At Veolia, we are committed to a multifaceted performance that aims for a new balance between economic, social and environmental demands. This approach is a powerful driver for recovery from COVID-19 and for creating a positive impact on our people, our customers and the sustainability of our society in balance with the planet. This has been the mission of our business for over 160 years.
This, our latest Sustainability Report, shows how Veolia’s team right across the island of Ireland is continuing to deliver sustainable solutions for our customers and our communities while looking after our people.
Delivering essential services during COVID-19
As our government implemented a range of exceptional measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus Veolia responded by continuing to deliver essential services to our customers and communities while minimising the risk to our employees.
By prioritising Business Continuity Planning, any impacts to our employees, customers and operations were minimised. Our certified ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management System (BCMS), which is audited externally, delivered direct benefits. The BCMS is championed by the Chief Risk and Assurance Officer who ensures the Business Continuity arrangements are in alignment, meet corporate objectives and support customers.
A COVID Response Team (CRT) chaired by the Chief HR Officer and supported by the Chief Risk and Assurance Officer was set up. It comprised experts in Health & Safety, Risk & Assurance, Business Continuity, HR, Operations, External Affairs, Internal Communications and Supply Chain. This team was fundamental in shaping our robust response to the pandemic.
Inclusive teams with the right skills
Health and Safety is always our number 1 priority and during 2020 we placed a special emphasis on mental health and wellbeing as the COVID-19 restrictions impacted our people in different ways.
We continued to implement our HR strategy, develop our approach to Learning and Development and worked closely with BITC Ireland as part of the Leaders Group on Sustainability sub group on Diversity and Inclusion building on the Inclusive Employer Blueprint.
Our LTIFR* was
with Combined Days Lost as % Total Days Worked of
opportunities to prevent injury were reported
*LTIFR = Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate.
The Frequency Rate is the number of accidents per one million hours worked that resulted in lost or modified duties.
We launched our Four Year HR Strategy based on four pillars
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Future of Work
- Purpose Led
- Change Capability
Total number of employees at the end of 2020 was 669.
We hired 70 new people.
Our approach to succession planning led to 23 internal promotions.
24% of employees took up the option to buy shares in Veolia.
Learning and Development
As part of our drive towards digitisation, a new learning and development platform called SABA was launched in 2020. Accessible everywhere, this platform puts employees in control of their learning and development. It is changing how we learn at Veolia by allowing employees to browse and book courses and accreditation updates online, anytime, anywhere.
In 2020 446 individuals recorded 35,589 hours of training, almost tripling the number of hours recorded in 2019.
Employee Engagement Survey
Every year we carry out our “Voice of Resourcers” employee survey. Employees are encouraged to share their views on working in Veolia. We use the feedback to constantly improve our employee experience.
2020 key numbers
- Participation rate: 62%
- Overall engagement score: 89%
- Recommend working for Veolia: 83%
- Veolia took the right steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: 91% positive
- Proud to work for Veolia: 88% positive
Diversity and Inclusion
We continued to implement our 2018–2020 inclusion strategy which focuses on:
- Building inclusive teams with the right skills for success
- Increasing STEM & intergenerational working
- Developing the talent pipeline
In 2020 we:
- Marked International Women's Day by bringing all our female colleagues together throughout our offices in Dublin, Fermoy, Kilkenny and Belfast to share thoughts and experiences on being a woman in the traditionally male Environmental Services sector.
- Created a series of video interviews with a selection of people from all aspects of our business. These videos, entitled We Are Resourcers, showed the diversity of people, skills and experience we have in Veolia Ireland.
- Welcomed five new graduates during the year with two apprentices participating in a four year apprenticeship.
- Expanded EQUAL, our internal network committed to building a more inclusive workplace for all employees at Veolia. The group plays an important part in sharing our colleagues’ stories and experiences around inclusion and diversity.
- Continued to work closely with BITC Ireland as part of the Leaders Group on Sustainability sub group on Diversity and Inclusion building on the Inclusive Employer Blueprint
Supporting the communities we live and work in
Veolia Connect Community Fund
Veolia Connect celebrated 10 years of supporting community projects right across Ireland and Northern Ireland where our employees are personally involved. Each year we open up three rounds of funding so that our employees can help improve their local communities thereby building Veolia’s connection with the places where we live and work. The types of projects supported included environment, education, community, disabilities and sport.
10 years of the Veolia Connect Fund
307 applications from 24 counties
120 projects funded to a total of €150,000
Continued commercial success
St James’s Hospital in Dublin signed an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with Veolia in partnership with the Carbon and Energy Fund Ireland (CEFI).
The 20-year contract will deliver €26 million in guaranteed energy savings, reduce emissions by 118,380 tonnes and cut electrical consumption by 26% per annum.
We completed a major upgrade to the Liscarton Water Treatment Plant which supplies drinking water to 40,000 people in Co. Meath. The upgrade will ensure compliance with Irish Water Design Specifications and European Union Drinking Water Regulations. The plant can now produce 12.8m litres of drinking water daily.
Our waste team facilitated over 42,000 hours of production for a global pharmaceutical company in Cork over a 5 year period by assessing and classifying 566 waste streams, managing 450,000 tonnes of waste and improving recycling rates by over 50%. This was achieved with no Lost Time Incidents and no Environmental Incidents.
Investment delivers Business Continuity
Investment in technology infrastructure
Over the past number of years Veolia has invested significantly in upgrading our IT infrastructure.
Our approach is to provide all Veolia employees with a secure and mobile workplace so that our teams can access the information they need, when and where they need it. Additionally, we implemented a suite of collaborative and easy-to-use tools to allow all team members to work together on the same file, at the same time, across their different devices.
We have redesigned the way we work to make faster decisions, act in an agile way and harness the power of our people, as well as our technology, in a safe, secure way.
The real impact of this investment was felt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost overnight, entire teams were able to change from office based work to remote working. Administrative and support staff on customer sites could continue to provide the support the front line teams needed but without having to go to site. On site teams providing essential services continued to have full access to all the IT systems they needed to do their jobs.
Our investment allowed us to keep our employees safe and continue to collect and treat waste, operate water and wastewater treatment plants and deliver secure, reliable supplies of industrial utilities.
The AVA tool we deployed allows us to track health and safety performance across the business to keep our employees safe.
VMS, the Veolia Management System, gives instant access to all approved policies and procedures to maintain the highest standards of performance.
The Saba online learning platform allows our employees to keep up to date on the skills and engage in Continuous Professional Development.
Our well established remote working IT system based on our SATAWAD philosophy allowed our teams to transition seamlessly to remote working.