Planet - Issue 3 October 2013

October 2013
Pla et#03
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2 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
Pla et
z This third issue of Planet unveils an array of
Trout, the guardians of our rivers z
Sustainia: sustainable solutions from around
the world z God save the Thames London
Water z Central Africa combats cholera z
Pioneering Borås aims for zero fossil fuels z
Osilub, the new waste oil recycling plant, is a
response to the 2008 EU directive z SK Hynix
lowers consumption of ultrapure water used in
memory module manufacture z
An integrated waste management facility for
the London borough of Southwark z
Portfolio Stéphane Lavoué captures the men
amid the dunes z Portrait Catherine Barbaroux,
the citizen z
Growing Blue or how the Internet is playing a
role in water resource management z
The environment in China through the eyes
of Professor Yu Gang z Open innovation to
Warsaw’s Heat-Tech Center z
new solutions provided by Veolia, ranging from
managing water resources efficiently in South
Korea and eliminating fossil fuels in Sweden
to achieving record recycling in the UK and
reusing engine oil in France.
In Seoul, SK hynix is recycling an
increasing amount of ultrapure water to clean
its DRAM memory modules, which are widely
used around the globe. The pioneering city of
Boras is well on the way to achieving its goal
of freedom from fossil fuels, an area in which
the Swedish city has come to set the standard,
drawing on over a century of endeavor. In
the London borough of Southwark, the local
council has embraced a radical new approach
to household waste management by adopting
an in-depth, socially responsible solution. In Le
Havre, the Osilub plant set up in partnership
with Total has achieved a record recycling yield
of 75% for waste engine oil in Europe.
Providing solutions also means
discussing and sharing ideas to unearth new
approaches. The website
invites us to assess our impact on water
resources and think carefully about our
future. The knowledge-sharing campaign
underway in China with Tsinghua University’s
School of Environment encourages a better
balance between growth and respect for the
The new Veolia continues to take shape
across the world with each passing day. z
The Planet Team
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
z Climate vulnerability data
now online. The first online
database of 184 countries
vulnerable to the effects of
climate change is available
via an online interactive
portal, providing a wealth of
information for researchers,
academics and decisionmakers around the world. z
sustainable solutions from
around the world
Sustainia 100 is collection of innovative ideas compiled
each year by the Danish organization Sustainia. It was
launched following the 2009 United Nations Climate
Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen. Sustainia
aims to provide an optimistic and engaging guide to
sustainable solutions implemented around the world.
Of the 100 shortlisted ideas—which include the model
introduced by the city of Borås in Sweden (see page 14)—
10 focus on cities. The city of Copenhagen is working
to build a “climate-resilient” eco-neighborhood, while
Henning Larsen Architects and Partners have developed
a new design method to optimize the use of natural light
in buildings and neighborhoods. The city of Gothenburg
uses the naturally cold water from the Göta älv river for
its district cooling system. The Dutch project Tvilight
uses smart controls to adjust street lighting and electricity
consumption and analyze traffic data. In the heart of
London, the new King's Cross development is achieving
sustainability while protecting cultural heritage. In Los
Angeles, the social platform facilitates
borrowing and lending between neighbors. Montería
Green City 2019 is a pioneering urban initiative in Latin
America that seeks to adapt the city to climate change
and improve urban growth. z
people—one third of the
world's population—will still
be without access to modern
sanitation in 2015.
Source: OMS/Unicef
z TIA, a regional
approach to innovation.
In France, the Innovation
Agency has called on the
services of companies
able to provide original
regional solutions. In
partnership with Veolia
Research and Innovation, it
brings together companies
specializing in advanced
digital technologies, such
as Orange. Two calls for
proposals to build smart
grids are underway. z
z No fewer than 113 associations comprising master's students from French Grandes
Ecoles and international universities took
part in the competition to win the fifth
Student Solidarity Prize. The prize aims to
encourage initiative and involvement by
rewarding innovative community-oriented
approaches to sustainable development. The prize was created by the Veolia
Environnement Foundation and Campus
Veolia. Winners receive a total grant of
€15,000 (shared between all winners) and
technical support in the form of expertise provided by Veolia employees. This year's first
prize goes to French nonprofit La Cravate
Solidaire (Ecole des dirigeants et créateurs
d'entreprises—EDC). The organization supplies apparel for the professional world to
job seekers, back-to-work candidates and
penniless students in preparation for their
first job interviews. The second prize goes
to "INSA Toulouse humanitarian center"
(Institut national des sciences appliquées
de Toulouse), which is installing washbasins
in the health centers of remote villages in
Senegal and assisting with renovations. The
third prize goes to Inde Espoir, a group of
French and British schools working to build
a boarding school in India to provide an
education for young girls from tribal areas.
The "jury's favorite" award this year goes to
L'Ombre et la Plume (EDHEC) for its campaign to combat post-prison exclusion. z
©Veolia photo library-Christophe Majani
The La Cravate Solidaire team took home
the 2013 Student Solidarity Prize.
z Breweries
for the Clean
©Søren Malmose/Sustainia
Water Act. You can’t make
4 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
quality beer without quality
water. In April, a group of
US brewers joined forces
with environmental pressure
group Natural Resources
Defense Council to defend the
Clean Water Act. This federal
law, which has governed
water pollution since 1972, is
essential to the preservation
of water resources. z
z The world’s fourth largest seed company
is pursuing its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative with the introduction
of a biomass boiler that burns corncobs,
a fuel with a much higher calorific value
than wood chips. The pilot project, a first in
Europe, was set up at one of the company's
French production sites. The operator,
Dalkia, brought Veolia R&D teams on board
to overcome the challenge of fine-tuning
the combustion of this new energy source,
in part to measure its environmental
impact. Mission accomplished. The site’s
carbon footprint has been reduced by over
2,600 metric tons and possible applications
for the residual ash are being considered. z
©Rudy Sulgan/Corbis
BRATISLAVA DEVELOPMENTS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVER z Petržalka, on the right bank of the Danube, is the largest residential district in
Central Europe; on the other side of the river and the freeway that runs alongside it is the historic Bratislava city center. In the 1970s, the number of
residents of Petržalka rose from 14,000 to 60,000, and it was supposed to be the most modern city in Slovakia. But the outcome of the project was a highrise development with 40,000 apartments housing 150,000 people. Following redevelopment in the 2000s, it is now a lively neighborhood of Bratislava
with an active sustainable development policy. The authorities have just signed an energy-performance contract (EPC) pertaining to the district’s
schools. Dalkia, which has been supplying Petržalka’s heat and hot water since 2000, was originally awarded the contract in 2003 and it has now been
renewed for 20 years. The project has led to energy savings of over 25%, with zero impact on the public budget. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
UNDER WATER z The torrential rains that
z Gold Medal for
Muhammad Yunus.
the guardians of our rivers
Because of their hypersensitivity to the presence of
pollutants, trout are regarded as indicators of water
quality and are used in drinking water plants, in
aquariums called “trout-o-meters.” The slightest change
in their behavior warns of a potential problem and, if
necessary, output from the plant can be temporarily shut
down. In rivers, changes in water quality are measured
by the number of species and specimens identified.
For this reason, Veolia has partnered with fishing
clubs and organizations to launch river restocking
programs in several Central European countries.
In the Czech Republic, some 4,000 fish are released
every year — preferably large specimens of varying
ages which are more likely to survive and reproduce.
In return, the fishermen agree to observe the “catch
and release” rule. They also monitor fish growth and
watch out for evidence of poaching. After three years of
experimentation, the results exceed the targets and new
release sites are under consideration elsewhere in the
country, as well as in Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. z
6 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
©Nawsher Ali Khan
fell in May and June over large parts of
Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech
Republic and Switzerland caused the
worst flooding in 500 years. The cost in
devastated crops, closed factories and
damaged infrastructure is estimated at
several billion euros. In the Prague area,
where Veolia is present, the operator’s
response was swift and effective, mainly
due to the level of anti-flood protection
put in place after the violent storms
of 2002. Activated even before the
announcement of a state of emergency
by local relief committees, it enabled
Prague's main wastewater treatment
plant to be shut down in time to prevent
permanent damage to facilities. This
made it possible to ensure an uninterrupted, trouble-free supply of drinking
water to all towns in the region. z
The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
laureate and founder of the
Grameen Bank received
the US Congressional
Gold Medal in April in
recognition of his efforts to
combat world poverty. With
this he joins a select group
of just seven people who
have been awarded both
the Nobel Peace Prize and
the Presidential Medal of
Freedom. Veolia has been at
his side since 2008, seeking
sustainable solutions to
provide disadvantaged
people with access to safe
drinking water, and is one of
the first companies to have
supported his work. z
z Harvey Rosen Award for
bromates. This is only
the second time since its
inception in 1989 that the
Harvey M. Rosen Memorial
Award has been presented
to a French team. This
prestigious award, given
every two years by the
editorial board of the
journal Ozone: Science and
Engineering, recognizes
research on ozone. In this
case, it highlights the
important contribution
of the paper published
by Peter Mandel and his
team to understanding the
mechanisms of bromate
formation. Bromates are
inorganic substances
formed by the oxidation of
bromide in fresh water. Now
a researcher at the Veolia
Research Center in MaisonsLaffitte, France, Peter
Mandel received the Willy
Masschelein Prize in 2011. z
€55.8 bn
The revenue that the smart grid* market is
expected to generate by 2020, double that
of 2012. The two biggest markets will be
North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
* Electricity networks that can efficiently
integrate the behavior and actions of all users
connected to them, in order to ensure an economically efficient, sustainable power system.
Source: Navigant, a US consultancy.
a town in Massachusetts of some 9,300
inhabitants, embarked on a major
upgrade of its water and wastewater
system nearly 20 years ago. In 1989,
the municipal authority formed a
public-private partnership with Veolia
to manage the water and wastewater
system. More than 20 years later, water
leakage has been reduced by 30%
and wastewater treatment capacity
increased by 50%. Several US Centers
for Prevention and Disease Control
have recognized the quality of water
fluoridation in the town. More recently,
the Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection honored
the partnership between Sturbridge
and Veolia with an award for their
commitment to the environment. z
©Veolia photo library-Alexis Duclos
CANADA TAKE BACK THE LIGHT z Some 30 million fluorescent lamps are discarded by industry, business and institutions in Ontario every year.
A significant proportion of these lamps end up in the country's landfills. In addition to their metal and glass components, they contain mercury and
phosphorus, both of which are extremely harmful to the environment. In a bid to deal with this waste more effectively, the Ontario Ministry of the
Environment launched the "Take Back the Light" program in 2008, led by the Recycling Council of Ontario. This has led to a simple, cost-effective means
of providing comprehensive treatment for these end-of-life products, backed by stringent traceability. Since its inception, the program has successfully
recycled five million lamps, preventing around 182 kg of mercury, 27 kg of phosphorus, 1.75 metric tons of glass and 22 kg of metal from entering the
environment. The Recycling Council of Ontario recently contracted Veolia North America to handle all recycling operations. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
z Acquiring water accounts
for 22% of the daily work
of the average woman in
rural India – a grueling task
God save the Thames
London water
Much of London’s pipe system dates from the Victorian
era and requires constant repair. The sewer system in
particular, hit by the floods affecting the capital, has a
hard time coping. Water companies continue to invest,
spending more than £100 billion (€117 billion) on the
country's water facilities over the past 25 years. Thames
Water, the country’s main operator with 32,000 km of
pipes serving 14 million people in London and the south
of England, is set to spend £10 billion on infrastructure
renewal between 2010 and 2020. The British water
systems, the majority of which were privatized in 1989,
are owned by some 20 private companies, a situation
unique in Europe. Subjected to a demanding regulator,
Ofwat, they call on outside expertise from companies
such as Veolia, thus putting the emphasis more on
the added value of each partner than on profitability.
