Act4nature international

Our individual commitments 2020-2023

Veolia's activities (water, waste, energy) are directly connected to the natural environments and contribute to preserving the environment in the regions, in particular by treating wastewater or limiting soil pollution through waste collection and treatment.

Veolia is committed to the Act4Nature international initiative launched in 2018 by EPE alongside various public and private organizations (AFEP, MEDEF, WWF, IUCN, etc.). This initiative creates a real collective dynamic around the protection of biodiversity. In 2019, the Group has adopted a raison d'être and is committed to a multifaceted performance that places the same level of attention and demands on its economic, financial, commercial, social, societal and environmental performance. Veolia's commitment to the environment is to combat pollution and speed up the ecological transformation of its activities and those of its clients, based on four priority objectives: combating climate change, promoting the circular economy, protecting the environment and biodiversity, and preserving water resources. As a company committed to nature and a member of EPE, Veolia has drawn up its individual commitments presented below.

Measure the environmental and biodiversity footprint of our sensitive sites and deploy at least 75% of the corresponding action plans (162 sites) *

► By 2023

To identify its sensitive sites, the Group has defined selection criteria such as the sites' potential and ecological sensitivity and the impacts related to their location and activity processes.All of these sites will have to achieve a footprint by 2023 and have deployed at least 75% of their action plan in order to meet the target set by the Group.

Implement ecological management on 75% of the sites with more than 1 ha of green space (470 sites) *

► By 2023

Ecological management means the mandatory application on the sites of the Veolia's Green Spaces Charter, drawn up in partnership with the French Committee of the IUCN. Its objective is to support the transition of sites, and landscape professionals, towards practices that are more environment-friendly (e.g. reduced mowing, planting of local species only, etc.).



Stop using phytosanitary products on 75% of our sites (1200 sites) *

► By 2023

The objective is to lead the Group to significantly reduce the use of phytosanitary products around the world. 75% of the sites will have to go to "zero-phyto". For our sites, this commitment means a change in practices and a change in culture both internally and externally (visitors, customers, etc.).

Raise awareness of biodiversity issues among our internal and external stakeholders on 50% of our sites (800 sites) *

► By 2023

Raising awareness concerns all our stakeholders, whether employees on site, green space providers or the general public. At least 50% of the sites must carry out training, awareness-raising, an open day or any other exchange meeting to explain the challenges of Veolia's activities in relation to natural environments and biodiversity.

Progress of the investment plan to convert coal-fired power plants in Europe by 2030 (30%)

►By 2023

Climate change is a major factor in the erosion of bioversity. Veolia is committed to reducing its emissions by 22% of greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1 and scope 2) by 2034, compared to the 2018 operational perimeter. The Group is focusing its action on its three most emitting activities: energy, storage and incineration, with a dedicated action plan to be drawn up by each business unit. In line with its carbon strategy, Veolia is committed to investing massively, an estimated €1.2 billion, to transform its coal-fired activities in Europe by replacing coal by 2030 with other, less emitting energy sources and developing the reuse of local resources.

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).
Discover "Braunschweig, in Germany, a model of energy transition".

Avoid the emission of 15 million tons of GHGs

►By 2023

Veolia also enables its clients to avoid emissions as a result of its activities (by supplying energy from waste heat or biogas from waste or by recovering raw materials mainly from waste or water).

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).

Supply the sites of our energy sector with biomass, with 98% of wood traced and 80% certified

►By 2023

The certification and traceability of the biomass resource meets the dual objective of reducing GHG emissions through the use of a local resource and the preservation of biodiversity in the forests from which the resource is taken. Our objective is also to create local loops of electrical production by achieving a 24% share of biomass in the energy consumption of power plants (19% in 2019).

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).
Discover "Pécs, the Hungarian city that uses straw and wood for its heating network".

Increase the volume of plastics recycled in Veolia's processing plants to 610,000 metric tons (in 2019, 350,000 metric tons)

► By 2023

Plastics account for 80% of waste at sea and on the coast, they cause the death of more than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. The Group's ambition is to structure an industrial sector for recycling and recovery of plastics in order to offer an alternative to virgin materials. Veolia is thus setting up an industrial platform for plastic recycling with a European presence. Veolia is also working in partnership with industrial companies to implement solutions to develop plastic recycling loops.

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).
Discover also: Complete recycling supply chain for plastic bottles.

