When thinking about sustainability we think of a world without waste, a world with clean energy and water, and a world where resources are protected and preserved for generations to come. This is why sustainability is at the core of our business.
Put simply, our strategy – ‘Resourcing the World’ – is to manufacture green products and green energy, and work with our customers to create innovative solutions that allow them to become more resource efficient and protect raw materials.
To achieve this we transformed our business from a water, waste and energy services provider to a resource management company that helps our customers lower carbon emissions and contribute to their own sustainable development.
By helping our customers to become more resource efficient we are also helping them to reduce costs. We therefore need to dispel the myth that for a company to adopt sustainable business practices it is expensive, just done to satisfy a CR agenda, and not cost-effective. In fact, it’s not a choice between sustainability and growth, you can achieve both. For us, 22% of our revenue comes from our circular products and services.
And it’s not just us who can see the enormous opportunities for sustainable business models to generate economic growth. We commissioned Imperial College London to examine the business case for the circular economy in the UK and the potential is considerable. By using resources in a closed-loop system there is the potential to contribute £29 billion (or 1.8%) to UK GDP and create 175,000 jobs. Moreover, on the global stage the World Economic Forum has forecast the circular economy will contribute $1 trillion per annum globally by 2025.
From recycling paint to decommissioning oil rigs and extracting precious metals from street sweepings, innovation and creative thinking are the lifeblood of our business and the key to ‘closing the loop’ for our customers. This is the true circular economy.
Inventing new ways of bringing green products, clean energy and water to our customers requires thinking outside the box. This is why Veolia invests over £50 million a year worldwide in researching and developing some of the world’s most efficient resource infrastructure technologies.
So not only is sustainability central to our business, it’s helping our customers improve how they do business and it’s why we see sustainability as the best way to sustain profitability in the long-term.