Formed in May, the alliance partners bid for a place on
this unique contract based not on price or cost – but on
their combined ability to bring the right people with
the right thinking, together, resulting in a top table of
Veolia, IBM, Costain, Balfour Beatty, MWH, Skanska
and Atkins, sitting alongside Thames Water. Veolia will
be responsible for the design and construction of water
mains, sewers and water treatment facilities in London
and the Thames Valley. It will also provide its expertise
in transforming sludge from the wastewater treatment
plants into phosphates and energy, as well as in leakage
management. This is a crucial issue in England, where
water shortages in 2012 led to usage restrictions in the
Southeast. z
pilot projects for smart neighborhoods are
now up and running to improve the lives of citizens around
the world. The French city of Nice, for instance, has installed
200 sensors on street lights, in garbage cans and in the
pavement to collect useful data in real time.
8 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
which involves physically
drawing water from a river,
public well or other source
and then carrying it home
in containers. A hundred
women demonstrated
with their “collection
equipment” in front of the
local government offices
in Tiruchirappalli (Tamil
Nadu) in southern India, to
encourage the authorities
to install piped drinking
water systems in their area.
In the neighboring state of
Karnataka, Veolia is getting
ready to provide water 24/7
to the citizens of Ilkal and
Bijapur as well as to students
on the Bangalore campus
of the Indian Institute of
Science. z
less energy is
used to make a bottle from
recycled plastic as opposed
to non-recycled material.
STANDARDS z Paper manufacturers
use vast amounts of water, mainly to
extract cellulose from wood fiber, and
are gradually introducing schemes to
manage process water and wastewater
at their sites. This is the case of Celulose
Riograndense, a subsidiary of the Chilean
international market leader, CMPC, which
is located in the state of Rio Grande do
Sul. The Brazilian company has called
on Veolia to build three raw water and
wastewater treatment units, using the
most advanced technologies: the MBBR
aerobic biological treatment process and
the Actiflo water clarification system. z
DIAGNOSTICS z Veolia has signed a
partnership with bioMérieux, the global
leader in microbiological diagnostics,
aimed at monitoring drinking water
quality in order to protect consumer
health. This collaborative project aims
to develop a new device for detecting
microorganisms in the natural
environment and pipe systems, and
ultimately assess the microbiological
quality of drinking water throughout the
production chain from source to tap. z
z In the United Arab Emirates,
Abu Dhabi Airports
Company (ADAC) has plans
for its four sites: Abu Dhabi
International Airport, Al
Bateen Executive Airport,
Abu Dhabi International
Airport City Check-in
and Al Ain International
Airport. Its objective is to
bring them up the highest
international standards in
order to provide passengers
with a “unique experience.”
ADAC has chosen Dalkia to
manage the energy systems,
technical installations and
security systems at all four
sites. The largest, Abu Dhabi
International Airport, is
already well on the way,
having been voted best
airport in the Middle East in
2012. z
to the steady supply of natural gas—a
factor contributing to rising prices—are
prompting the building sector to develop
local alternative energy sources. This
has the advantage of reducing energy
costs as well as being a more responsible
approach to fossil carbon emissions.
Brick manufacturer Austral Bricks—in a
domestic market estimated at some AUD
$2.8 billion—recently made an innovative
move in this area. In late 2012, Veolia
and Austral Bricks designed a system
to recover methane from household and
industrial waste in the Sydney area. The
gas is used to power kilns situated nearby,
ensuring steady production of bricks
to meet demand. Veolia will supply 3.3
million m3 of methane each year under
the five-year partnership agreement.
The project received a 2013 Australian
Business Award. z
©Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies photo library
SAUDI ARABIA SADARA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT z This is the newest—and largest—desalination plant to rise from the sands of Saudi Arabia. With a
capacity of 178,000 m3/day, beginning in 2015 it will serve a petrochemical complex of global scope—Sadara, built by US chemical giant Dow Chemical
and oil company Saudi Aramco in Jubail. The two partners will produce solvents and adhesives for the automotive and packaging industries. To meet
stringent environmental and water quality standards, the plant is developing seawater treatment technology combining ultrafiltration and reverse
osmosis. The combination of the two methods provides a reliable water supply, minimizes the risk of failure and extends the life of the facilities, while
reducing the site’s energy requirements and costs. Veolia, which designed the plant, has been selected to build and operate it. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
z Cleaner cheese from Bel.
With 27 production sites
around the world (including nine in France) and
products sold in over 120
countries, French cheese
manufacturer Bel, the name
behind the popular Laughing
Cow® brand, is working to
minimize the environmental impact of its activities.
One of its goals was to be
recycling 100% of the waste
generated at five of its
production sites in France by
the end of 2013. The solution,
provided by Veolia, entailed
optimizing recycling/recovery and reducing waste at
source. As a result of these
measures, the plants have
cut the amount of waste
generated by three quarters
in 10 years, even though
production has increased by
10% on average. Today, the
Bel group recycles 80% of its
waste and is aiming for 85%
by the end of 2013. z
Central Africa
combats cholera
Four Central African countries have, since 2008,
been trialing an integrated approach to combating
cholera, combining the development of water, sanitation
and hygiene infrastructure. The Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) is one of the worst affected countries, with
more than 150,000 cases and 4,000 deaths recorded by the
WHO between 2002 and 2008, representing 20% of deaths
from the disease worldwide. Enter the Global Alliance
Against Cholera (GAAC), an international advisory
group supported by the Veolia Foundation. The town of
Kalemie in Katanga province was the first place to try out
the scheme, which involved water pipe rehabilitation,
building storage tanks and doubling the capacity of a
water treatment plant, as well as increasing awareness
of the basic rules of hygiene. Today, as the initial results
show a decline in the number of cholera cases in Kalemie,
the program is being extended to a second town, Uvira.
And to assist in the rehabilitation of the town’s water
infrastructure, GAAC can count on €8.5 million in aid
allocated by the French Development Agency and the
European Union. z
in the
European Union, 90% in
the USA, 91% in Japan, 84%
in Africa, 86% in India and
87% in China… Fossil fuel
still accounts for the vast
majority of the world’s
©Fondation Veolia Environnement
z Burgundy knows how to
save water. 350,000 m3 of
10 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
drinking water was saved
in one year in the French
town of Beaune, population
23,000, thanks to a
combination of Veolia’s timehonored water management
expertise and high-tech
solutions proposed by
M20city and Endetec. This
has resulted in better control
of the amount of water
consumed—through remote
meter reading, for example—
and raising awareness of the
problem of wasting water,
which is often unintentional.
It also makes it easier to
locate leaks and intervene
quickly, with full knowledge
of the facts, across the
system concerned. z
RAINFORESTS z Peru’s efforts to protect
its primary forest against illegal logging
have paid off. Thanks to a satellite-based
deforestation monitoring system—after
Brazil, Peru is the second country to acquire
one—the results published last spring show
a 37% drop in deforestation in the Peruvian
Amazon over the 2010-2011 period, which
peaked at 163,000 hectares/year between
2005 and 2009. z
DECLARATION z Making safety and health
in the workplace a high priority
in every country is the core commitment
of the Seoul Declaration, adopted at
the World Congress on Safety and
Health at Work in June 2008, in which
some 50 high-level government and
corporate representatives from around
the world participated. In 2008, the
Seoul Declaration had only a handful of
signatories; now, there are more than
300. All commit to play an active role in
maintaining a safe and healthy workplace
by implementing a well-defined system
of rights, responsibilities and duties,
in which the principle of prevention is
accorded the highest priority. Building on
its position as one of the first signatories,
in June 30, 2008, Veolia has now ratified
the declaration to cover its full range of
activities. z
z Developing methods to evaluate the
impact of climate change on urban
infrastructure and helping European
cities to better understand and accept the
measures needed to adapt… these are the
goals of the RAMSES – Science for cities in
transition project, the winning tender for
the European research project “Strategies,
costs and impacts of adaptation to climate
change.” Co-funded by the European
Community under the 7th Framework
Programme for Research, RAMSES is led by
a consortium of academic and institutional
partners, including the Potsdam Institute
for Climate Research (PIK), the London
School of Economics and Political Science,
the World Health Organization, the
European Secretariat of the International
Council for Local Environmental
Initiatives (ICLEI) and the Institut Veolia
Environnement. z
©Veolia photo library-Jean-François Pélégry
INTERCOMPANY GAMES IN PRAGUE GAME OVER z The European Company Sport Games are like the Olympics for sport-loving employees.
Their motto: “The office is not the only playing field.” More than 7,000 sports enthusiasts from prestigious companies like IBM, Dassault, Allianz,
Orange and Veolia were present at the 19th edition of this event, which took place June 19–23, 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Games,
established in 1977, give participants the opportunity to meet and compete with employees from other companies outside of work, in a total of 28
sports and games, including football, bowling, badminton, petanque, cycling, golf and chess. This year, 230 Veolia employees from 14 European
countries were selected to represent the company in 19 sports. Veolia, with 146 titles and 205 medalists, finished top, ahead of Commerzbank AG
(Germany) and Polizei Österreich (Austria). z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
October 20
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©Veolia photo library-Christophe Majani.
Borås Energi och Miljö.
z The Swedish town of Borås has been using sustainable energy
models for 50 years and aims to reach its goal of “zero fossil
fuels” by 2025. z Veolia and the oil company Total have heeded the
European Union’s call to recycle waste motor oil rather than to
incinerate it. The two recently opened the Osilub recycling plant,
near Le Havre, France. z In Seoul, the South Korean group SK hynix,
the world’s leading manufacturer of memory modules, is working
hard to trim its outsize consumption of ultrapure water. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
Freedom from fossil fuels
Borås: a pioneering city
z Sweden is responsible for just
0.2% of global greenhouse gas
emissions and has successfully
reduced its CO2 output by 9% over
the past 20 years. While that may
seem like just a drop in the ocean,
the world leader for recycling and
clean energy is now exporting its
sustainable energy models around
the globe. Spotlight on a city
that has come to epitomize this
exemplary approach: Borås. z
Catarina is 43 years old. At the age
of seven she and her family left their
native Stromstad (a region bordering
Norway) and settled in Borås, where
she still lives today and works as a
14 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
nurse. “I love living in Borås,” she
says enthusiastically. “My children
were born here and it was natural
for them to learn to recycle, which is
‘non-negotiable’ around here – to the
degree that the school that they go to
flies a green flag, a powerful symbol
of the importance of sustainable
development.” If she is ever tempted
to joke about the complicated nature
of Borås’ recycling system, she doesn’t
show it. “Of course it demands a
bit of concentration, but it’s not a
problem. There’s nothing simpler
than sorting food waste into black
bags and combustibles into white
bags. For glass and newspapers
other bags are provided.” This ease
of sorting is complemented by the
optimized opening hours of stations
and recycling centers. Catarina comes
across as the perfect representative of
the inhabitants of Borås, completely
committed to the environmental
policies that have been put into place:
“I’m proud that the enthusiasm of a few
individuals in the 1960s was enough to
lay the foundations of our sustainable
Paradigm shift
1959. At a time when consumer society
in Europe was at its peak and oil
supplies plentiful, the Swedish city of
Borås, 60 kilometers from Gothenburg,
chose to gradually wean itself off fossil
fuels. In a tangible demonstration of
growing environmental awareness, the
city set up its own municipally owned
company, Borås Energi och Miljo
AB (BEM). BEM was given a twofold
mission: to make this pioneering
z The conurbation is
home to 104,000 people,
including 64,000 within
the town limits. z
z The district heating network
serves more than 70,000
individuals. z
z The city has reduced its
greenhouse gas emissions by
5,500 metric tons each year. z
©Bruno Clergue for Dalkia
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
dream a reality and to manage public
energy, waste and wastewater services.
