Veolia - Creating social value

The Experian Building Stronger Communities Award, in recognition of Sir John Peace, Shortlisted, 2015, Reaccredited 2016.

Veolia worked with Southwark Council to address unemployment, enhance green spaces and increase environmental awareness, which has reduced costs and improved brand awareness.

Social impacts

  • Supported local employment with 50 new local jobs created when Veolia’s site opened in 2011, with 26% of employees coming from the local area.
  • Improved community spaces including parks, playgrounds and gardens.
  • Increased environmental awareness to support recycling and reduce fly-tipping.

Business impacts

  • Reduced recruitment costs, saving £3,000 for every person hired directly.
  • Increased brand awareness for Veolia, which increased from 79% in 2013 to 84% in 2014.
  • Created a competitive advantage for potential and current customers through its ability to measure social value.

Veolia logoVeolia worked with Southwark Council to address these three social issues using a range of approaches.

Its Back2Business programme focused on local employment for hard to reach communities, while small grants and employee volunteering helped improved open spaces, such as children’s playgrounds.

The company addressed fly-tipping and low awareness of recycling by holding open days and tours at its interactive Recycling Discovery Centre, attended by more than 2,000 people. Its Reuse and Recycling Centre, where residents can drop off unwanted items, saved the council money on landfill tax payments, reduced fly-tipping and increased sales from recyclables.

Veolia has used Social Return on Investment (SROI) mapping to put a financial value on its impact in local communities. This will help the company bid for new contracts, for which it increasingly has to demonstrate social impact.

What Veolia's CEO said:

“Sustainable organisations will be the ones that succeed in the future, by recognising and responding to challenges and proactively adapting their business. Here at Veolia we have gone through transformational change to address the challenges of the future, adapting our business model in order to add social value to the communities where we live, work and operate.” - Estelle Brachlianoff, CEO, Veolia

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