Veolia recovers 31% more waste in the form of materials or energy in 2020

Since the beginning of the health crisis, Veolia has implemented service continuity plans to guarantee essential services, prioritising the health and safety of its employees and customers. The company has increased both the amount of wastewater treated and the tonnage of waste, such as plastic bottles, it recycles. Thanks to its capacity to adapt rapidly to situations of crisis, Veolia has reduced the CO2 emissions associated with its energy activity in Spain by 105,440 tonnes.

Following a challenging year for both society and the working community, in which resilience has been the key to combating the spread of COVID-19 and prioritising the protection of workers and their families, Veolia – a world leader in optimised resource management – has reported results from its three activities: energy, water and waste. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the company has taken action to ensure the continuity of services essential to public health and the well-being of citizens, as well as quality standards.

Thanks to its capacity to adapt rapidly to situations of crisis, Veolia has reduced the CO2 emissions associated with its energy activity in Spain by 105,440 tonnes. The company has also consolidated its commitment to energy, water and waste solutions, and has achieved significantly higher figures than those of 2019 in both drinking water production and wastewater treatment, whilst also increasing its recycling rates for waste such as plastic bottles. These figures reveal, once again, Veolia’s firm commitment to contributing to human progress and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Energy management

Veolia designs flexible and innovative solutions to guarantee energy supply, improve the well-being of users and care for the planet, whilst reducing the consumption of resources and greenhouse gas emissions. In Spain alone, the company currently manages 10,229 heat and power generating facilities (a 5.87% increase on the previous year) that produce a combined total of 1,415,119 MWh of electricity and thermal energy. The interruption to activities this year made it necessary to partially or totally close many facilities, and to manage the consequent decrease in activity in shopping centres, universities, office buildings, hotels, sports centres, etc. The total reduction of 105,400 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions was slightly lower than the figure for 2019.

Water treatment

The company specialises in the treatment and monitoring of water quality at all stages of the urban water cycle, from collection of water in the natural environment to its return to the environment. Veolia innovates each and every day to reduce the use of water at source and to promote recycling and reuse. In 2020, the company provided access to 30.37 million m3 of drinking water (up almost 3% on the previous year) and treated 57.41 and 27.34 million m3 of urban and industrial wastewater respectively, an 11% increase on the previous year.

In addition, Veolia is constantly working on general circular economy solutions. The wastewater and sludge from the wastewater treatment plants it manages enables the company to produce biogas, an eco-friendly energy source that reduces the energy bill and the carbon footprint of these plants. In this way, waste is converted into resources capable of producing clean energy.

Waste management

Veolia’s expertise covers all stages of waste management: urban hygiene solutions, collection and transport, landfill operation and biogas recovery, selective collection and sorting of recyclable materials, and the management of hazardous and healthcare waste. In 2020, the company treated around 310,000 tonnes of waste in Spain. A total of 247,000 tonnes of waste was recovered in the form of materials or energy, around 60,000 tonnes more than in 2019. Through its activity in this area, Veolia generated 102,235 MW/h of electricity and thermal energy. Moreover, plastic waste recycling capacity was increased in 2020, enabling 40,683 tonnes of plastic bottles to be recycled.