In 1980, the city created an association
to pool the ideas and resources of local
officials, academics and businesses.
Town officials are pleased with the
success of the initiative: “Like other
parts of Sweden, we knew that to break
away from non-renewable energy
sources we would have to recycle the
vast amounts of waste being produced
by modern living, both in households
and businesses. In contrast to the
prevailing consumer model of the
time, we began seeing waste not as
a nuisance with no further purpose,
but as a resource that could be part of
a sustainable, circular economy.” This
collaborative partnership for a more
sustainable future was undoubtedly
instrumental in the successful energy
solutions subsequently developed in
Borås, with the end goal of creating
a carbon-neutral city by 2025—an
energy turnaround that would allow
Borås to emit seven times less CO2 in
the space of 50 years.
Continuous improvement has been the
watchword of the Ryaverket site ever since it
entered into service in the mid-1960s. The aim is
to improve the mix of fuels used – wood chips,
refuse-derived fuel and biomass – in order to
increase efficiency and produce cleaner energy. z
A successful alternative energy plan
Flashback to the late fifties. To give
shape to this “sustainable society,” as
the EU would call it many years later,
Borås built a district heating network
linked to the Ryaverket power plant,
built in 1965, which was initially to
be used for oil. In 1995, to remove the
coal, the world’s largest steam dryer for
biofuel was installed. BEM Managing
Director Gunnar Peters (see interview
on p. 19) gives a little background: “At
first, it burned coal, since only a small
proportion of waste was recycled. Then,
thanks to continuous improvements
that made the facility cleaner and
more efficient, it was converted to
biomass and coal in 1984, then to a
combination of refuse-derived fuel zzzz
16 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
©Borås Energi och Miljö
z Two 20-MW refuse-derived fuel boilers z
z Two 65-MW biomass boilers z
z Two 37-MW CHP steam turbines z
z A facility used to derive energy from
wastewater 9 MW z
z 350 km of underground pipes z
z 4,000 substations throughout the city z
z Four hydropower plants
Two 2.6-MW turbines
Two 2.7-MW turbines
Two 2-MW turbines z
©Borås Energi och Miljö
©Veolia photo library-Adam Ihse/Interlinks Image
The “thermos” is a storage tank with a
capacity of 37,000 cubic meters located
nearby the Ryaverket site. It is the largest hot
water storage facility ever built in Europe.
When more heat is being produced than is
needed by the people using the network, the
accumulator stores the energy as hot water.
When consumer demand exceeds production,
the energy accumulated in the tank is fed back
into the network.
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
(RDF) – obtained from waste sorting –
and biomass in 2005. That same year
we built two 20 MW boilers for waste,
began our partnership with Dalkia and
started implementing an alternative
energy plan.” To manage fluctuating
demand on the district heating network
in a sustainable manner, Dalkia uses
RDF in the summer and supplements
this fuel source with animal biomass in
the fall and winter. Fossil fuels may be
used to cope with spikes in demand on
the coldest days of winter. However, as
part of the campaign to smooth out these
peaks and troughs and move towards
the goal of zero fossil fuels, “we have
built an 80-meter tall accumulator tank
with a capacity of 37,000 cubic meters at
the Ryaverket site to store energy as hot
water,” explains Peters. Residents have
dubbed the tank the “Thermos” and it
has become a cherished landmark for
the city. “Lit up with Christmas lights
in the winter, it’s a real source of pride,”
beams one town official.
Another source of satisfaction for
local representatives and a keystone
in the Borås development model is
the willingness of the city’s people
to sort their waste. This attitude is
underpinned by a policy designed
to raise awareness and promote
responsible citizenship (see interview).
Today, of the some 200,000 metric tons
of waste collected each year, only 4%
ends up in a landfill. 30,000 metric tons
of organic waste are turned into biogas
used to power the city’s buses (since
2002), garbage trucks (since 2003)
and taxis (since 2004). “Absolutely
everything that can be recycled
is recycled!” adds Peters. With its
thriving economy and industry (11,500
SMEs and SMIs, and over 5,000 new
companies each year), Borås is proof
that it is possible to reconcile growth
with sustainable energy solutions. z
18 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
©Borås Energi och Miljö
©Veolia photo library-Adam Ihse/Interlinks Image
Dalkia has operated the facilities
since 2006, including the thermal
power plant (and its storage unit),
a facility that derives energy from
wastewater, hydraulic turbines and
the Borås district heating network. z
©Borås Energi och Miljö
Gunnar Peters,
Managing Director of Borås Energi och Miljö (BEM)
z BEM was already using renewable
z Then came the crises of 1973 and
z What do Borås residents think about
energy to meet the town’s needs at the
your work?
end of the 19th century, long before the
In order to overcome our dependence
on oil, we decided to move to biofuels
and developed new biofuel boilers.
We still used some coal to meet our
full requirements, but the two new
20 MW biomass boilers installed at
the Ryaverket site in 2005 constitute
a decisive step forward in the field of
green technology. Today, we only burn
dry biomass in the two bio boilers.
We raise public awareness using
theme-based campaigns, in order to
reach our goal of “zero fossil fuels.” We
specifically target young people, who
are particularly effective at passing on
their good habits on to their parents. As
we have many different cultures within
the local population, we make sure our
information on the environment and
energy is practical and educational.
Finally, we sponsor a science center
and every year we give out awards to
“environmental heroes.”
environmental movement. How did this
come about?
Our first municipal site, Elektra, was
already producing electricity in 1900.
To cope with high demand for this new
convenience, we of course chose to use
a local energy source and built four
hydropower plants. These remarkable
facilities are still in operation today! But
over the course of time the population
grew and we had to open another
production site. In 1948 Sweden
discovered district heating and the
concept of simultaneous electricity and
heat production took shape in the form
of a cogeneration plant. In 1965, the
Ryaverket plant opened using oil. In 1984,
it was converted to biomass and coal. In
1995, coal was removed following the
installation of the world’s largest steam
dryer for biofuel. We are also adding a
new plant for the clean elimination of
household waste on the same site.
z What is your recipe for integrating
household waste into energy
All it takes is a touch of innovation
and a dose of continuous optimization,
coordinated by our local teams, in
close collaboration with specialists
from academic institutions such
as the Swedish National Institute
of Technical Research. We have
also developed partnerships with
international companies like Dalkia.
z You’ve become a global role model!
Every year, we receive 2,500 visitors
from across the world who are keen to
learn more about our experience and
expertise. We are even in the process of
forming a team dedicated to providing
international consulting services! z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
France still exports 40,000
metric tons of waste oil
to Germany, Italy and
Spain each year. It is then
recycled and brought back
to the country as engine
oil, in direct competition
with French lubricant
manufacturers. The new
Osilub plant ensures a
relevant response to EU
rules requiring a focus on
materials recovery and
helps to stem the tide of
«wasteful» exports. z
A new lease on life for motor oil
z Recycling engine oil is a crucial
part of the campaign to offset the
increasing price of petroleum. The
new Osilub plant aims to improve
recycling capability to reduce
costs and promote environmental
stewardship. z
z A message to drivers everywhere:
don’t forget to change your motor oil
before a long trip, or at least once a
year. Although the vehicle’s onboard
computer should let you know when
it’s time to do so, a growing number
of people seem to overlook this vital
piece of routine servicing. This is largely
because oil changes are increasingly
spaced out and are now done after
20 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
every 20,000 km (or even 30,000 km),
compared with intervals of 5,000 km
in the past. Which leaves plenty of
time to forget! Oil changes are also
becoming less frequent as a result of
improvements in oil performance,
which allow vehicles go longer between
changes. What is more, engines are now
more sophisticated and require less oil.
Together, all of these factors have led
to steady decline in the overall amount
of waste motor oil—which must be
treated—in Europe since 2004. Following
the introduction of the European Waste
Framework Directive (2008/98/EC),
Member States must focus on recovering,
recycling and re-using waste oil rather
than resorting to incineration, which is
now discouraged. In the past, these oils—
which are toxic to the environment and
con-sidered as hazardous waste—have
been used as a source of fuel in cement
and lime kilns, or to incinerate other
types of hazardous waste.
81% of oil recycled in the EU Recycling means
recovering waste oil to provide fresh
feedstock for the engine oil production
process. With today’s increasingly
sophisticated recycling technology, four
liters of waste motor oil are enough to
produce three liters of new engine oil
(see inset). This bodes well for the future,
especially given the long-term rise in the
price of hydrocarbons. In 2000, 27% of
waste oil in the EU was recycled. By
2010, that figure had reached 81%,
representing 1,790,000 metric tons out
of a total of 2,210,000 metric tons of
waste oil collected.
In France, recycling overtook incineration in 2011 (52%), rising to 63% in
©Veolia photo library-Christophe Majani
2012. This is in part thanks to the new
Osilub plant, which is now able to treat
an impressive 120,000 metric tons of oil
a year. However, Éric Lecointre, automotive industry waste liaison officer
at the French Environment and Energy
Management Agency (ADEME), points
to another reason: “Cement makers are
also turning away from used oils in favor
of other fuels such as tires and biomass.
Producers are finding it increasingly
difficult to keep up with the rocketing
market price of waste oil, which surged
from an average of €75 per metric ton in
2008 to €111 in 2010 and about €200 in
2012. You could say the market is having
a positive impact on the environment
since it encourages recycling over incineration.” That’s not something that happens every day! z
“ This is the first time
in the global market
that a waste-treatment
specialist has teamed
up with an oil company
to create a recycling
facility for waste
oils on such a scale.”
Opened in 2012, the
brand new Osilub
plant near Gonfreville
in northern France
is understandably a
source of pride for
managing director
Jacques Tricard. Osilub
is a joint subsidiary of
Veolia (65%) and Total
(35%). The two have
invested some €55
million in the plant,
which can treat 120,000
metric tons of oil a year,
representing half of all
waste oil to be recycled
in France. Its close
proximity to the port of
Le Havre puts the plant
in a position to treat
waste oil not just from
France but also from
northwest Europe (UK
and Benelux), a region
that is a major producer
of used oil but is clearly
lacking in recycling
Osilub uses a unique
distillation process
based on approaches
used in the fine
chemicals industry
and developed in
partnership with the
regional innovation
and technology
transfer center (CRITT)
and ADEME. These
solutions have resulted
in an average efficiency
of 75%, compared with
the usual 45%. Just one
liter of waste oil can
provide 0.75 liters of an
intermediate product
known as vacuum gas
oil (VGO), which is
used to make base oil
with more or less the
same quality as that of
the best unrefined oils
on the market. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
Taking a dip in the River
Han, south of Seoul, is a
popular activity among
South Korean families. z
SK hynix
DRAM soaks up ultrapure water
z South Korea’s SK hynix is the lead-
ing DRAM manufacturer worldwide. Together, the company and
Samsung Electronics hold a 70%
market share. The technologies
SK hynix is developing demand
a constant supply of ultrapure
water to clean components that
are extremely sensitive to even the
slightest impurity. Unfortunately,
this process consumes very large
amounts of water. z
It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday
morning in Yeoju, a popular weekend
spot about 40 miles from central
Seoul. On the south bank of the
River Han, young families jostle for
space, pitching small tents for shade,
22 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
assembling bikes and kites and keeping
a watchful eye on the thousands of
toddlers joyfully paddling in the water
features leading down to the river. But
most parents probably don’t give much
thought where all that baby lotion and
sunscreen is going to end up – and most
would be surprised to know that, just a
few miles downstream, the river water
their children splash about in becomes
an essential part of nanotechnology
manufacturing, providing high-tech
ultrapure water for cleaning the
silicon substrates (semi-conductors)
of Dynamic Random Access Memory
(DRAM) chips ultimately destined for
their iPhones, Galaxy smartphones and
laptops. The fact is that semiconductor
manufacture is a thirsty business
indeed, something well appreciated by
corporations lining the river in Korea’s
own Silicon Valley.
