“+1, the ecology turned into actions” is growing locally and is poised to expand

On 29 March at La Recyclerie in Paris, the +1 collective, initiated by Veolia in partnership with Usbek & Rica, reviewed its three 2021 sessions and launched a new initiative for 2022. This meeting was an opportunity to present the method to companies and organisations that would like to use it and adapt it to their needs. Three local versions of +1 are currently being deployed.

Strengthening the dynamic of openness of companies to their stakeholders

Environment, health, geopolitics, inequality, technological change… Dialogue and cooperation are essential to meet the challenges we collectively face. Introducing the meeting, Veolia CEO Antoine Frérot reaffirmed the importance for the Group of applying the same focus and high standards to its economic and financial, commercial, labour relations, social, and environmental performance, in order to ensure a balanced and sustainable impact of its activities for all its stakeholders (Employees, Customers, Shareholders, Society, Planet).

Veolia has initiated the “+1, the ecology turned into actions” consultation process in order to experiment with new ways of working with its stakeholders to facilitate the design and implementation of solutions for the ecological transformation. The purpose of this consultation model is to propose useful solutions that can be adopted by as many people as possible, thanks to a shared open-source method that can be transposed to different contexts, geographical areas and territories, and subjects.

We want to continue to strengthen this dynamic of openness, both within the Group and with our stakeholders, to develop our collective capacity to create and deploy the solutions our companies need, explained Antoine Frérot.

  • Getting back to basics with the +1 collective: Working together

Bettina Laville, founder and president of Comité 21, which supports the +1 consultation process, noted that in the 2000s CSR brought the human element into the company, but then became more technical. Today, the +1 collective brings us back to the basics: working together. The company thus leaves its comfort zone and proposes a new form of dialogue with its stakeholders in order to co-construct more. It is thanks to the boldness of companies that open themselves up to new forms of governance that new alliances will emerge and be able to transform the economy, a dynamic that Comité 21 supports and strengthens through its various activities.


Local versions of +1 already launched

  • The core of a contract: Arianeo for Nice Côte d'Azur (France)

Christophe Ghibaudo, Director of Communications for the South-PACA region of France, presented the Arianeo project. The aim is to modernise the city of Nice's waste-to-energy recovery unit with a state-of-the-art sorting centre in the heart of the Ariane district, but also to turn it into a centre for education and dialogue where schoolchildren, researchers, nonprofits and gardening enthusiasts can come together. This third place will host an employment forum with the eventual creation of 30 jobs, primarily for the inhabitants of the district. A High Societal and Environmental Committee will have a decision-making and advisory role in the management of the project and on the multifaceted performance of the contract. The methodology and tools of the +1 programme will accompany the implementation of this participatory governance.


  • At the Business Unit level in Prague, Czech Republic

Patricia Cipro, project manager, is in charge of the creation of a third place in Prague, Czech Republic, within a Veolia Business Unit. This third place, which will open in the autumn of 2022, will be a forum for dialogue and collaboration between Veolia's partners and employees in order to work on the development and implementation of solutions for the ecological transformation. The experience of the +1 scheme will help support the BU and strengthen dialogue between all stakeholders. 


  • Serving a customer: Bouygues Immobilier

The +1 method will be adapted by Bouygues Immobilier, a Veolia customer and member of the +1 collective, among its stakeholders. The Group will use this as a model for integrating Equans’ 23,000 employees into its operations, explained Johan Pivron, Director of Corporate Real Estate, Major Projects and Innovation at Bouygues Immobilier in Nantes.


+1 in 2022: A stronger operational system

Three new work sessions will be offered to the +1 collective in 2022 to strengthen the collective momentum created for the ecological transformation of the territories around the following themes:

What type of governance of companies and structures…

  • #1 for territorial resilience?
  • #2 to boost and increase innovation?
  • #3 for employment and job creation?

Close links are being created between Veolia's Ecological Transformation School and +1, the ecology turned into actions. Veolia is committed to bringing together a group of partners to facilitate the development of the knowledge needed to deploy the ecological transformation in the territories. As Olivier Carlat, Director of Training and Employee Developments at Veolia, pointed out, this approach concerns all levels of qualification and aims to promote the employability of people who have been excluded from the workforce or are in retraining.

Pierre-Yves Pouliquen, future Director of Multifaceted Performance and Sustainable Development at Veolia, concluded:

Veolia is a company that has been working for the environment for over 170 years. Faced with the challenges of the ecological transformation, we must reinvent ourselves with and for our stakeholders. This issue is at the heart of Our Purpose and of our multifaceted performance. It is our responsibility to involve our 230,000 employees and all the players in Veolia's value chains in opening the company up to greater utility. This is what we are going to do through +1.

In open source:

  • Find the logbook (soon to come) which outlines the process and work done during the 2021 sessions;
  • a deployment kit to enable all interested stakeholders to take up this approach and adapt it to their needs (to come).

Feedback from +1 in 2021

The objective of +1 is to get to know each other better in order to work together better, between stakeholders from different backgrounds. It is based on three pillars: listening, co-constructing, and committing together, recalled Fanny Demulier, coordinator of Veolia's Purpose steering committee, as she introduced some collective member testimonials on their +1 experience:

In view of the climate emergency, we need to replicate and adapt this system in all teams, whether operational, commercial or legal… and also by involving external stakeholders more to take action together.” Claudia Thévenet, Business Manager, Materials Processing Unit at CDIF – EMPLOYEE.

"As stakeholders in the ecological transformation, we all can contribute to the solutions, but we must take the time to listen to each other and consider the long term in our decisions.William Elland-Goldsmith, Managing Director of Mouvement UP – SOCIETY.

We need to think collectively about the transformation of our organisations thanks to spaces for dialogue such as the one proposed by +1, because it is with all stakeholders that solutions can be found. This initiative should be extended to companies.Anne Le Corre, Co-Founder and President of Syndicat Le Printemps Écologique – PLANET.