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Antoine Frérot at the Women’s Forum 2015: “Less is more” with the circular economy

Accompanied by a delegation of female Veolia employees, Antoine Frérot participated in the Women's Forum Global Meeting 2015 in Deauville from October 14 to 16, on the theme of "Energizing the world!". The Group’s Chairman and CEO spoke about the challenges of the circular economy in a scarcity economy.

In the session entitled "Is "less is more" the solution to addressing vital needs?” Antoine Frérot spoke about the challenges of the circular economy, which turns waste into resources, and which thus allows the economy to grow while taking less from nature. 


Antoine Frérot, Président-directeur général de Veolia

Humankind is living on ecological credit. It is no longer possible to exploit nature ad infinitum. To overcome the gap between declining resources and growing needs we have to liberate ourselves from the linear “Take, Make, Dispose” logic,” said Antoine Frérot. “In the circular economy, the useless becomes useful. Less becomes more: less waste and more resources, less taken from nature, less pollution and more quality of life. Less is more!

Veolia’s Chairman and CEO also spoke about the potential of the circular economy, which could save 1000 billion dollars’ worth of natural resources each year. Furthermore, producing new materials by recycling waste emits far less carbon that extracting virgin raw materials from the environment.

Today, the world is caught in a dilemma between the need to satisfy the growing demand for energy, raw materials and water, and the need to protect the climate. Although the Earth itself accomplishes some of the work of dealing with carbon pollution, it’s up to us to do the rest. We cannot control the climate, but we can decarbonize growth, we can produce differently and we can make the economy circular and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” concluded Antoine Frérot.

Veolia is a major player in this new, more frugal and productive economy. The Group develops innovative solutions for its customers through which, for example, organic waste is turned into fertilizer, used cooking oil becomes biofuel, and waste water is transformed into bioplastics or energy… 

> More about the forum 
> Read Antoine Frérot’s speech on the circular economy on the blog Let's talk about climate!
> More about Veolia and the circular economy

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