Lack of rainfall
Global DRAM market leader SK hynix
provides memory chips to both Apple
and Samsung, a position that puts the
company at the forefront of tackling
the growing issue of water scarcity
in South Korea. “Water is a precious
resource here,” says a young water
engineer from partner company Veolia
Korea, looking over the huge river
water intake tanks at SK hynix’s Icheon
facility (see p. 24), one of the largest
semiconductor plants in the world. The
engineer explains the water challenges
in South Korea: “The average rainfall
per capita in the country is very low,
just an eighth of the world average.
Exacerbating the problem are more
than 1,000 steep mountains along the
Han River which channel rain very
quickly through the watershed and
into the Yellow Sea. This rapid water
©Veolia photo library
z Think the bottled water
on the supermarket shelf
is pure water? Think again
– it is full of minerals, ions
and particles which, while
beneficial or harmless to
the human body, could
easily destroy the delicate
nano-pathways of a silicon
Producing ultrapure
water is not simply a case
of running it through
increasingly fine filters.
The heart of this sensitive
process is a sophisticated
reverse osmosis system,
which uses membrane
technology to remove
particles as small as
0.03μm – to put that in
perspective, that speck you
can see floating in your
mineral water is probably
around 40μm, the smallest
the naked eye can see.
Other processes are also
used at the plant to remove
bacteria, dissolved gas
and magnesium, calcium
and silicon ions which
would interfere with
the electronics of the
silicon chip.
To meet daily demand
from the semiconductor
fabrication plant – which
can reach 100,000 m3
of water – the Incheon
plant runs 24 hours a day.
Sophisticated maintenance
management systems
ensure uninterrupted
supply. “Service
interruption would bring
a huge loss to the client’s
business,” explains
Gustavo Migues, CEO of
Veolia Korea.
The final product is as pure
water as can be created,
outside of burning pure
hydrogen in pure oxygen
(something not practical
on any scale outside of a
laboratory). z
The Incheon site – more like a town than a plant – is
one of three SK hynix sites in South Korea. It is licensed
to withdraw up to 110,000m3 per day from the river,
processing the natural river water into ultrapure water
for advanced silicon processes, general industrial water
for the factories and power plant and clean drinking
water for around 12,500 site personnel. The plant
presently uses around 40% of its regulated river water
allowance, extracting around 15 million m3 in 2011. z
cycle causes frequent flooding in the
region but allows very little buffer
or reservoir in the natural system.
“Drought is very common here.”
The young engineer looks on as the
raw water flows toward the treatment
plant, where it will undergo a 20-step
process to eliminate minerals and
ions. It’s not a question of tradeoffs –
ultrapure water is an essential part of
the silicon chip manufacturing process, and never something to be taken
for granted by SK hynix. The company
has implemented a sustainable development initiative with aggressive
wastewater quality and water conservation targets. “We are seeking to raise
the current 33% water recycling rate
to over 70% by 2015,” says an environmental officer at the company. To do so,
SK hynix will make its use of ultrapure
water more efficient by optimizing
the cleaning time of its semiconductor wafers. It also has plans to improve
wastewater treatment facilities at its
Cheongju plant to supply graywater
for cleaning equipment and toilets.
“By doing this, we will reduce the total
water volume discharged into the Han
River, and reduce the consumption
of water resources,” he says. “And to
achieve these goals, we are counting
on the support of Veolia, our operator
since 2001.” (See inset on p. 25.) z
24 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
z A small amount of
ultrapure water is drawn
from a faucet at the far end
of the production line. A
dangerous solvent… not fit
for drinking… bitter… The
internet is abuzz with rumors
about ultrapure water. A
tasting of this fine vintage
was needed to find out for
once and for all. So what’s
the verdict? Not bad at all!
Tasting notes: an aroma
of H2O on the nose, with a
palate of… H2O. z
©Veolia photo library-Jean-Philippe Mesguen
©Photothèque Veolia
©Veolia photo library
©Veolia photo library-Jean-Philippe Mesguen
z There’s a vast sprawling soccer game going on in the mid-
dle of the square at the SK hynix Icheon plant. It’s impossible to tell who’s winning – in fact, it’s impossible to tell
who’s playing amid the jumble of factory workers, suppliers, engineers, management and office folk all dressed like
software engineers on a Californian campus. Team work
is not evident on the pitch, as a hundred people joyfully
chase the ball, but no one cares: it’s break time, and this is
family. When the whistle blows, these people from different backgrounds, functions and even different companies,
will work together as one. At SK hynix, the operation functions best by everyone knowing their part and playing it
flawlessly. Although its products – ultrapure water, drinking water – are essential to the operations, Veolia Water is
afforded no special status, on or off the pitch.
The EMAP: a winning solution
Originally contracted for 12 years of water services
in 2001, Veolia’s work with SK hynix has grown and
strengthened considerably over time. Within a couple
of years of operation, SK hynix – then simply Hynix –
recognized in Veolia a model outsourcing operation,
and in 2006 extended its contract by five years, prolonging the service period from 2013 to 2018, for a total of 17
years. Contracts at other plants have been renewed, too,
most recently at the Cheongju plant for the expansion of
the ultrapure water facilities there, the eighth contract
signed between Veolia and SK hynix.
Together with Veolia Water and other suppliers,
SK hynix has adopted a modern stakeholder approach to
its sustainability priorities. Internal standards for wastewater treatment, for example, already far exceed legal
requirements, a sustainable vision achieved through
trust and communication between the parties. “Our
Environmental Management Action Plan (EMAP), for example, is a system created by Veolia to set objectives and
priorities for environmental protection. The results are
shared with the client regularly providing substantial
support to the client’s broader vision of sustainability,”
says Veolia Korea CEO Gustavo Migues.
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
26 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
©Veolia photo library-Justin Sutcliffe/Interlinks Image
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
Southwark makes a clean sweep z The borough
of Southwark is a real cultural melting pot within hailing distance of
central London. It is also a place that has revolutionized its approach to
waste management. The local council’s political will has paid dividends.
Southwark is now home to a highly innovative new facility providing
exclusive services to residents. z
ld Kent Road is famous for being
one of the squares on the Monopoly
board: the one right after “GO” in
the London version of the game.
Its reputation is built on a wealth
of history. What began as a simple
track for ancient Britons became part of Watling
Street, a thoroughfare that was turned into a
Roman road in AD43, linking the port of Dover
to Wroxeter, in Shropshire. This grew into a vital
artery for trade between the north and south of
England. Since then, it has continued to be part of
the buzz and activity of Europe’s largest city.
Old Kent Road is just over three kilometers long
and is a stone’s throw from the River Thames and
the skyscrapers of central London. It continues to
write new pages for the history books, such as the
chapter begun recently by Veolia and the borough
of Southwark, which spans 29 square kilometers
and is home to 288,700 people: the opening of a
28 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
new Integrated Waste Management Facility in January 2012
has changed the way local residents think about the waste
they produce.
Political will “We developed a long-term waste strategy in 2003.
We wanted to deal with waste within the borough and deal
with it sustainably,” says London Borough of Southwark
strategic director of environment and leisure Deborah
Collins. Like other London councils, Southwark became
aware of the pressing need to treat waste in situ, with people
increasingly seeking alternatives to landfill solutions (see
“Legislation and regulation”), which involved waste being
collected and sent by truck to landfills in semi-urban and
rural areas on the outskirts of London.
The council’s main incentives to adopt a new strategy
included low recycling rates, high growth in the amount of
waste produced, limited space and increased costs for landfill.
That led to a campaign to make it easier for local residents to
recycle and invest in sorting in a bid to boost recycling rates
and reduce the amount of waste produced. Hence the decision zzzz
Southwark is known for its eclectic mix of local businesses, from the endless
lines of stalls at North Cross Road market, to the vintage shop on Fellbrigg
Road and The Palmerston, a pub in East Dulwith. And for those looking to
take a little break, the Tate Modern park is just a short stroll away. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
to build a new facility to deal with Southwark’s
waste in a way that minimizes the impact on the
environment while revitalizing the local economy
and supporting local communities.
Recycling far and wide Annie Baker is waste and
transport manager for Southwark Council. Prior
to the opening of the facility, she was based at the
council’s Manor Place facility within the borough.
“The council was at the site for 100 years or more,”
she says. “It wasn’t fit for purpose anymore as it was
very small with a railway line running through
it. It was ideal for horses and carts, which it had
been built for, when they stored the waste under
the railway arches before moving it on. But it
wasn’t suitable for recycling. When we moved our
operation to the Integrated Waste Management
Facility, it was a big change for the better.” Indeed,
part of this change has been for Annie to be based
at the Old Kent Road site, alongside colleagues from Veolia. She
ensures the council and its contractor work in partnership on
operational issues such as collection. Veolia is tasked with a
sizable challenge: to improve the recycling rate of Southwark
by making it easier for residents to recycle. “Environment and
recycling are very important to the residents of Southwark,” says
Councillor Barrie Hargrove, the London Borough of Southwark
cabinet member for Transport, Environment and Recycling.
“Fundamentally, residents need to have their waste taken away
and their streets kept clean. The mix of people is very similar
to many other inner London boroughs. We have residents
who originate from all different parts of the world as well as
Londoners who were born and bred here. In addition, Southwark
has the largest number of council-owned housing properties
in London and is the third-largest landlord in the whole of the
country. This makes it difficult to ensure that recycling is easy for
Legislation and regulation
Since 2001, European Union countries
have had to implement the Landfill
Directive. For the UK, this means
reducing the amount of biodegradable
municipal waste landfilled to 35% of
1995 levels by 2020.
First introduced in 1996 by then
Environment Secretary John Gummer,
the Landfill Tax has been the main way
that the UK has sought to reduce use of
landfills and make alternative treatment
sources more financially attractive.
When first introduced, the Landfill Tax
stood at £8 per metric ton. Over time, it
has risen to £72 per metric ton and will
reach £80 in 2014-2015. It is not yet clear
30 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
whether it will continue to rise beyond
that date.
“The Landfill Tax has certainly bitten
over the last few years,” says Veolia UK
legislation manager Ray Parmenter.
“Landfill volumes are now in decline,
companies are mothballing or closing
landfill sites and pushing much more
into recycling and energy-from-waste.
“The tipping point probably came in
2011-2012 when the Landfill Tax reached
£56 per metric ton, as that meant energyfrom-waste gate fees were on a par. As
a result of the Landfill Tax, Landfill
Directive, Waste Framework Directive
and others, we have seen recycling
increase from almost zero in 2001, to over
40% now.”
He also points out that there will be a
review of targets as part of the European
Commission’s work on the Roadmap to
a Resource Efficient Europe. As a result
of this, landfill bans could be enacted
for certain materials, as well as more
measures to increase recycling and
the use of recycled materials in new
products, and improve resource security. z
Weighty words, punchy photos Straightforward language
and imagery are the best tools for explaining waste
collection to such a diverse population. It is believed
that more than 300 different languages are spoken
in London, so simple communications are vital to
get the message across. Like many London boroughs,
Southwark’s population has huge differences in wealth.
