Veolia’s changed business model is reducing dependency on natural resources for itself and its customers, creating new revenue streams and opening up new markets.
Veolia saw limited natural resources as a key future challenge. Focusing on this challenge, it recognised that it needed to reimagine waste as a commodity, and transform its business model to centre on sustainable services.
“ Here at Veolia we’ve innovated in order to become a re-manufacturer, an energy supplier, an architect of the ‘green economy’ and a trusted guardian of the natural environment. ”
It has embraced the circular economy, developing services and products which preserve resources and keep them in circulation as long as possible. Some of the bespoke, closed-loop solutions offered by Veolia to its customers include turning their food waste into fuel, garden waste into compost and waste and wastewater into energy.
Veolia’s approach of seeing waste as a resource allows it to create innovative solutions that save resources, energy and money – for example, by recycling wastewater back into a manufacturing process, it reduced one client’s water footprint by 75%.
The company also established an Innovation Forum, which encourages employees from anywhere within Veolia to suggest their innovative ideas for the business. By the end of 2016, seven projects with their origin in Innovation Forum ideas will have been developed for market, generating a combined revenue of over £1m.
Veolia has generated £158.5m in revenue from selling materials derived from waste through circular solutions. Revenue from services that reduce customers’ environmental impacts comes to £344m, while more than £50m has been returned to the company from selling energy and fuel recovered from waste.
The water, waste and energy services Veolia offers have enabled the company to reduce environmental impacts of itself and its customers to the point where it saves more carbon than it emits, as well as reducing dependency on natural resources.
Non-financial business benefits include increased brand awareness – up to 84% of people in 2014 from 79% the previous year – and the opening up of new markets.
More about Veolia