The 2nd edition of the global barometer of ecological transformation : Europeans place health as top priority and call for action

Le baromètre de Veolia, deuxième édition

On 9 June, the citizens of the European Union will elect their representatives to the European Parliament for the next five years, at a time when Europe is facing unprecedented environmental and economic challenges.

The second edition of the Ecological Transformation Barometer, an exclusive global opinion survey focusing on the degree of acceptability of ecological solutions, offers unprecedented insight into people's understanding of the consequences of climate disruption worldwide, and particularly on a European scale. Europeans are expressing growing concern for their health, perceive a threat to their living conditions in the face of environmental challenges, and are calling for action!

To meet these challenges, they say they are ready to accept the changes needed to make existing environmental solutions more widespread, in order to combat climate change and pollution. Faced with the climate and ecological challenge, it is the need for protection that motivates their desire to act, particularly in terms of health. Today, they consider that the cost of inaction will be much higher than the cost of action.

“Faced with the climate challenge, radical action and ecological pause clash all over Europe. But ecological transformation must no longer be the subject of pause or debate. It is vital for today's and tomorrow's generations! The results of the second edition of the Ecological Transformation Barometer show that European public opinion is resolutely focused on action. It is by listening to citizens that we can understand their concerns and needs, identify the levers of change that are not only acceptable but desirable, and find the meaning and motivation for change in the quest for a sustainable future. It is no longer necessary to ask whether to choose between ecology and prosperity, because one guarantees the other,”

said Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia's CEO.


Key findings at European scale

  • 97% of Europeans believe that health rather than cost is the top priority when It comes to decisions on water, waste and energy.
  • 65% of Europeans feel vulnerable to climate-related health risks. These risks include an increase in infectious diseases, pollution, reduced food quality and mental health problems.
  •  64% of Europeans are convinced that inaction will cost more than ecological action.
  •  90% of Europeans consider it necessary to combine ecological planning, changes in laws and regulations, innovation and information to achieve successful ecological transformation.
  •  9 out of 10 Europeans are convinced that local authorities, businesses, governments, international institutions and individuals must find and implement solutions together.
  •  More than 1 in 2 Europeans believe that ecological action must combine sobriety and technological solutions.
  • 65% of Europeans (+12% compared to 2022) are prepared to drink water produced by recycling wastewater to reduce the risk of water shortages.

Key points on the social & financial acceptability of ecological solutions in Europe


81% are prepared to pay a little more for water, and 76% for fruit and vegetables, to finance solutions to deal with water and soil pollution (including 28% and 24% without hesitation).

Health risks are deemed unacceptable. They motivate a decision in favor of eliminating micropollutants from water and cleaning up agricultural soils.


81% are willing to consume food from agriculture that uses recycled water, in cases where water reuse reduces the risk of water shortages for consumption, agriculture and the country’s economy.

65 % (+12% compared to 2022) are prepared to drink water produced by recycling wastewater to reduce the risk of water shortages.

More than 7 out of 10 of EU’s inhabitants are prepared to pay a little more for electrical and electronic appliances if the battery and the appliance are recycled, and to limit pollution linked to the extraction of rare metals.


More than 7 out of 10 people in the EU are willing to pay a little more for locally produced energy from non-recyclable waste and biomass in order to: 

  • secure their country’s energy supply
  • reduce CO2 emissions generated by energy production.


The survey was conducted in 26 countries (including 9 EU countries) across 5 continents, reaching more than 29,500 individuals (between 1,000 and 2,000 per country). Countries were chosen for their demographic weight, their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and to ensure diversity in ecological political and cultural backgrounds. Overall, these countries represent nearly 60% of the world's population and 67% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The survey was conducted online from October 17 to December 6, 2023. For each of the 26 countries, a representative sample of residents aged 18 and over was gathered. Frequency: the barometer is published every 18 months (allowing for long-term evolution of representations, opinions, and behaviors).


Veolia's ambition is to become the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 218,000 employees on five continents, the Group designs and deploys useful, practical solutions for managing water, waste and energy that help to radically change the world. Through its three complementary activities, Veolia contributes to developing access to resources, preserving available resources and renewing them. In 2023, the Veolia group served 113 million people with drinking water and 103 million with wastewater services, produced 42 terawatt-hours of energy and recovered 63 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) generated consolidated sales of €45.3 billion in 2023. 


Laurent Obadia - Evgeniya Mazalova
Anna Beaubatie - Aurélien Sarrosquy
Tél.+ 33 (0) 1 85 57 86 25
[email protected]


Ronald Wasylec - Ariane de Lamaze
Tél. + 33 (0) 1 85 57 84 76
[email protected]