This means a wide range of housing stock is linked
together, from large houses, to smaller terraced houses,
to houses converted into apartments. Veolia has worked
with Southwark to introduce a variety of collection
systems to suit the needs of the properties. While the
predominant collection method for street-based houses
is a blue wheeled bin for commingled dry recyclables,
a green wheeled bin for residual waste, and a brown
bin for food and garden waste, other alternatives using
bags and containers are available depending on the
space available to a property. Apartments have either a
single-use bag for recycling and another for waste, or for
some of the larger properties, recycling and waste are
deposited in larger, 1,100-liter communal bins.
Huge strides Since Veolia entered into the contract in
2008, huge strides have been made in managing the
waste in Southwark and introducing a collection
system that suits everyone. “When the new council
was elected in 2010, it put in place a plan to double the
recycling rate to 40% by 2014,” says Deborah Collins.
“This is hugely ambitious, as outer London boroughs,
where there is more space, have recycling levels at
that level. It is much trickier in Southwark. Lots of
boroughs also have a trade off between getting a high
enough recycling rate, and don’t get good enough
quality material for recycling. But the integrated Waste
Management Facility enables us to get the higher
recycling rate, and the quality of material. But the
Integrated Waste Management Facility enables us to
get the higher recycling rate, with quality materials.
We wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have
without the investment enabled by the contract with
Veolia. The investment by Veolia and from Government
has helped everything take shape. With a really longterm contract like this, the only viable option is a
partnership approach, which is what we have with
Veolia. As a result, we are well on the way to achieving
our goals and targets, and are treating Southwark’s waste
within its boundaries.” z
8.2 million z
z Population
of London:
z Population
of Southwark:
z Southwark
total household waste collected
288,700 z
106,121 METRIC TONS z
z Southwark
recycling rate (2011/2012):
z Southwark
waste diverted from landfill
27.43% z
(2011/2012): 79.65% z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
©Justin Grainge
Estelle Brachlianoff, Executive Vice President UK & Northern Europe
In 2008, Veolia secured a comprehensive 25-year contract for all waste
collection, recycling, treatment and disposal in the London borough of
z What makes Southwark a landmark facility
z Doubts have arisen regarding the future of
for Veolia in the UK?
the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). What is
It is best in class in terms of what we can
do. It also provides local jobs and plays an
active role in the community. For example,
we have a locally-staffed education center
dedicated to teaching children how to
z This comprehensive management model
seems to be very well received in the UK.
Comprehensive, integrated infrastructure
management is key; we have a great deal of
expertise and experience with this model
in the UK. Basically, we process 120,000
metric tons of waste and have to choose
from many different options to make
the best possible use of it. We produce
two types of fuel (biogas and refusederived fuel), provide district heating to
the neighborhood, sort waste and make
compost off-site. We achieve an excellent
recycling rate and the facility is capable
of achieving up to 90% landfill diversion.
z What are your plans for investment in the UK?
Veolia is a key stakeholder in the green
economy. We employ more than 14,000
employees in the UK and we intend to
invest around £1 billion here over the next
six years.
32 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
your take?
I believe you’re referring to the new PF2*
model. The transition will not be easy!
The risk/reward ratio of these contracts
is not always well balanced and on
several occasions we have had to pass on
some projects due to excessive risk. And
obtaining planning permission can be a
Luckily, the government shares our
objectives of increasing recycling and
reducing the amount of waste sent to the
z How does Veolia see opportunities in the
municipal marketplace?
I foresee a decline in PFI opportunities
in the next few years. Others will emerge
to take their place, such as direct service
organization contracts**, which are being
There may also be some distressed PFI
contracts, where the PFI contract has been
given to competitors and probably won’t
be seen through. These could come back
to the market at some stage. z
* The PF2, the successor to the PFI, is designed to strike a better
balance between public and private interests.
* In which a local authority has a business unit that operates services.
The huge, ultramodern site
sits off the Old Kent Road
and is barely noticeable,
blending nicely into the
surrounding tower block
apartments, houses,
commercial businesses and
industrial sites.
The site houses three units:
a sorting center, a recycling
center, and a mechanical
biological treatment plant for
organic waste.
The sorting center
contains a materials
recovery facility—one
of the most advanced
in Europe—that uses
optical techniques to
ensure a high-quality
product for recycling.
Residents can take
furniture or other items
that do not fit into the
curbside collection to
the household waste
recycling center.
The mechanical biological treatment
plant—Veolia’s first in the UK—takes
the residual waste materials that have
been collected, sorts them to extract
items that can be recycled, and then
transforms the biodegradable elements
into fuel. This fuel is then delivered
to the South East London Combined
Heat and Power (SELCHP) plant in the
neighboring borough of Lewisham, where
it is used to generate electricity. A
network of pipes is being built that will
provide heat from SELCHP to residential
estates owned by Southwark Council.
The Southwark facility has come a long
way since 2008! z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
Stephane Lavoué
arrived one fine day
at the al wathba 2
site, about 40
kilometers south
of Abu Dhabi,
along a road
shrouded in sand.
the photographer
could barely see five
meters in front of
him. all of a sudden,
he came across a vast
worksite and some 20
cranes reaching up
to the sky. an unreal
landscape, which he
describes as being
like something out
of the movie mad
max. a worksite
worthy of the
34 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
among dunes
36 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
z Around 20 meters below sea level, workers go about their
business at the bottom of a pit sunk into the desert and surfaced
in black concrete, which will be used to hold wastewater from Abu
Dhabi, some 40 kilometers away. Light is scarce. Once the plant is
operational, this will be a no-go area. Everything will be flooded. z
z On the ground, teams
bustle about, barely
ruffled by the whims
of the desert and its
frequent sandstorms. z
38 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
z The tricycle is one of the
most practical ways of carrying
small packages around the site.
The place is like a small city,
complete with its own road
network and signposts to help
people negotiate their way
around the clarifiers. z
z The pipes measure nearly two meters
in diameter. It’s an impressive sight.
This is probably the most visually
striking indication of the size of the
facility and its capacity. z
40 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
Stéphane Lavoué
traveled the length and breadth of North Africa
and the Arabian Peninsula for three years, Leica camera in hand. The photographer’s two visits to the
Al Wathba 2 treatment plant were a memorable experience. z
he man who greeted Stéphane Lavoué on
his arrival at the site revealed not the
slightest patch of skin. And with good
reason. The sandstorm raging around the
emerging plant on that particular day forced workers
to protect their faces by whatever means they could.
Glasses, handkerchiefs and T-shirts all provided a
perfect patchwork for a photographer tasked with
capturing the look and actions of construction
workers at this impressive industrial facility as it
rose from the sand! “I arrived along a road shrouded
in sand. We could see little more than five meters
in front of us. All of a sudden, we came across a vast
worksite and some 20 cranes reaching up to the
sky. It was an unreal landscape, like something out
of the movie Mad Max. A worksite worthy of the
pyramids!” remembers Stéphane.
Work on the Al Wathba 2 construction project—40
km from the capital, Abu Dhabi—began in early
2009 and was well underway by late 2010. For two
days, Stéphane explored the site to watch the work
progressing while talking to people in an attempt
to capture the everyday life of construction workers
in the appropriate light and surroundings. On the
ground, teams bustled about, barely ruffled by the
whims of the desert. It was these same workers who
would serve as Stéphane’s subjects. “The challenge
for the photographer lay in reconciling this human
endeavor with such a vast industrial undertaking.
There was a certain amount of scene-setting that
fit well with my approach as a portraitist,” says
the photographer. Yet the place was immediately
inspiring and provided some unforgettable
experiences. One that springs to mind was a descent
of more than 20 meters “into the core of the plant, to
the bottom of the wastewater tanks, where you feel
disconnected from everything.”
Stéphane returned to the site in 2012 for a day, to pay
tribute to an outstanding achievement in pictures.
“On my first visit, I was completely free to move
around,” says the photographer. “This time, the plant
was finished and access to the facilities was naturally
more restricted.” The wastewater treatment plant had
been operating for about a month. However, it offered
an equally surprising spectacle to visitors.
“All around, the desert had restaked its claim, with
camel breeders already going about their business,”
says Stéphane. “The clarifiers looked like huge
pools amid the dunes, contrasting starkly with the
boundless stretches of sand.”
Here, in the largest of the Emirates, excess is just
another feature of the landscape. Having witnessed
golf courses in the middle of the desert and
permanently irrigated vegetation along the edge of
highways, Stéphane has seen it all first hand: “In this
country, where a liter of water is more precious than a
liter of oil, there is a pressing need for a more rational
approach to resource withdrawal.” This explains the
move to set up major infrastructure able to supply
the equivalent of two or three water cycles.
That is the role of the Al Wathba 2 plant, which
now produces 300,000 cubic meters of water per
day for farming, livestock and the capital’s parks
and gardens. A shining example of Abu Dhabi’s
determination to promote a more moderate approach
to water use. z
z Background • Born in 1976 in Mulhouse, eastern France, Stéphane was raised in Germany and Africa. He took an interest in photography while studying
engineering at Ecole Supérieure du Bois in France. In 1999, he set off for the Amazon to buy wood for a French company. After returning to Paris, in 2001,
he devoted more of his time to photography, shooting portraits for French daily Libération during the 2002 presidential campaign. That was the start of his
career, with orders flooding in from a number of newspapers and magazines in France and further afield. He began working with French industrial companies
such as Veolia Environnement in 2010. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
z Ever since she was a child, Catherine Barbaroux has been driven by the sense of social justice and economic
equity advocated by the French Republic and has long sought to assist even the most modest entrepreneurs.
She continues to promote public-interest initiatives as the head of outreach association Adie. Portrait of an
inspiring woman. z
Catherine Barbaroux
The citizen
ave you done anything useful today?»
Throughout her childhood, Catherine
Barbaroux’s father—a former miner
from Asturias who emigrated to
France during the Spanish Civil War in 1936—would
ask his daughter every evening what she had done to
help other people. Molded by this awareness of the
collective and shaped by a family belief in popular
education and schooling, Ms Barbaroux says it was a
‘series of coincidences’ that led her to pursue a brilliant
and bold career in service of the public interest and equal
employment opportunities. Even on reaching retirement
age, in 2010, it came as no surprise to hear that she had
accepted a voluntary position on the board of directors
of the ‘Association for the Right to Economic Initiative’
(Adie), France’s leading microcredit organization for
people who are unemployed and keen to set up their
own company but cannot obtain a bank loan. «I see
it as a way of giving back to the Republic what I have
received,” she explains. The following year, Maria
Nowak, Adie’s iconic founder, asked Ms Barbaroux to
step into her shoes as president.
42 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
Combating common misconceptions These two
driven, strong-willed women have known each other
since 1999. Back then, Ms Barbaroux, was working for
Martine Aubry at the French Ministry of Employment
and Solidarity when she faced a “somewhat blunt” line
of questioning from Ms Nowak. “[Maria] objected to our
overriding belief that the only means of finding work was
as a salaried employee. She claimed the ability to set up
your own business was still an underrated area of public
policy,” remembers Ms Barbaroux. “What she had to say
was really enlightening: I was from a place where people
put their faith in the welfare state, in social progress and in
the collective drive to transform society. Maria really shook
my beliefs to the core. That is when Adie opened up another
window of opportunity for me.” Still, she could not have
imagined becoming the association’s president 13 years
later: “I had never had anything to do with the banking
industry before!” she confesses. Yet the handover within
the non-profit association was a natural process, with the
two women sharing common values guiding their actions
over three decades. The goal was to “overturn society’s
misconceptions and blinkered beliefs by helping people zzzz
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
excluded from the system to bounce back and to overcome
life’s challenges.” Mission accomplished.
