Veolia Summer School 2021: 64 students from 27 countries take up the ecological transformation challenge

More aware and more concerned than ever by environmental issues, the 2021 Veolia Summer School has shown its desire for change and action. Under the sign of ecological transformation, the 12th edition of the Summer School was entirely online. As is the case every year, for a week (28 June to 2 July), Veolia brought together young English-speaking talents from the best universities in the world to discover its businesses, its challenges, its solutions, and its corporate purpose.

The Veolia Summer School - which 411 future graduates from 170 universities in 36 countries have already attended - was the first in the environmental services sector in 2010. Its objective is to stir up projects and the cultures of students from all over the world by getting them to work together and by educating them on environmental issues. For Veolia, it is also an opportunity to challenge itself, identify future talents, and explain its corporate purpose and its ambition of leading the ecological transformation to them to make them ambassadors of the Group at their universities.


A 100% digital edition, marked by exceptional encounters

For a week, punctuated by group work, meetings with experts, and discovering Veolia's businesses and solutions, the students were immersed in the Group’s environment. These five days were spent discovering Veolia’s challenges and solutions and hacking the future in international teams while building a network. This summer programme invited them to take up the environmental challenge by applying professional methods, in liaison with Veolia experts.

The entire Group’s commitment to training and young generations was brought to the highest level: Estelle Brachlianoff, Chief Operating Officer, and Antoine Frérot, Group CEO, personally addressed messages to the students. Students also had the opportunity to meet and chat with an exceptional guest: explorer Mike Horn.


Veolia wants to create an Ecological Transformation School

As an introduction to Mike Horn's speech on 1 July, Antoine Frérot recalled the importance of education and the acquisition of new skills to meet ecological transformation challenges. He announced Veolia’s creation of a new Ecological Transformation School and appealed to the 64 students:

   We will soon be launching an ecological transformation school which will be dedicated to training those who wish to work in the green sectors of tomorrow (...). We hope that this school will become world renowned, like the French School of Water of the 20th century, to meet the ecological transformation challenge. This challenge is the most important for the years to come due to climate change, depletion of resources, collapse of biodiversity, and widespread pollution. During this Summer School, in your different case studies, you learned about Veolia's commitment to a balanced environmental, economic, and social performance. Your suggestions and ideas push us to step up the transformation of our business, improve our processes, and better respond to ecological transformation challenges. We need your creativity and your energy to help us go even further.


Mike Horn, guest speaker on climate change

The Summer School’s surprise guest was Swiss and South African explorer Mike Mike Horn who has travelled the world for 30 years. He gave a talk to the students and answered their questions for over half an hour. His talk was inspiring, realistically presenting the upheavals he has witnessed over the past 30 years, and optimistic:

During my last Arctic expedition, ‘North Pole Crossing’, in 2019, I noticed that more than two metres of ice had disappeared in the last 13 years, which made this expedition much more difficult than I had imagined. The ice, which was too thin, gave way under our feet. It is you, young people, who can make a difference. Don’t wait until you are given the opportunity. Don’t leave a choice to those who cling to what they have learned. Take things in hand. Impose yourself. It’s up to you to build your future.’

Then answering students' questions about his vision and experience as an explorer, he challenged them to take up humanity’s current challenge: ‘to live in harmony with our planet once again.’.

Last meeting and review ...

Isabelle Quainon, Deputy Director of Human Resources at Veolia, closed the last day of the Summer School: 

Veolia’s Summer School is an opportunity to better understand our businesses. Investing in people is key for our company because we need motivated and committed talents. I hope we made you want to come work for us soon with your new ideas to reinvent Veolia.


... student testimonials

Cynthia, from Guayaquil (Ecuador): ‘I never thought I could learn so much in just five days. For me, there’s a before and after the Summer School.’ 
Sariga, from Dubai (United Arab Emirates): ‘I would like to thank the Veolia team for allowing me to meet so many people around the world during these five days.’ 
João, from Sao Paulo (Brazil): ‘I have only known about Veolia for a few weeks, but now I’m excited about everything Veolia does all over the world.’ 
Markéta, from Prague (Czech Republic): ‘I hope to work in the environment to make our planet more liveable.
Kenza, from Rabat (Morocco): ‘I would like to work for Veolia because, during this week, I felt that its teams are sincerely committed.
Shaima, from Dubai (United Arab Emirates): ‘It was great, I made friends from all over the world.
Giulietta, from Milan (Italy): ‘At Veolia, we discovered a team that works with sincere values to better the world.’ 
Romain, from  Paris (France): ‘If you want to discover France, you are all welcome.

Caroline Geoffrois, Young Talents Sourcing Manager, Veolia, closed this Summer School: 
I was blown away by your presentations, by your enthusiasm ... I hope you will remember this experience for a long time. Thank you for your involvement.’ 

Bertrand Delvolvé, Director of Human Resources Development at Veolia, added: 
We are sad to go our separate ways, but I feel that this Summer School was a first step towards your commitment to ecological transformation. Congratulations for all your energy!

