At the Ecological Transformation Awards ceremony held in December 2023 at Veolia's headquarters in Aubervilliers, Estelle Brachlianoff, the Group's Chief Executive Officer, congratulated the four winners on their innovative and concrete projects. Anne Le Guennec, Director of the Water Technologies zone, Pierre Ribaute, CEO of France Water Zone, and Justine Mora, Director of Talents & Development for Veolia, were also present, marking Veolia's ongoing commitment to youth and ecological innovation. These projects are in line with Veolia's raison d'être, which aims to implement solutions to shape tomorrow's sustainable world.
Students from universities, engineering schools and business schools all over the world took part in the event and submitted their final-year projects. Of the 53 candidates, 20 finalists presented their final theses to a jury of Veolia experts, giving the Group the opportunity to reward young talent and support them in the development of their projects in favor of ecological transformation.
Justine Mora, Director of Talent & Development at Veolia,, underlined the crucial role of this generation aware of the urgency to act, praising:
their creativity, their commitment, their ability to shake up old conceptions of the world and reject contradictions.
The winners in four categories - combating climate change, dealing with pollution, optimizing resources and improving quality of life - presented innovative solutions to current and future environmental challenges.
Fanny Chavanne - Winner in the "Improving quality of life" category
After obtaining a double degree in Innovation Design at Imperial College & the Royal College of Arts (UK), the student led a reflection on how to support municipalities to encourage them to systematically adopt "depaving" (demineralization and renaturation of urban soils). "My work consisted in strategically setting up these programs and calling on town halls to take this first step of trust to implement these solutions", she explained.
Fabien Gallier - Winner in the "Treating pollution" category
A graduate of INP Grenoble in industrial engineering, Fabien Gallier presented a project focused on treating pollution by optimizing the methanization process at a landfill site in bioreactor mode with a low-tech leachate heating pilot. "I'm continuing to work on the theme of low tech for industry, by joining the low tech explorer program. Two months ago, I took off on a sailboat to Brazil to meet low-tech players", he points out.
Johan Boni - Winner in the "Combating climate change" category
A young graduate of ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Johan Boni convinced the jury with his project entitled "Beyond Waste - Unleashing the hidden value of dry incinerated bottom ash". This project, which optimizes "traditional" bottom ash treatment tools, improves the recovery of the metals contained therein, while reducing the cost and energy required for the treatment process
Finally, Joao Donadio - Winner in the "Optimizing Resources" category
The young engineer with a degree in energy engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ - Brazil), convinced the jury with his project on "Enhancing Resource Optimization: A Comparative Study of Solar Towers and Simulated Photovoltaic Plants in Bom Jesus da Lapa, Brazil", notably thanks to the high quality of his presentation, his comprehensive approach to the subject and the applicability of his promising thinking in the near future.
A special mention was awarded to Damien Berriaud of ETH Zürich for his outstanding work on the optimization of allocation models in the water sector. Veolia's DEST teams wanted to meet Damien to discuss a possible collaboration in the context of his Phd, which he will carry out at ETH Zürich, as a continuation of his work.
Finally, the winners were rewarded with a bicycle worth €2,200 or its monetary equivalent, and their schools received an endowment of €3,000 in apprenticeship tax.
Estelle Brachlianoff was present at the Innovation Awards:
At Veolia, we're proud to be able to count on a large number of talented young people to develop the solutions of tomorrow. These innovative solutions, rewarded by the Ecological Transformation Awards, provide a concrete response to the challenges facing territories, to guarantee a more sustainable world
The Veolia Ecological Transformation Awards:
- A competition existing since 1998
- Nearly 75% of award winners have joined Veolia
- More than 50 countries have participated since the competition's inception.
- In 2023: 53 candidates, 20 finalists including 48% women, 43 participating schools