Establishing Adie’s position in today’s world After two
years’ at the helm of Adie, Catherine Barbaroux can be proud
of what she has accomplished, though she would be the last
to rest on her laurels. The strategic plan to double the support
for entrepreneurs by 2015 is paying off. “[Adie] was losing
steam three years ago but has now achieved average annual
growth of 8-10%,” she explains. Through internal restructuring, stronger public-private partnerships (with the Veolia
Environnement Foundation, in particular), new branch openings and closer ties with regional microloan promoters (Pôle
Emploi, social action centers run by individual city halls, and
local initiatives) and major charities (including ATD Quart
Monde and Secours Populaire), “Adie has built a reputation
for reaching out directly to its target customers.” At the same
time, it has cast off its somewhat opaque image as a French
microcredit pioneer in favor of a groundbreaking brand with
real momentum. Adie has effected a successful transformation, backed by a new visual identity, signature (“Microfinance solutions to set up your company”) and ad campaign.
A dual culture Accomplishing these feats in barely
two years demanded every ounce of her serene strength and
experience. Hers is a background still rare in France. Since
1975, she has pursued a career alternating between five-year
periods of responsibilities in the public and private sectors.
Between 1986 and 1993, her foray into the business world at
the human resources department of Prisunic then with the
PPR Group* was a real challenge. “As a woman with leftwing views and a background as a ministerial advisor, with
no experience in the private sector, I had to deal with many
disadvantages in dealing with managers, who had it out for
me.” Still, she rose to every occasion, winning people over,
rallying them to her cause and making things happen.
z 1970: Graduates from Institut
d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po)
in Paris.
z 1975: Joins the French National
Assembly as undersecretary for
the Parti Socialiste-Mouvement
des Radicaux de Gauche
(PS-MRG) parliamentary group.
z 1983: Chief of staff for Michel
Crépeau at the Ministry for Trade,
Crafts and Tourism.
z 1986 and 1993: Director of
human resources for Prisunic,
then head of human resources
44 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
Her background is quite unique for someone with
such responsibilities. It has imbued her with a desire to
“transform society” while providing a keen insight into the
motivation for business performance and the mysteries
of public policy, both key factors in promoting progress.
“I wish this kind of dual culture were more widespread in
France: it encourages us to reassess our position in a way
that is both healthy and beneficial. Society is incredibly
homogeneous; is partitions off skills and synergies.”
Never tempted to set up her own business (“I really thrive
on that collective environment”), she brings “the best of
both worlds” to Adie. She is a self-confessed “Adie addict”
who travels the length and breadth of France and other
European countries to “keep things rolling” and thrives on
the “incredibly revitalizing optimism” of each and every
entrepreneur. Safe to say, she has that same immediate
effect on everyone she meets along the way. z
* Kering as of June 2013
z Adie The Association for the Right to Economic Initiative (ADIE)
was set up in 1989 and was inspired by Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen
Bank in Bangladesh. Adie is a real springboard for social integration
and entrepreneurial opportunities for people who are interested in
creating their own small business but are unable to obtain a bank
loan, especially the unemployed and recipients of welfare benefits.
The association helps people set up their business and provides
support as they continue to grow. Adie has a solid network in France
and further afield, in Belgium, Kosovo and Tunisia. z
z Veolia Foundation assistance for Adie In the past six years, the
Veolia Foundation has helped launch some 20 “Espace Adie” centers
throughout the association’s area of coverage. The Foundation also
recently contributed to the development of a site used to grant
microloans and a microfranchise program to promote solidarity.
Veolia will soon lend its support to Créajeunes, a training and
coaching program for people under the age of 30 who are unable to
gain a foothold in the job market or obtain a standard bank loan. z
and communications for the
Printemps Redoute Group
(later rebranded PPR and Kering
in 2013).
z Late 1999: Appointed general
delegate for Employment and
Vocational Training at the
Ministry of Employment and
Solidarity by Martine Aubry, then
Minister of Employment and
z 2005-July 2010: Joins the
Conseil Régional d’Île-de-France
as executive director of services.
loan recipients, 450 employees
and over 1,300 volunteers, 9,492 ejobs created
and 5,559 jobs secured.
Since 1989
microloans granted
Over 89,000 companies created.
©WANG Xiaoyi, ©Cezary Chojnowski
z is a website designed to raise awareness about
good practices in water management. It offers a trustworthy
database that zeroes in on the socio-economic consequences of
the risk of water scarcity facing our society. z Professor Yu Gang, of
the University of Tsinghua in Beijing, shares his expert opinion on
environmental awareness in China after 30 years of strong economic
growth. z As the latest addition to an excellence network dedicated
to improving energy system efficiency, the Heat-Tech Center in
Warsaw is playing a key part in developing technologies that will
help shape the future. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
©OEM Images
VISIONS GrowingBlue
46 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
z Water
is the subject of a myriad of projections and assessments. For good reason: the resource
is one of the most critical in determining how and for how long the planet will be able to support
sustained population growth. was created to help consumers – local authorities,
industry, and individuals – better understand these challenges and adopt good practices. z
Blue planet
“Will Your City Run Dry?” The seems to beat down on
a dot-covered map of America. Each colored speck
pinpoints areas at risk of water scarcity, including New
York, Washington, large parts of California and – most
worryingly – seven major agricultural regions.
Welcome to the world of Growing Blue, the online
water resources research tool co-created in 2011 by
Veolia alongside some of the world’s foremost NGOs,
academics and environmental professionals. The
website’s animated, colorful interface provides access
to a wealth of water-related facts and figures. Designed
to both raise awareness and serve as a database on water
resources, the site zeroes in on the economic and social
consequences of the impending risk of water scarcity
facing our society.
Ever wonder which of the world’s countries is least
watertight, losing the most amount of water through
leaks or other causes before it reaches the customer?
It’s Kenya, with network losses of 82.9%, compared
with 4.4% in Singapore –one of the most efficient
rates worldwide. Quick, which consumes more water:
producing one pair of blue jeans or manufacturing a
single 300-millimeter semiconductor wafer? It’s the
jeans, which require 2,900 gallons of water, but wafers
aren’t far behind…at 2,000 gallons.
Growing Blue’s influence is, well, growing. The
diversity of its steering committee – which includes
IBM, the UN Global Compact and major NGOs like
The Nature Conservancy – lends credibility to its claim
as an unbiased source for water resource information.
The colorful dot map is part of a recent report on U.S.
water scarcity issued by Growing Blue and Columbia
University, another committee member, which drew
widespread press coverage. A quick tour shows the
website’s clear, scholarly approach to economic issues
related to water.
Surprises in the depths Clicking on the first of the
website’s three major sections, the Growing
BlueTM Tool, reveals an interactive map that
allows visitors to zoom in and drill down to
view the data for 180 individual countries
(or even each U.S. state), each color-coded
according to “water stress” levels.
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
VISIONS GrowingBlue
The findings are sometimes predictable but can also be
counterintuitive. In red-colored (high water stress)
India, a flag signals that 741 million people are exposed
to water scarcity. Clicking on the country, we also find
a population of 935 million without a wastewater
network and 817 million with no source of drinking
water. Staggering numbers but not wholly unexpected.
Panning west, though, another flag warns that 59
million Americans live in areas with high water stress
levels*. Indeed, the Columbia/Veolia report reveals
that drought-induced water shortages threaten major
cities that are home to 40% of Americans as well as the
breadbasket regions that produce almost 40% of the
nation’s corn.
U.S. data shows total renewable freshwater resources
per capita of 7,950.82 m3/year, more than five times
that of India. Yet, with a 0.499 water stress index score,
all is not well from “sea to shining sea.” Let’s try going
deeper by clicking on Water Use. Aha, click on “water
withdrawn for municipal purposes” and all of the states
west of the Mississippi River turn orange. Click on
48 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
Agricultural uses and – yikes! – the Old West turns
dark orange and red. Click on Industrial uses and the
red jumps to the Midwest and the East – indeed, a
drop-down list on the page shows the U.S. ranking #1
in industrial water use with 220 billion m3/day, easily
outdistancing #2 China (128.6 billion) and #3 Russia
(39.6 billion).
Not surprisingly, the U.S. also ranks #1 worldwide in
water footprint per capita, the water used to produce
the goods and services consumed by the population.
An obvious correlation to national economic might?
Hardly. The next three on the list are Greece, Malaysia
and Italy. Clearly, more clicking is needed.
Looking downstream While the Tool
may be the interactive star of Growing
Blue, the site provides a host of other
resources. The 2050 Scenarios section
shows how scarcity could affect both
people and economic growth by 2050 if “business
as usual” water management practices continue.
Ed Pinero*
* Water stress: ratio of water withdrawal to hydrological availability, along with
a variation factor to account for variability of precipitation; a score greater
than .40 indicates a country is subject to water scarcity.
©Veolia photo library-René Tanguy
Pie charts show the projected impact of refusing
to adopt sustainable water resource policies: by
2050, the number of people impacted by water
scarcity will double from 2.4 billion to 4.8 billion.
Approximately half of global grain production
and $63 trillion of total GDP could be at
Implications of Growth focuses on water’s
economic, environmental and societal
impacts, including real-world examples of
the costs, trade-offs and potential solutions,
supported by real-world examples. Case studies
reveal the myriad challenges being faced today
around the world. In China, the contribution of
uneven precipitation to high water stress levels in
the North plain, home to one third of the country’s
population. In Bali, high fresh water consumption
by tourists – 16 times the local population’s daily
per capita use – exacerbates water shortages that
spread diseases such as cholera. But, there are also
more surprises, such as shortages in the water-rich
Great Lakes area in the American Midwest and a
South African initiative to root out high waterconsuming plants – a single eucalyptus tree can
guzzle 40,000 gallons of water a year!
Other site offerings include water footprint tools and
a list of links to a veritable who’s who of additional
water information websites. A new Water
Impact Index (WIIX) Calculator on the site allows
municipalities and businesses to enter their local
data to test ideas about ways to reduce their impact
on local water resources.
Data is a theme that permeates the site, down to
the graph paper background texture of the site’s
pages. All data in its original spreadsheet format is
available for download as a PDF.
The News and Education section features Growing
Blue press releases, blog posts and Twitter tweets
as well as business-oriented pieces such as an
interview with Xylem Inc. CEO Gretchen McClain
and “Watching Water – A Guide to Evaluating
Corporate Risks in a Thirsty World,” published by
JP Morgan Global Equity Research. z
Head of Sustainability and Public Affairs,
Veolia North America
z Where does Growing Blue fit
z What links do you have with
into the water equation?
Judging from our increase
in membership, people are
coming to realize the importance of the relationship
between water and economic
growth, in a very big way. In
industry, water is reaching
and sometimes surpassing
energy and climate change
as a critical business and
financial risk. Leaders at
the 2012 World Economic
Forum in Davos identified
water-related risks as the top
major global risk, when both
potential impact and likelihood of occurrence are taken
into account. Growing Blue is
helping increase awareness of
the urgent need for change by
serving as a water issues information platform and resource
for decision-makers, sponsoring exchanges like our recent
seminar in Washington, D.C.,
and highlighting new data
such as the Columbia study
on US water risk.