Reaching €6.3 billion in revenues in the circular economy (in 2019, €5.2 billion)

► By 2023

The development of the circular economy makes it possible to reduce the exploitation of natural resources and the pollution of the water, air and soil environments. To create local loops within the regions, Veolia intends to develop its energy and waste-to-energy recovery, wastewater reuse and methanization activities.

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).
Discover also our solution:  In Durban, industries run on recycled water.

Preserving water resources by improving the efficiency rate of drinking water systems to 75% *

► By 2023

Water withdrawals add pressure on the ecosystems that depend on this resource.. In many cities, 20-50% of the water produced is lost, mainly due to leaks in the distribution networks. Veolia has made improving the efficiency of its drinking water systems one of its priorities. The company continues to modernize its networks and implement leakage reduction programs (leak detection, network sectorization, better metering control, etc.).

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).

Carry out a diagnosis of water resources on 95% of our sites with high water stress *

► By 2023

The Group has developed a water footprint indicator, the Water Impact Index, to conduct a water diagnosis at its sites with high water stress. This diagnosis provides detailed information that enables us to work with our clients and other stakeholders to develop solutions to optimize water management and use in the face of water stress risks. 25 sites were assessed over the period 2015-2019, representing nearly 10% of Veolia's water withdrawals in 2016. Between now and 2023, 14 additional sites will have to be diagnosed.

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).

Research and Development

Build a tool to measure the footprint on "environments and biodiversity" specific to Veolia's activities

► 2020

Since 2019, Veolia has been developing a measurement tool adapted to its activities, which enables the biodiversity footprint to be measured quantitatively and qualitatively at the scale of a site. This tool was designed with the French Committee of the IUCN, the Veolia research center and the Ecosphere research office.

Steering the European project MEDIPLAST on the sources and concentrations of micro-plastics in aquatic environments

► 2022

MEDITPLAST is a European Research and Development project led by Veolia and supported by the Water Agency RMC. It aims to develop a sampling technique for microplastics and to evaluate processes for the retention and reduction of these plastics in water treatment systems. The project will assess the impact of microplastics on living organisms and more particularly on the basis of the food chain (phyto and zooplankton).


Assessing the major risks to biodiversity for 100% of the projects submitted to the Group Commitment Committee (acquisition, investment, etc.).

► 2023

The Group's major projects (defined according to internal criteria) are submitted to a Commitment Committee which carries out a risk analysis. By 2023, this committee will include biodiversity issues (protected natural areas, presence of endangered species, etc.).

Read in the Universal Registration Document (URD) 2019 (Annual Financial Report universel).


Evaluate 75% of the strategic suppliers with the highest environmental impact (Ecovadis)

► 2023

This commitment involves identifying the strategic suppliers with the greatest environmental impact (according to internal criteria), evaluating them through the Ecovadis organization and then supporting the suppliers with the lowest ratings.

Business standards

Develop our "waste landfill" activity standard by including operating recommendations that promote biodiversity

► 2022

The aim is to provide our Business Units with a biodiversity standard that includes minimum recommendations for integrating environmental conservation throughout the life of their sites (construction, operation, post-operational/closure), particularly at landfill sites that have both the highest land impact and the greatest potential for revegetation compared to other activities.

Co-construction with our stakeholders

Involve our external stakeholders in the construction of our biodiversity commitments (Raison d’être: review of objectives by the Comité des Critical friends, IUCN French Committee, etc.)

► Continuous

In a process of continuous improvement, we involve our stakeholders in the design of our biodiversity strategy by:

- Fostering our reflections thanks to working groups (EPE, IUCN, Orée, FRB, WBCSD, etc.) and extra-financial rating agencies (SAM, etc.)

- Asking our stakeholders such as the Critical Friends Committee, the French Committee of the IUCN, and the Steering Committee of the Act4nature International initiative, etc., to challenge our commitments.

- Co-constructing within the framework of our partnership with the French Committee of the IUCN our operational tools: green spaces charter, environmental and biodiversity footprint, ecological management guide, awareness-raising video etc.

* Targets calculated on the basis of the worldwide reporting scope: Waste business (all sites); Water activity (wastewater treatment plants with more than 100,000 population equivalent and drinking water plants with more than 60,000 m3/day); Energy activity (energy production facilities selling more than 100 GWh/year).