Representatives of Veolia, the World Bank, McKinsey, WWF, the Nature Conservancy, industrials companies such as like Shell and Nestlé, and various public entities, exchanged their respective experiences and strategic choices during the afternoon of 31st August. At the centre of their discussions was water and its future use.
They underlined the crucial place of water, transporting material and energy, in the implementation of the circular economy.
For Veolia, who organised the seminar, as well as for the participants, a panel of solutions already exists to deal with growing water stress and meet the challenge of the circular economy from the integrated management of the resource to the recycling of used water. The traditional linear approach for each water silo needs to be broken, not envisaging the management of waste, water and energy separately, but favouring partnerships.
This integrated approach to water-energy waste resources is, according to the group, a key to the success of the circular economy, but it must be combined with a strategy allowing economic and social synergies to be developed. For that, the debate also covered the role of places, and in particular towns, in this paradigm shift. Bringing together all the protagonists – citizens, industries, public infrastructures – the towns have a unique opportunity to guide this effort of coherent integration.
For Veolia, towns and businesses must rethink their methods of production and consumption, by planning for the circular economy on a local level and by guiding the reflexes of citizenship behaviour.