We’re seeing a lot of interest
from other universities,
including 50 of the world’s top
schools, to whom we presented
in May at Veolia’s University
Club in Lyon, France. Our
open-source approach means
our information can also be
adapted as a teaching resource
for students.
z How do you see Growing Blue
evolving in coming years?
It’s important that we continue
to expand its content, such
as we did in adding the blog
and the water footprint tools.
However, we have to keep
our focus on the economic
aspects of water resources,
which is what makes Growing Blue unique. We also need
to continue to broaden our
platform for dialogue, to be a
medium for convening stakeholders around the specific
issue of water and serve as a
catalyst for action.
*Ed Pinero, Head of Sustainability and Public Affairs, Veolia Environnement North America,
has worked on sustainability, environmental and energy issues in the private and public sectors
throughout his career, including in the White House and the Pennsylvania state government.
He holds bachelors and masters degrees in geology.
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
VISIONS GrowingBlue
The underlying issues
Click on the Growing Blue Tool map to find out more about water stress in regions around the world.
2 Zooming in on the United States highlights a crucial challenge for the country stemming from the link
between economic growth and the ability to manage resource scarcity, especially in California.
3 Users curious to find out what the future may hold can explore a few scenarios for 2050.
More than one billion people around
the world do not have access to safe
drinking water. 60% of global water
resources are split between just
10 countries. There is now a pressing
need to secure long-term water supplies.
Regions in red on the map are already
facing a water crisis.
Areas in orange and yellow are on
the brink...
Water in 2050
Growing Blue reveals three
possible scenarios based
on actions undertaken in
countries around the world
“Grey”: very few initiatives taken to promote
sustainability. “BAU”: business as usual.
“Blue”: major efforts undertaken through
joint initiatives with a focus on low,
medium and high growth.
50 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
The extent of the predicted
water shortages, shown in
red, is lower under the “Blue”
scenario (map 2 – major efforts
undertaken) than under the
“Grey” one (map 1 – very few
initiatives taken)...
“Grey” scenario
High growth
Moderate stress
Withdrawal has no
significant impact on
the environment.
High stress
Demand cannot be met
without transporting
Medium stress
Stress occurs during
times of drought.
Water shortage
Demand outstrips supply,
resulting in a significant
impact on the environment.
California Dreamin’
The drier the region, the more day-today demand from users puts a strain on
water supply. As a result, domestic water
deliveries vary wildly from one state to
another, ranging from around 51 gallons
per person per day in Maine to nearly
190 gallons in Nevada.
In the U.S., the Growing BlueTM Tool’s zoomin feature allows visitors to view state and
regional patterns. Even a cursory glance shows
that proximity to water alone is not enough to
protect the resource from stress. While Alaska
and Hawaii glow a healthy low-stress green
(.024 and .012, respectively), the state with the
2nd longest coastline, California, is in the red zone
and ranks #1 in the country on the water stress
index, at 0.974. The state’s high municipal and
agricultural consumption are the major culprits,
while 691 water bodies are listed as “impaired”
and 941,301 people in the state were affected by
drinking water quality violations in 2009.
But wait, all is not gloomy. Tucked away in a corner of the California state map, an icon opens to
a description of “Water Reuse in Orange County,”
a wastewater reclamation system that returns
purified water to the groundwater basin, where it
becomes part of the public drinking water supply.
A link to the Groundwater Replenishment System
(GWRS) home page pops open a counter with
an impressive-looking 112,164,531,200 gallons
of “New Water You Can Count On” – oops, a half
hour later and another 1.3 million gallons* have
flowed forth! Loads of additional information on
the site is also available in English, Spanish,
Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese. z
Agriculture is heavily dependent on water. However,
the absence of a reliable water supply can take a
real financial toll and penalize the economy.
For example, in Washington alone, the 2001
drought was estimated to have cost between
$270 million and $400 million in production
damages, along with the loss of between 4,600 and
7,500 jobs.
In the eastern United States, the Rust Belt – including
New England, major cities on the eastern seaboard
and the Great Lakes region, along with the steel
industry and coal mines of the Appalachian
Mountains – is the heartland of heavy industry,
textile production, assembly lines and rail transport.
The west of the country is home to a new generation of industry
that generally requires less water, including regions such as Silicon
Valley, with high-tech companies and light industry offering significant added value. (Source:
*GWRS uses a three-step advanced treatment process
consisting of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide. Daily production
capacity: 70 million gallons of water.
...highlighting the urgent
need to implement sufficient
“Smart blue” scenario
Medium growth
©Mariette Guigal
Find out more at
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
Professor Yu Gang
After 30 years of strong economic growth, environmental awareness
is now the order of the day in China. Professor Yu, Gang, Dean of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University
in Beijing and Director of the Joint Research Center for Advanced Environmental Technology between Tsinghua
University and Veolia Environnement, believes the time has come to seek solutions best able to promote sustainable
development. Veolia Environnement’s agreement with the university should help make this goal a reality. z
The environmental clock is ticking
z Is double-digit growth still compat-
ible with environmental conservation?
The greatest challenges facing
China are air pollution, dirty water,
contaminated soil, ecosystem
destruction and loss of biodiversity.
Over the past three decades, we have
focused on economic growth. Today,
everybody knows that neglecting
the environment was a huge mistake. With GDP growth expected
to average around 7% in the years
ahead, it is time to pursue a more
sustainable form of development,
which could unlock real opportunities for the environmental industry
in areas such as new cleantech,
waste management and environmental management.
z This must be a pressing concern,
given that the World Bank has estimated air pollution to be responsible
for some 750,000 premature deaths in
China each year.
I am not familiar with that report,
52 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
but if the figures are correct, they
are alarming. On a positive note,
environmental awareness is growing on every level, from central
government to the people on the
ground. We now need to step things
up a gear to promote production
methods that protect resources and
respect the living environment and
well-being of our fellow citizens.
z To what extent has the demand for
greater transparency forced the government to take action?
The involvement of the Chinese
people is a key factor in protecting the environment. We need to
establish a legal framework that lets
people actively contribute to public
debate through different methods
of input and oversight. There is also
an urgent need to adopt an effective,
transparent approach to providing information on environmental
issues. In terms of a legal framework for environmental protec-
tion, Chinese legislation is not yet
as developed as that of its Western
counterparts. For instance, the
National People’s Congress (NPC)
only recently began drafting the
first law aimed at controlling soil
z What are the three most pressing
steps to be taken in terms of pollution?
Our immediate focus should be to
strengthen and enforce legislation to
prevent illegal emissions and close
the dirtiest factories. Clean technologies, effective waste management
and energy efficiency cannot deliver
their full potential without the
backing of a clear legal framework
and efficient public policy. The next
priority is to renovate our infrastructure through technological innovations designed to reduce emissions.
Lastly, we must improve the quality
of fuel used in China to reduce emissions from motor vehicles; current
standards are too low.
Tsinghua School
of Environment
Founded in 1928, Tsinghua University’s School of
Environment (SOE) has worked tirelessly at the
forefront of the campaign to raise environmental
awareness in China. Its three departments and
12 divisions cover a wide array of fields such
as treating water and wastewater, controlling
air pollution, managing waste, microbiology,
and sustainable energy management. In 2012,
SOE had 80 teaching staff, 90 postdoctoral
students, 260 researchers and 347 other students.
©SHI Jiaodng
Partners up
with Veolia
z Reports suggest that 90% of ground-
water is contaminated in urban areas...
According to an official report
issued by the Environment Ministry
in 2012, samples from 4,390 inspection points in 200 cities show that
57% of groundwater is unfit for
human consumption. In the North
China Plain, where groundwater
pollution is a serious problem,
a recent report from the Chinese
Academy of Geological Sciences
revealed that just 20% of shallow
groundwater resources are fit for
z And what about attempts to reduce
greenhouse gases?
China is aiming to reduce energy
use per unit of GDP by 16% between
2010 and 2015 while cutting emissions of CO2 by 8% and emissions of
major pollutants by 10%. Doing so
will of course require an effort
on the part of the industries
responsible for pollution. At the
same time, we need to cut back
on coal and increase use of natural
gas, while working to develop
other energy sources such
as nuclear, wind, hydro, solar
and biomass by 2015.
z Where do things stand in terms of
environmental innovation?
There is naturally a real need for
innovative technology, management, engineering and planning
across the board, representing a
wealth of opportunity for the environmental industry. In this respect,
we have a lot to learn from the policies put in place by European countries. Hence the importance of the
partnership between our university
and Veolia Environnement. z
Professor Yu Gang is candid: «We aim to improve
our expertise through partnerships with foreign
companies like Veolia Environnement to help
protect the environment in China.” Since it was
introduced in 2004, Veolia’s partnership with
the university has led to a specialist program
providing training in the management of urban
services to promote sustainable development and
protect the environment. This “Environment and
Urban Management Advanced Program” (EUMAP)
is an ambitious initiative aimed at helping Chinese
managers take a cross-functional approach while
factoring environmental considerations into the
decision-making process. Between 2009 and 2013,
EUMAP provided support for 260 senior managers
working for local, regional and national authorities,
along with research bodies, media and NGOs. In
June 2013, EUMAP introduced a new course for 23
trainees from all over China.
Building upon the success of the Environment and
Urban Management Advanced Program (EUMAP), in
2010 Tsinghua University and Veolia Environnement
founded the Joint Research Center for Advanced
Environmental Technology. This excellence center
focuses on the setting-up and the realization of
research projects dedicated to Chinese needs, the
coordination of an expertise network in Asia dedicated to environmental engineering as well the organization and coordination of international congresses
and workshops. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
54 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
©Cezary Chojnowski
Companies are enhancing their R&D
efficiency. The “open innovation” paradigm
has paved the way for new labs, shared
data and joint research, offering a breath
of fresh air for firms seeking solutions
that can let them focus on bringing their
products and services to market. Open
innovation embraces a more collaborative
approach, backed by a network of partners
inside and outside the company, including
universities, public organizations, SMEs and
start-ups. Action is the modus operandi;
synergy and cooperation the guiding
Open innovation is also the watchword of
the five global tech centers set up by Veolia
Environnement and dedicated to enhancing
the efficiency of energy systems for both
municipal and industrial customers. In
2012, the Heat-Tech Center (HTC) joined
the Dalkia fold following the acquisition
of a Polish company managing heating
networks in Warsaw—another addition to
this “network of excellence.” Working hand
in hand with Veolia Environnement research
and innovation teams and researchers at
Warsaw University of Technology, the HTC
focuses on developing one of the largest
heating networks in Europe and plays a
key part in promoting best practices and
selecting the best technology.
The center is working on two new projects
in 2013: “Reliable District Heating” aims to
boost the reliability of the district heating
network, while “Smart Substations (3ST)”
seeks to further everyday smart network
solutions. In short, the HTC is helping Veolia
to “cultivate relations between scientists
and operational personnel,” explains Damien
Ménard, deputy director of the center and
representative of Veolia Environnement
research and innovation in Warsaw. z
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
The springboard for
a societal shift?
z Already
well underway across Europe, the energy transition is
encouraging the adoption of new and renewable energies at a
regional level, though not without creating localized conflicts. The
successful projects demonstrate how the model of cooperative
investment can be a convincing factor in accepting change, by
reconciling individual profit with collective interest.
the number of energy cooperatives in
Europe, according to, the
Federation of groups and cooperatives of
citizens for renewable energy in Europe.
70 TO 80%
of the 6,000 wind turbines
in Denmark are owned by
zzzz zzzz zzzz
“The best way of persuading local
people to accept wind farms is to ensure
they have some share of the potential
benefits,” The Economist points out.
