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Is Veolia going to get involved in its clients’ eco-design initiatives to reduce needs for materials at the source?

Through its environmental services, Veolia helps businesses and local authorities to optimize their consumption of resources with efficiency of its water, energy and waste management activities.

Our research and innovation teams work with industrial clients on eco-design initiatives that aim to increase the recycled materials incorporated in their products, recover by-products from their manufacturing processes, and improve recyclability of products so they can be fed back into the industrial process as replacements for virgin materials, which consume natural resources and generate greenhouse gas emissions during the extraction process.

For example, we have teamed up with Eco-systèmes and the SEB Group to develop France’s first full circular economy cycle for small household appliances. Waste appliances are collected by Eco-systèmes then recycled by our Angers facility as secondary raw materials that are used by the SEB Group to produce new appliances, including steam generator cases.

We optimized the supply flows of the recycled raw materials to guarantee a regular, lasting supply. For its part, the SEB Group altered its manufacturing process to use the recycled materials. Eco-systèmes also participated in assessing the environmental impact of using recycled plastic to make the SEB Group’s steam generator.
The exemplary partnership has demonstrated the potential for this commercial model to be deployed on a larger scale, by replacing virgin materials with recycled raw materials in an industrial manufacturing process under conditions that meet manufacturers’ requirements for quality, quantity and cost.

Furthermore, with the aim of developing new circular agriculture models, we signed a partnership with Yara, to reduce chemical fertilizers consumption by recycling nutrients from urban, agricultural and industrial waste into high quality organic fertilizers.
This will link the beginning and the end of the currently linear agri-food value chain by developing organic fertilizers and nutrient recovery installation in several major European cities.

Yara and Veolia already recycle ammonia, turning it into sodium nitrate, from composting green waste and wastewater sludge, then used in wastewater facilities to prevent odor and corrosion.

The two companies go further by inviting industry players to join the new ‘Nutrient Upcycling Alliance’ for a fundamental overhaul of the food value chain (farmers’ associations, food brands, retailers and other stakeholders managing various waste streams, municipalities and government agencies). This Alliance aims to promote an economically viable and sustainable food system in Europe through concrete industrial projects.