French-based Suez Environment works in the water and waste-management environment, with specific reference to water production, treatment, & pollution disposal, and waste treatment, recycling, incineration and site desensitisation. Its more than 65,000 employees distributed worldwide have participated in flagship projects like Renault’s goal of 95% reclamation of vehicle parts, and Lyonnaise des Eaux’s saving of 12 million cubic meters of water in a single year.
Suez Environment claims to have consistently increased the recovery rate of treated waste, decreased direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and made significant inroads into the production of sustainable energy on behalf of its clients. But then surely that’s Suez Environment’s business, and with over 65,000 employees we are entitled to expect this. Given that there have been persistent allegations of privatised water distribution bumping prices up to the detriment of the poor, how effective is Suez Environment at practising what it preaches back home?
GDF Suez is its largest shareholder and includes it under its environmental and societal responsibility umbrella. This makes environmental performance an overarching goal alongside management systems, health and safety, risk and procurement, and ethics. Its environmental ambitions spin out into the following strategies:
- Understand the interactions between our activities and the environment
- Open dialogue with stakeholders and foster partnerships with them
- Set quantitative and qualitative targets at all levels of the organisation
- Achieve optimum balance between financial and environmental challenges
- Be proactive; anticipate impacts on the environment and plan for them
- Increase employee awareness through interactive training and education
- Be constantly innovative; share successes within the organisation
- Monitor progress continuously and publish measured results achieved.
These goals direct the Suez Environment management team’s attention towards optimising performance in key areas like greenhouse gases, energy management, renewable energy, biodiversity, responsible water management, pollution prevention and health and safety considerations.
Among numerous other examples, its waste incineration programs convert hazardous and conventional waste into heat used to generate electricity without requiring virgin carbon products. Elsewhere, the same energy warms market-gardening tunnels and work places on winter days.
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