Although 82% of UK residents say
they are in favor of renewable energy,
only 50% say they would accept the
presence of a wind farm in the vicinity
of their own home. However, that
figure rises to 68% if the project belongs
to their community! Community
energy schemes have an increasingly
important role to play in the social
acceptance of renewable energy by
acting as a springboard for involvement
and dialogue.
Getting their fair share
Local green energy projects are
particularly attractive—they offer
ethical investment, a healthy return
on investment, and job creation—and
even more so considering that the
“cooperative movement” encourages
decentralization of the sector. The
participative model has real advantages
to propose to those who subscribe to
the “Not in my backyard” (NIMBY)
philosophy, i.e. those who are primarily
concerned with preserving the quality
of their environment, even if it is to
the detriment of the common good. It
ensures that everyone gets his or her fair
share in the process of economic, social
and environmental compromise.
Three “co-ops” a week
Such initiatives are proliferating,
thanks in part to the European
directive on renewable energy and the
liberalization of the electricity market.
In Germany the passage of a renewable
energy law made it possible for small
investors to finance more than half
the investments in this sector—up to
three new cooperatives are formed each
week. In the UK, the Guardian estimates
that 7,000 individual investors have
poured more than £16 million into
community energy projects since 1997.
The Spanish energy cooperative Som
Energia offers its members both the
possibility of 100% renewable energy
and projects with an annual return of
3 to 5%. Meanwhile in France, Énergie
Partagée invests in local renewable
energy projects with its own capital and
acquires equity stakes in solar energy,
biomass and microhydraulic companies
z, October 30, 2012; November 5, 2012 z, April 24, 2013 z “Energy transition,
the German energiewende,” Heinrich Böll Foundation, November 2012 z, May 25, 2013 z, March 12, 2013 z, March 13, 2013 z
56 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
According to the Welsh environment
minister, the 4 MW produced by the
Mynydd y Gwrhyd wind farm will enable
the region to avoid 9,000 metric tons of
CO2 emissions each year. The site will
provide green energy to 2,000 homes
and generate revenue that will be used
to help families in need.
For a minimum outlay of €500, German
citizens will be able to invest in the
construction of power lines. The federal
environment minister believes that
the plan will facilitate the acceptance
of infrastructure required to make
progress toward the country’s target of
100% renewable energy, sourced largely
from wind farms in the North Sea.
The Energy Bill needs to be amended
in order to protect community
energy schemes, argues an article
on the Guardian website. The UK
bill has been drafted to benefit large
energy producers, at the expense of
community energy projects, which
face insurmountable technical and
administrative demands as soon as they
pass the modest threshold of 5 MW.
Comparing notes
z Last May, the temperature rose a notch in the hallowed quads of Oxford
University. The reason? The funding of a geology laboratory by an oil
company. At a time when the reality of climate change is widely accepted,
new tensions are arising in the academic world, as the subject remains a
delicate one and must be approached with caution.
zzzz zzzz zzzz
Everyone is talking about climate
change, but how is it taught in the
classroom? The poor relation of earth
and life sciences, climatology suffers
from a lack of recognition by teachers,
according to
So much so that in France, the
teaching of global warming is not
a subject in itself but is divided
between different subject areas, the
French newspaper continues. In
English-speaking countries, where
climate skeptics have a high profile,
the subject remains “politically and
ideologically controversial,” says an
expert from the US National Center
for Science Education. In Britain, the
education ministry proposed ending
the teaching of climate change for
students under 14, before backing
down in the face of an outcry by
scientists and various organizations.
In America, the Heartland Institute,
a right-wing think tank skeptical of
climate change, claims that evidence
of the human responsibility for global
warming is “unproven.” Nonetheless,
new federal education guidelines
insist that states no longer treat the
subject as taboo or optional, but
consider it as a multidisciplinary area
that extends well beyond the confines
of the classroom. Teachers in countries
where the environmental lobby is
strong, like Germany, can at times
be overzealous. In certain schools,
according to a moderate climate
skeptic, environmental consciousness
is taught using “junk science” and
alarmist discourse… with financial aid
from a world leader in the production
of lighting and low-energy light
bulbs. Environmental education
takes on a whole other dimension in
Asia: on a continent where climate
imbalance has a direct impact on
people and resources, awareness of
climate change is incorporated into
disaster management. UNESCO has
plans to implement major education
programs and is prepared to innovate
in order to find new approaches. The
South Korean giant Samsung recently
invested $1 million to develop and
broadcast multimedia educational
materials about climate change for
Vietnamese teachers.
z, October 4, 2012; May 10, 2013 z, February 15, 2012 z, February 21,
2012 z, October 4, 2012 z, March 18, 2013 z, March 21, 2011 z, January
19, 2013 z “Promoting partnership through Environmental Education,” Naomi Inoue, 2012 z, November
1, 2010 z “journaldelenvironnement,” March 8, 2013, z, March 30, 2013
of Americans recognize the role of human
activity in global warming, compared with
93% of Indonesians and 87% of Germans,
according to a 2012 Ipsos survey for Axa.
students in 54 countries follow the
Eco-Schools syllabus, developed by
the Foundation for Environmental
Education, an international NGO.
After Fukushima, the Japanese government amended the national law on
environmental education to improve the
resources available to teachers. This does
not however prevent animated advertisements promoting the limited impact of
nuclear energy on CO2 emissions from
being broadcast outside the school gates.
Dealing with the issue of global warming
in a state whose economy depends on
the extraction of coal demands great
diplomatic skills, says a teacher from
West Virginia. “It’s a sensitive subject,
given that many students have parents
who work in the sector,” she explains.
“We have to encourage them to weigh
the risks and the benefits of the industry
and to work out for themselves the best
compromise between ecology and the
economy, while remaining within a
scientific context.”
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
z Future Cities Dubai
z October 8–10 z
Future Cities shines a
spotlight on the latest
solutions for addressing
the major challenges of
urbanization: security, water
and waste management,
tourism and hospitality, green
building, transportation,
energy management and
disaster relief.
z 11 Annual Cities Alive
Conference (United States)
z October 23-26 z
The Cities Alive conference
centers on the concept of
urban resiliency through
an examination of urban
housing and architecture. The
event seeks to identify how
we can capitalize on current
know-how in order to mount
a response to pressing social,
environmental and economic
z 11th EURO-INBO 2013
international conference
z November 13 - 16 z
Organized by the
international network of basin
organizations for the current
and future implementation
of the European Union’s
framework directive on water,
this conference forms part
of efforts to prepare second
management plans, including
a review of the monitoring
networks and programs. In
addition to the five scheduled
roundtables, a workshop
devoted to monitoring
programs is also on the
agenda, aimed at comparing
and sharing monitoring
practices and experiences in
the various member states
and basins (EU member
and candidate countries, as
well as all of Eastern Europe,
the Balkans, the Caucasus,
Central Asia and the
Mediterranean basin).
z Urban Environmental
Pollution 2013 Asian Edition
z November 17–20 z
The mass rural exodus in
Asia is leading to regional
imbalances that have
unhealthy consequences for
inhabitants. This conference
will address the full array of
health and environmental
concerns caused by this
phenomenon, as reflected in
its theme, “Creating Healthy,
Liveable Cities.”
z Behavior, Energy and
Climate Change (BECC)
Conference 2013 (United
z November 18–20 z
The BECC Conference is the
premier event focused on
understanding behavior and
decision-making with respect
to energy usage, reducing
greenhouse gas emissions,
responding to climate change
and creating sustainability.
Each year, some 700
participants come together
to share new research,
discuss innovative policies,
define program strategies,
build networks and identify
potential partners.
z Pollutec Horizons Show
z December 3 - 6 z
The show for cleantech and
sustainable development
continues to spotlight
sustainable cities and
manufacturing, with a special
focus this year on a new topic:
hospitals and sustainability.
The event includes more
than 300 conferences held in
various theme areas, 30 Web
TV broadcasts, and eight
awards that will be presented
to innovative cleantech
companies. Two high-level
business forums have also
been planned: LeCleantech
and the Green Business
This new forum for energy
efficiency presents the
full range of innovative
technology for energy
production and savings
in a host of areas,
including manufacturing,
transportation, government,
cities, services and housing.
z October 9–11
Economist Laurie T.
Johnson will present a
detailed financial formula for
58 zzzz Planet #03 z October 2013 z
calculating the social cost of
carbon more effectively, so
that the investment required
for cleaner, innovative
technology can be more
accurately assessed.
z November 5
“Securing Tomorrow’s Energy
Today”: This year, the World Energy
Congress invites government
ministers, industrial sector CEOs,
analysts and researchers to examine
the challenges posed by the “energy
trilemma”: energy security, social
equity and reduced environmental
z October 13–17 (Daegu, South Korea)
At this year’s forum, where efforts
to drive change will be at the heart
of the discussion, a special day-long
event featuring Jeremy Rifkin will
focus on “Transitioning the NordPas-de-Calais Region into the Third
Industrial Revolution.”
z October 23–25 (Lille, France)
Organized around the theme “How
is technological modernization
accelerating change in the electricity
industry?”, the forum aims to
provide an overview of technological
progress in smart grids and assess
their impact on the growth of related
z November 26–28 (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
This major conference marks a
transitional phase following the
fifteenth Conference of the Parties
(COP 15) in Copenhagen. Using
Cancun, Durban and Doha as its
starting point, the event will prepare
for climate negotiations, with the
aim of arriving at an initial binding
agreement to be signed by all
Framework Convention signatories at
COP 21 in Paris, scheduled for 2015.
The Warsaw program is expected
to mobilize green funds on behalf of
developing countries and establish an
international mechanism for losses
and damages.
z November 11 - 22
In bookstores
Learning: acting for the future
by louis albert de broglie
A stunning collection of educational charts from
the Deyrolle archives.
Online check it out at
Diversity and equal
Veolia employees share their experiences in this new
video exploring the company’s commitments and model
for employee relations throughout the world.
z 2013 October z Planet #03 zzzz
Pla et
(38, avenue Kléber – 75116 Paris – France)
z Publication Director: Laurent Obadia. Editorial Director: Christophe Valès. Editorial Manager: Christian Dexemple. Editor-in-Chief: Françoise de Voronine. z
Image content: Laure Duquesne, Gilles Hureau. z With special contributions from: Benoît Bardon, Arnaud Jean, Sandra Vedel. Dominique Boizeau, Samantha
Bowles, Claire Billon-Galland, Pascale Ceccaldi, Mi-Young Choi, Martin Courtois, Delphine Cuny, Scott Edwards, Maria Frändfors, Kirstin Hinchcliff, Kevin
Hurst, Zoë Johnston, Eva Kucerova, Sylvaine Leriquier, Clément Leveaux, Yan Meng, Justine Mora, Carole Ribardière, Justine Shui, François Dewerdt, Aurélia
Vincent. z Copyright: October 2013. ISSN number: 1761-4996. z Production Consultancy: Jean-Claude Le Dunc. z Translation: Sémantis. z Cover photos: Jung
Yeon-Je/AFP; Veolia photo library: Adam Ihse/Interlinks Image; Stéphane Lavoué; Christophe Majani d’Inguimbert; Justin Sutcliffe/Interlinks Image.
PUBLISHED BY BORDS DE LOIR z Editorial Advisor: Étienne Collomb. Assistant Editor: Anne Béchiri. Art Director: Jean-Jacques Farré. Coordination:
Sylvie Roussel. Production Manager: Caroline Lagaillarde. z Printed by: SIEP PEFC-certified z Packaging, sorting and mailing by Log-ins, a disability-friendly
company. z