water to an informal settlement

In Guayaquil, Ecuador, the informal settlement area "Monte Sinaí" (130,000 inhabitants) has the highest poverty rate in the city and is not connected to the drinking water network. The Veolia’s "Agua del Sinaí“ solution allows the area to be supplied with good quality drinking water by tanker trucks and reduces the price of water by 25%.

hommes tiennent des tuyaux d'eau

SWARM, an innovative solution for monitoring surface water quality

In order to rapidly detect abnormal variations in surface water quality, Veolia offers the SWARM service enabling the water operator to continuously monitor the evolution of key parameters of surface water quality and condition.


The ServO, the control centre of the largest water utility in France

Veolia Eau d'île de France has designed ServO, an integrated control centre equipped with the latest technologies, for the SEDIF (Syndicat des eaux d'île-de-France) enabling the management and supervision of the largest water service in France: 4.5 million inhabitants served, spread over 150 municipalities in the Île-de-France region.

RSE Servo centre de pilotage





The global erosion of environments and their biodiversity is unprecedented (IPBES report 2019) and concerns all regions of the world, at the most local scale. This degradation puts at risk our ability to meet our basic needs: healthy food, clean water, raw materials, etc.

Veolia's mobilisation is therefore essential in order to imagine, together with the players in the territories where the Group operates, the solutions of tomorrow that will best respond to their local environmental issues (water stress, water pollution, presence of endangered species, etc.).

The Group has been committed to nature conservation for many years:

  • through its internal policy (2020-2023 environmental objectives plan), its partnerships (in particular with the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2008) and its involvement in external initiatives (commitment to Act4Nature International since 2018);
  • by actions carried out according to the specificities and maturity in this area of each country where the Group operates (regulatory, cultural, etc.).

Through this objective of multifaceted performance, Veolia is reaffirming its ambition to integrate the protection of the environment, its biodiversity and the services it provides into its business activities, by working together with its customers, its subcontractors and its other stakeholders (associations, scientists, etc.).


  1. Strengthen the consideration of environmental protection and biodiversity in the Group's internal standards that directly or indirectly impact biodiversity.
  2. Preserve local environments and biodiversity by improving the environmental performance of Veolia sites and developing their ecological potential.
  3. Raise awareness and involve all the Group's stakeholders in its approach to protecting the environment and biodiversity.


the progress rate of action plans to improve the environmental and biodiversity footprint of sensitive sites

Target 2023

Why was this indicator chosen?

An "environment and biodiversity" footprint tool has been developed by Veolia for its activities, in collaboration with ecology experts and partners (Ecosphere, UCN France, etc.). The "environment and biodiversity" footprint measures qualitatively and quantitatively the biodiversity issues of a site, in the same way as the carbon footprint. This tool thus allows the development of a semi-automated action plan according to the strongest issues of the site as well as its follow-up. 

2022 RESULTS66 %progress rate of action plans to improve the environmental and biodiversity footprint of sensitive sites (30 % in 2021)


Conduct biodiversity footprints of waste storage sites for better protection of biodiversity

Veolia has developed an ecological footprints measurement tool to assess the positive and negative impacts of its local activities, directly or indirectly, upon biodiversity. The Group has, for example, decided to carry out biodiversity footprints on all its waste storage sites in Colombia, the second most biodiverse country in the world.

RSE empreintes biodiversité

The transition to "zero phyto", a reasoned ecological management to preserve resources and ecosystems

The Veolia Group undertakes to make at least 75% of its sites "zero phyto" by 2023, i.e. to stop using phytosanitary products.

RSE passage au zéro phyto

Veolia joins Act4Nature International initiative

In 2020, Veolia renewed its three-year commitment to the Act4Nature International initiative, initiated by the French association EPE (Entreprise pour l'Environnement), and supported by numerous public and private partners as well as NGOs.

lac et foret