OECD Forum: Veolia promotes the circular economy and campaigns to reduce methane emissions

This year the OECD Forum, which was held in Paris from 31 May to 1 June put the emphasis on measures to enhance productivity and promote inclusive and sustainable growth. Veolia partnered the event and participated in the debates with two presentations: one on the circular economy and one on reducing methane emissions.



> Laurent Auguste, Senior Executive Vice President, Innovation and Markets, Veolia, was involved in the "Circular Economy" session :

By improving resource efficiency and extending product life cycles, the circular economy does more with less. To make an effective transition to a circular economy, Veolia promotes the development of new business models. By recycling materials and products, the Group makes it possible to reuse natural resources : for example, it produces biogas from waste and sludge from wastewater treatment plants; it recycles materials into secondary raw materials that can then be used in other production processes.


During his presentation, Laurent Auguste stressed that:
"Veolia offers solutions to cities and industry that add value to resources locally, maximizing productivity and promoting responsible use. A sustainable alternative to the consumption and linear production approach, the circular economy breaks down traditional silos. It provides an opportunity to create new material cycles. For example in  Rostock, Veolia recycles one billion plastic bottles and gives them a new life. The circular economy is also an opportunity to break down the silos between players. For example, in Urumqi in China, the waste water of over one million people is recycled and used to make fertilizer for farmers and the biogas provides a local power source. These innovative approaches are based on co-construction and creating shared value with the different players in the territories."



> Gary Crawford, Veolia’s Vice President International Affairs Public Affairs Department, was involved in the  « Talk Together : The Future of Methane »

Assessed over a century, methane's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is 16%. But over 20 years, it reaches nearly 40% - nearly ¾ of that of CO2. As methane is also easier and cheaper to capture and add value to than CO2, developing solutions to limit methane emissions would therefore produce quick results in the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over a relatively short time scale.

Gary Crawford explained in his presentation:

"Veolia is developing solutions for capturing and converting methane from waste into electricity or heat, in partnership with municipalities and industry. For example, in France on the Artois Compost, site, near Arras, Veolia is turning waste into biogas and compost through the anaerobic digestion of organic matter; in China, the Group recovers and uses the methane generated by the Laogang landfill to generate electricity.” 

More : 

The OECD Forum 

Veolia’s expertise in the circular economy for industry

> Find circular economy topics on the Veolia blog "Let's talk climate ," including "Curbing climate change requires systemic change" by Laurent Auguste  

> Find methane related topics on the Veolia blog "Let's talk climate", including "Reducing methane emissions for a short-term impact" by Gary Crawford

> The Veolia Institute  film of the conference "Reducing methane: science and innovative solutions" (9 November 2015)

> Follow Veolia on LivingCircular, a place for exchanges dedicated to the circular economy 

> Read the Planet issue on the circular economy (June 2014)