In order to achieve the goals set in the Paris Agreement to maintain the mean world temperature below 2 °C by the end of the century, cities around the world must implement ambitious action plans at regional level.
Veolia Climate initiatives for cities
"Fighting climate change goes beyond reducing GHG emissions, it is an opportunity to innovate and change our social and economic paradigms. It is not only an environmental challenge, it is about creating shared value for communities, cities and industries, and inventing a new source of growth", explaines Laurent Auguste.
Veolia is creating new bridges between traditional silos. The Group generates value by triggering new connections between water, waste and energy. Take a few examples: at Milwaukee (United States), biogas is produced from treatment sludge, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing the city's resilience, by reducing its dependency on external energy sources. At the Artois Anaerobic digestion site in France, 25,000 tons of organic waste are converted into green power (8 000 MWh megawatts, i.e. the consumption of 2,700 households) each year, saving 2,000 tons in CO2 emissions. In Mexico and in France, incubators for social innovation are breaking silos between urban operators, boosting social cohesion.
"Cities are increasingly standing out based on both their economic and social development and on their climate initiatives: reduced emissions, water resource protection and circular economy dynamics. Beyond the development of infrastructure, the success of cities is defined by putting people back at the center of priorities and turning the city into a more attractive place for talented individuals and investment. Resilience is emerging as a catalyst for the success and growth of cities", concludes Laurent Auguste.
Valuing water must be to the benefit of all
Dominique Gâtel presents the solutions developed by Veolia for valuing water on industrial sites and at regional level.
In China, for example, Veolia treats the entire water cycle for the Sinopec petrochemical plant at Yanshan. On this basis, thanks to the Group, the leading refiner in Asia can satisfy the strictest international standards (maximum 30 ppm in chemical oxygen demand (COD) in discharged waters, compared with 100 - 150 ppm in the European Union).
Veolia has created an open source tool, "The True Cost of Water" for industrial sites. This tool can be used to assess the financial implications of water-related risks: It helps user Companies to optimize the costs of water management, and in some cases obtain a license to operate by hedging water risks.
"All actors share the same land and water resources in the region: thanks to Veolia, the Nestlé Lagos de Moreno plant in the state of Jalisco (Mexico) - where water scarcity is particularly acute - now has a water reuse process which saves around 1.6 million liters each day: territories must ensure, at the same time, their economic profitability, social protection and biodiversity enhancement", explains Dominique Gâtel.
Find out more :
> World Business Council for Sustainable Development
> Veolia solutions against climate change
> Veolia CSR: climate change
> Circular economy, Resilience and Climate solutions - read all about it in the Veolia climate blog
> Veolia will contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 – September 28, 2015