How We Address Climate Impacts
The impacts of climate change touch every aspect of our lives, affecting our communities and the resilience of our services and business.
As the leader in environmental services for water, waste and energy, we deliver practical, scalable solutions. Whether it’s addressing present challenges like water scarcity, keeping waste out of landfills and tracking energy usage, or tackling future concerns, our work prioritizes minimizing these impacts.
Our mission is to help our customers address their environmental and sustainability challenges in energy, water and waste, and apply best practices within our company. Here are some ways we are doing this.
Deploying Digital Energy Management
We utilize state-of-the-art digital solutions through Hubgrade to monitor and improve the energy usage and efficiency of resources within our own facilities, identify ways to reduce our own carbon footprint and quantify our emissions. We are currently under contract to provide greenhouse gas emissions tracking for 18 of our largest CO2 emitting facilities, along with services to our customers to collect effective data on existing practices to develop a roadmap that includes:
- Deploying existing technologies to improve efficiency
- Quantifying and setting baselines and targets
- Moving to lower carbon power generation
- Investing in renewable and alternative energies
- Adopting climate mitigation strategies
- Addressing hard to decarbonize sectors
Producing Renewable and Low Carbon Energy
Across Veolia we are upgrading facilities to use alternative energy, even in hard-to-abate applications. For example, in Gum Springs, Arkansas, we are improving our hazardous waste treatment center that when complete will produce as much power as it uses on an annual basis. Included in these improvements are the installation of a five megawatt (MW) single-axis tracking solar energy system as well as reforesting around the property to sequester carbon emissions, providing protection for local habitat and preventing erosion.
The success behind ecological transformation goes beyond adaptation and finds ways to lessen or reverse human impacts on the environment. At many of our sites, we work to reverse the impacts of climate change on biodiversity through targeted projects that improve the habitats of plants and animals that share these spaces.
Bringing Value to Our Customers
Over the past few years, firms of every size are making public commitments by pledging to achieve ambitious goals for reducing their impact on the environment, whether by cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions or other measures such as keeping their waste streams from being landfilled or adopting technologies to recycle water. As the only environmental services company with decades of experience managing sustainable energy, waste and water operations, we work directly with customers to achieve these triple net zero goals.
For Industry and Business
Starting with operational efficiency and reduced energy use, our digital energy management tools help you make better energy decisions, track progress and provide predictive analytics to unlock hidden opportunities, while our smart building solutions show you real-time data on how much energy you’re using, where it is being used and indications of whether and how you could suffer a system failure. With this data, you can make better decisions that support your operational needs while moving in a more sustainable direction.
When attention is turned to waste, our approach is to extract as much value from resources as possible, keeping materials out of landfills and avoiding future consumption and production. Through our total waste management program, we can avoid future greenhouse gas emissions and keep materials in circulation longer. For example, Veolia works with non-hazardous end of life materials, like wind turbine blades and non-recyclable mixed plastics, and develops solutions that allow the products to be used as new materials or fuels. Similarly, Veolia works with companies to recycle solvents by offering on-site and off-site services that cleans and converts these materials for reuse.
Water also can and should be recycled. In industry, water plays an integral role in virtually every process from thermal power generation, to chemical processing, to electronics and semiconductor manufacturing and much more. At times, these facilities are challenged to maintain adequate water supplies through periods of scarcity, but then are unable to capture and store enough water when it returns through intense weather and storms. There is massive opportunity for conservation in industrial processes by optimizing water cycle management, reducing loss and increasing industrial water reuse while also improving climate resilient operations.
For Cities and Governments
State and local authorities are responsible for extensive portfolios of public facilities that consume large amounts of energy, water and waste. They also provide a key opportunity to make meaningful progress on mitigating climate change, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and transforming the way we manage our natural resources.
Water and sanitation activities are central to an ecological transformation to move to lower carbon lifestyles, and at Veolia we provide clean water, treat wastewater and manage biosolids for nearly 27 million people in communities all over North America. Our work keeps pollution out of the environment, protects public health, supports economic development, encourages water reuse and increases resilience.
Natural disasters are becoming stronger and more frequent, bringing with them detrimental impacts to public services. As part of our comprehensive management of water and wastewater plants, Veolia examines the degree of vulnerability and creates recommendations for municipalities to upgrade their water and wastewater facilities to resist future extreme events, as well as develop microgrids, which help reduce energy demand and improve operational resilience to support the economic growth of municipal, commercial and industrial clients.
Cities like Boston provide essential energy services to residents. By partnering with Veolia, Boston is able to identify actionable energy conservation measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
For Communities and Society
Our values of transparency, sustainability and social responsibility guide every interaction we have with our neighbors, partners and collaborators as we aim to create a future where each member of the society feels valued, enhanced, supported and understood. By engaging directly with leaders, volunteering with local organizations and maintaining a regular presence, we can provide services that pair people with environmental action. We want our work to have a ripple effect, so that every engagement we have contributes to a stronger social network and a healthier environment.
Veolia prioritizes robust democratizing access to technical education and giving people the opportunity to learn and grow in their careers, including training, certifications, mentor programs, recruiting and more. Our goal is to support our employees and assure they remain up to date on the latest technologies to provide essential public services to their communities.
Impact for the Future
Veolia recognizes that achieving climate neutrality will require investment in infrastructure, resilience planning and technology across systems. We are piloting innovative ways to enable, for example, the energy transition, in the renewable energy and electrification space to improve the circular economics of hard to recycle materials.
In the water landscape our solutions include technological innovations like smart water management, circular economy practices, and industry-specific strategies. Government regulations, community engagement, and global collaboration will play crucial roles in addressing water challenges and ensuring a sustainable water future.