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Veolia’s purpose is to contribute towards human progress

The business of the future, the one concerned with longevity and sustainability, requires a serious commitment towards people AND the planet and not just financial gains in order to stay relevant.

Veolia’s purpose is to contribute towards human progress which is illustrated in our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. Recent changes at Veolia Southern Africa have meant that our primary focus on water treatment has now shifted to include waste and energy solutions across Sub-Saharan Africa. Achieving 13 out of the 17 goals, to a lesser or greater extent, depending on the context, has already been well established through the various water treatment solutions that we offer. This includes water reuse, wastewater recycling, water scarcity solutions and zero liquid discharge to name but a few.

“The alignment with a greater Veolia vision, as well as a deeper commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, means that the Southern Africa region is leading a sustainable business journey not only aimed at making a profit, but also improving the planet.”

Stanley Steenkamp , CEO Veolia Southern Africa.

Through our holistic approach, Veolia’s water treatment solutions assist municipalities or industrial users, to manage the complete water cycle whilst at the same time ensuring adherence to environmental regulations.

Our solutions are custom-designed for each client and their particular requirements, which enable a total water management solution that is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Accompanying these efficient solutions is Veolia’s extensive expertise in terms of operations and maintenance allowing for optimization of the plants.

Backed by more than 350 proprietary technologies, Veolia assists to optimise the complete water cycle, increasing access to water and wastewater services, whilst improving environmental performance. The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the need for technology and the role it plays in ensuring business continuity. Our HUBGRADE™ digital monitoring and optimisation tool helps operators monitor, manage and optimise their treatment processes. Standard in our Water Techno Packages (modular & containerised units); it aggregates and enriches plant data through a variety of applications and algorithms. Securely stored in the cloud, HUBGRADE™ is accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device through a single private and secure portal.

Veolia’s technologies are designed to not only keep up with the rapidly changing industrial landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa, but to ensure improved access to water and wastewater treatment services on the continent. This is done not only through offering aforementioned water treatment solutions but combining them with offerings that will also combat pollution and speed up ecological transformation in local communities.

We aim to be the total water, waste and energy solutions company, offering solutions to municipal and industrial clients, guiding our clients along their green journey and optimizing their businesses.

How is this done? As with most water cycles, there are certain waste products that are generated. Our commitment to the circular economy ensures that we don’t waste resources through waste products that are valorised and either turned into energy, reused in agriculture or it is even to generate heat for biological processes.

The days of simply being an engineering company or contractor have passed, it is a collective responsibility of all those involved in industry to be committed to businesses that are useful, useful in terms of all stakeholders and not simply financial performance.

Convinced about the role and usefulness of businesses in meeting society’s expectations, under the impetus of the Veolia Chairman and CEO, Antoine Frérot stated “a business is prosperous because it is useful and not the other way around.”

Veolia’s Impact 2023 strategic vision underlines this through four initiatives:

1. A multi-faceted performance – through our alignment with the UN SDGs and a combined focus on social, environmental, commercial, financial and societal performance because one cannot succeed without the other

2. Specialist expertise to bring about environmental transition – this will include developing activities that prevent and clean up toxic pollution, control the use of key resources and combat the climate imbalance, as well as adapt solutions to deal with climate change

3. Reinvent core business activities to enhance impact and performance – this will mean enriching our water and wastewater services that will ultimately improve access to clean water for communities to transform the collection of non-hazardous industrial waste through introduction of digital technologies and finally modernize and diversify the energy grid business through the use of green energy, deploying new services for electricity grids and developing mini-heating or cooling networks.

It is through this multifaceted approach, that Veolia will succeed in not only putting pen to paper in terms of a strategic vision but it will allow us to incorporate this into every facet of water, waste and energy.

Our commitment in terms of social performance can already be seen in two specific projects. The first is the Baobab, a third place co-created by the MakerSpace Foundation and Veolia with the support of its Foundation in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Inspired by the REcyclerie – a Parisian place dedicated to circular economy, Baobab, with its slogan “Upcycling the future” is structured around several programmes: Innovative Waste Design with the recycling studio “Plasticpreneur” to train in plastic recycling techniques and design new products; My Lil’Pumpkin to introduce children in schools to the principles of sustainability through concrete activities (workshops, animations and crafts); and Zero Waste, an awareness program around the 5Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair), waste prevention and ecodesign.

This project represents an opportunity to create a networking space around the green economy, bringing together citizens, young and old, NGOs, SMCTS, start-ups, local government and big business to build a more sustainable future.

The Baobab project has been designed from a perspective of inclusion, collaboration and equity. From the general public to the business world, all stakeholders are invited to participate in the process to make integrated societal development possible. Aligned with Veolia’s Impact 2023, Baobab aims to launch plastic recycling workshops, contribute to the empowerment of 30 entrepreneurs in the local community, train 300 women and unemployed youth in recycling technologies, convert 30, 000kg of waste into useful products and reach over 30,000 visitors and participants within the programmes by 2023. Another exciting initiative in the Veolia Southern Africa family is the unique 15-year concession at Overstrand Municipality in the Western Cape. Veolia’s contribution at Overstrand is the complete oversight and management of the water and treatment plants which services a community of over 90, 000 residents. A hugely successful private-public partnership, Veolia believes this to be the way of the future – successful collaboration for greater social and economic development. This project not only aims to ensure consistent delivery of water and sanitation, but the empowerment of local skilled and unskilled labourers in the area has contributed significantly to the social performance of this area. This type of partnership is useful because it allows municipalities to plan ahead in terms of future costs. Furthermore, Veolia’s onsite expertise in operations and maintenance has delivered full and uninterrupted services despite Covid-19 restrictions thanks to technological innovations and highly trained dedicated staff.

We are proud to deliver initiatives that not only offer value to our clients, but demonstrate our commitment to having a positive impact on the planet and greater society.

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