The 12 business cases

With 5 continents to coordinate, to overcome the difficulties caused by time differences, the 64 students were divided into 3 time zones and 12 working groups. Each of the 12 teams, accompanied by an expert to guide them and assist them in their thinking, worked on a business case which was presented at the end of the week. Every day, Veolia's experts helped the participants challenge their ideas, answering their questions and providing them with ways to go further. Coached by a trainer, they integrated Design Thinking methods to better consider the user in order to redefine the problem and identify alternative solutions.

The 12 themes of working groups and Veolia experts: Air Quality - Frédéric Bouvier, Digital and Waste Management - Grégory Clochet, Cooperation Culture - Herve Fauchour, Oil Recovery - Christophe Meiller, Hydrogen and Electric vehicle - Olivier Drouan, Green Deal - Christophe Schuermans, Carbon capture & storage - Alicia Mansour, Battery Recycling - Emeric Malefan, Decarbonation - Murat Isikveren, MARPOL - Guillaume Wallaert, Sustainable Agriculture - Sandrine Dubuc, and Health & micropollutants - Sarah Hercule-Bobroff.

64 students in 12 working groups, distributed by geographical area


Sandipan SAMANTA - TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, India
Kurena YOSHIDA - Sophia university, Tokyo, Japan 
Kaoru MORITA - University of Nebraska Omaha, Nebraska, United States. 
Laureano GONZALEZ - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Nicole WIDJAJA - The University of Melbourne (Parkville Campus), Australia 
Bogyeong KANG, Seoul Women’s University, Korea
Yunhui GU - Tongji University, Shanghai, China



Imogen LAMB - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Nora LHAROTI - IGS RH - Paris, France 
Christian CHIARO - Bocconi University, Milan, Italy 
Héctor Alvaréz Gonzaléz - University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain 
Laura HANSEN - Aalborg Universitet Esbjerg, Esbjerg, Denmark 



Houda KASTTET - INSEEC MSc&MBA, Paris, France 
Lucile TERRIER - Rennes University 1, Rennes, France 
Elea MAGNIER - ESSEC Business School, Cergy, France
Markéta ANDREIDES - University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, Czech Republic
Abdulaziz ALGHAMBI - King Saud University (College of engineering), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Rafal KAKAREKA - SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland



Sariga SUNIL - Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
Daniel PEREZ GUTIERREZ - Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain 
Velina SAVOVA New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria 
Hilal AL-SAADI - Ibra college of technology, Ibra, Oman  
Lotfi FATHI - Higher School of Computer Science and Business (EPITA), France



Raluca-Mihaela ELINESCU - University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania 
Martim VILLAS-BOAS - Exeter University, Exeter, United Kingdom  
Harikrishnan PARATHODIEL - KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Elise Broe BENDTSEN - Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark 
Ataa MERHEB - National Engineering School of Le Mans, France 
Bethany EAGLEFIELD - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom



Tarek NAIT-SAADA - Paris Nanterre University, Nanterre, France 
Kenza ZNIBER - Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco 
Anatole ROZIER-CHABERT - CentraleSupelec, Gif-sur-Yvette, France 
Helena HJORRINGGAARD - Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Jakub STRZELCZYK - Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland



Alix BERTHOMMIER - KEDGE, Paris, France 
Clara BENZAKINE - ECE, Paris, France 
Samantha LECOMTE - Higher Institute of Management Paris, France 
Stephanie SALIBA - Notre Dame University (NDU)-Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon  
Sanya RIZWAN - Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Romain VITAL-DURAND - Arts et Métiers Paristech & l’IAE Aix-Marseille, Paris & Marseille, France



Marita PIGLOWSKA - Poznan University of Technology, Poznan, Poland
Erica NAE - University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania 
Ahmed ALZAMIL - King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Romain ALEXANDRE - INSEEC MSc, Paris, France
Pierre LACHAUD - ECAM Lyon, Lyon, France



Kacper BLUS - Lodz University of Technology, Lodz, Poland 
Giulietta VINCITORIO - Università Commerciale ‘Luigi Bocconi’, Milan, Italy  
Mona CHAIBI - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom 
Matthieu MOREAU - Arts et Métiers ParisTech, Paris, France  
Shaima MUEZ - Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Group 1 - AMERICA 

João AMORIM - Centro Universitário da FEI, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil  
Cynthia ARELLANO - ESPOL, Guayaquil, Ecuador  
Camilo LUQUEZ - Francisco de Paula Santander university, Cúcuta, Colombia
Maria VERA TUDELA BUSTAMANTE - University of Engineering and Technology, Lima, Peru 
Michel BAKHOUM - Stanford University, USA



Odalys ROSALES - Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral, Guayaquil, Ecuador 
Sofia DELLACHIESA - Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina 
Pascal SACCHITELLE - Polytechnique of Montreal, Montreal, Canada 
Faryal FATIMA - Prairie View A&M University, Texas, USA 
Diana Paola ROBLES RAMIREZ - Universidad Panamericana, Aguascalientes, México


Group 3 AMERICA 

Antonio DELGADO LOPEZ - Universidad Panamericana, Aguascalientes, México 
Julie RACINE - Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada 
Laura DE LA HOZ - Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia  
Carolina NARDINI - Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina