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Promoting universal access to essential services

Around the world, 2.2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water. But the resources are there and the solutions exist. We help put them in place.

Access to essential services for all is still very far from the reality. In 2018, 30% of the world’s population still had no guaranteed easy and safe access to a quality drinking water supply: 844 million people lacked access to safe water and 2.1 billion people had no access to safely managed drinking water.
As regards sanitation, 6 people in 10 have no reliable access: over 2.3 billion people have no access to basic sanitation services such as toilets or latrines, and at least 892 million people still practice open defecation1.
1Sustainable Development Goal 6 - Synthesis Report 2018 on Water & Sanitation - UN Water)

Veolia is committed to supplying and maintaining essential services that are crucial to health and development

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are clear: guarantee universal access for all to essential services relating to human health and development, while also ensuring protection of the natural world. Veolia directly and actively contributes by extending its activities in drinking water production, sanitation, waste collection and management, and energy generation.

We make binding commitments to our delegating authorities, industrial clients and partners to deliver long-term access to essential services and we work hard to develop solutions that suit local conditions. In particular we support policies that seek to uplift the most disadvantaged people or neighborhoods.

Veolia regularly supports this work with mechanisms to provide information, mediation and social solidarity to disadvantaged population groups.
Veolia develops and evaluates innovative solutions for accessing essential services and incorporates feedback on these into its continuous improvement process. Veolia innovates to treat pollution that impacts health, contributes to human development and intervenes in emergency situations by providing its expertise in the maintenance of essential services.

Essential services: what are our responsibilities?

Essential services: our aims, our answers


Chairman, Investisseurs et Partenaires
Former CEO, French Agency for Development


"Without access to water and sanitation for as many people as possible, there can be no success in driving down mortality rates, particularly among children."


"Between 2000 and 2016, Veolia supplied drinking water to over 7.2 million new people"


Senior Executive Vice-President, Asia



Contribute to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, just as we did with the Millennium Development Goals

Action plans

feedback about innovative solutions for accessing essential services.

mechanisms to provide information, mediation and social solidarity.

to treat pollution that impacts human health.

in humanitarian development and emergency situations to help access to and maintenance of essential services.

Frameworks and tools

Veolia has developed ACCESS, a proven methodology to leverage local initiatives. This is a response to the challenges our activities face in terms of social inclusion of the most isolated and poorest people and neighborhoods. It includes tools to provide technical, financial and institutional support. ACCESS offers a set of responses that operational teams can use to guarantee access to and maintenance of essential services for all.

We also use other tools and mechanisms.

  • Local multi-utility customer service points (PIMMS), a French network of open-access one-stop points of contact and interfaces that mediate between residents and public services; Veolia is a partner to PIMMS
  • Local solidarity mechanisms
  • Forms of access and payment suited to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups
  • Veoliaforce, a network of staff volunteers organized through the Veolia Foundation
  • Financial and skills support from the Veolia Foundation

2019 performance in essential services: where are we now?

million people connected to a drinking water supply

million to wastewater services since 2000

Delivering on our commitment to stakeholders

Concrete actions for responsible behavior