Sustainable to the Core


The following is excerpted from Issue 30 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn how to integrate environmental objectives into corporate citizenship strategy, enroll in Environmental Sustainability 101 at the Accelerated Certificate Summit.

Environmental sustainability is a critical component of corporate citizenship strategy and an increasingly important business priority. Firms that understand this imperative can become leaders in the movement to create a sustainable planet, society, and economy for future generations. Here we look at one company that demonstrates what sound sustainability stewardship looks like in practice.

Veolia North America is in the business of creating sustainable solutions for the water, waste, and energy management of its municipal, commercial, and indus­trial customers. Committed to a mission to “resource the world,” the company helps its clients improve their energy efficiency, management of water and wastewa­ter, and treatment of disposal of waste, as well as their ability to reuse and recycle materials that can become valuable resources.

Veolia North America believes that sustainable solutions must deliver economic value to its customers, who are facing increasingly complex environmental challenges. As the world’s largest environmental solutions company, it is uniquely positioned to help make great strides on this front. The company takes great pride in what it does—providing circular economy solutions for cities and industries that make the world a cleaner and more resilient place. With sustainability at the core of Veolia’s business focus, the company has become a preeminent example of how an organization can effectively weave corporate citizenship practices and philosophies throughout its business practices.

A recognized leader in environmental sustainability, Veolia North America received an A-rating for CDP Climate Change, CDP Supply Chain, and CDP Water. In 2017, the company was added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). The company earned such acknowledgment through its continuous commitment to compliance with all pertinent environmental rules, laws, and regulations. According to its Environmental Policy Statement, Veolia North America takes environmental compliance and preservation so seriously that it is a condition of employment.

To ensure that employees in addition to all stakeholders—including customers, industry associates, sup-pliers, and the general public—are aware of its commitment, Veolia proactively shares its environmental practices, accomplishments, and goals. The company’s 2018 Sustainability Performance Report illustrates the depth to which Veolia North America has impacted those who live and work in the more than 550 communities where it has a presence.

One of Veolia North America’s exemplary solutions is the company’s energy management offering called Hubgrade. These centers serve as monitoring and analytics centers to improve performance and resource management for hundreds of clients across North Amer­ica. Through this comprehensive optimization, Veolia is helping reduce the consumption of precious resources. In 2018 across North America, 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions savings were achieved by optimizing energy services for buildings that used Hubgrade.

This is the equivalent of:

  • Removing nearly 3,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year
  • Avoiding the use of 1,531,000 gallons of gasoline
  • Avoiding the combustion of 14,876,000 pounds of coal

More than 300,000 smart sensors already send data in real time from thousands of sites to more than 20 Hubgrade centers, which are located in countries such as the United States, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, United Arab Emirates and Australia. Reported metrics such as this provide specific insight into how the company achieves its mission by helping clients manage natural resources, reduce avoidable waste, and conserve and restore biodiversity, all while improving the everyday lives of people on a local level.

In addition to being mindful how its work impacts people, Veolia also prioritizes how its operations are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ever transparent, the company ties its revenue to the SDGs, where 36% is associated with responsible consumption and production (SDG 12); 22% with clean water and sanitation (SDG 6); 21% with industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9); 11% with affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); and 10% sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11). These figures illustrate that environmental sustainability is integral to 100% of Veolia North America’s business, and a driving force of its current and future successes.

To learn how to integrate environmental objectives into corporate citizenship strategy, enroll in Environmental Sustainability 101 at the Accelerated Certificate Summit.