Sustainability Report 2020

Our current progress and a look ahead
Veolia Ireland Sustainability Report 2020 banner

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.

Our response to COVID-19

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.


Business Continuity

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.


Crisis management 

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. 


The way our teams responded to the Covid-19 pandemic is an incredible example of business continuity in action
Declan White
Regional Director

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.

Safety Statistics

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.


Human Resources

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.

Engineers Ireland CPD logo



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:

  1. Building inclusive teams with the right skills for success
  2. Increasing STEM & intergenerational working
  3. 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
In 2021 we will continue to implement our HR Strategy and our Inclusion Strategy to build inclusive teams with the right skills for success
Donna Marie Masterson
Head of HR

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

Global Awareness Days

As part of Environment Day 2020 we held an art competition for our employees and their children. And the results were just incredible so we decided to share them here.
For Earth Day 2020 we challenged our teams around Ireland to take one action, big or small, to mark Earth Day.
Sustainability Report 2020 sky and city silhouette

Climate Action and the Circular Economy

In becoming a business supporter, Veolia Ireland commits to carry out at least one pollinator-friendly action within the first year of signing up.
Veolia is proud to be a signatory of the Low Carbon Pledge powered by Business in the Community Ireland
Thought Leadership -
Practical insights into moving towards a circular economy
Veolia was delighted to support the webinar series 'Sustainability. Beyond the Rhetoric', a three-day flagship collection of webinars looking at Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) organised by Business in the Community Ireland
Throughout 2020 we continued our active involvement in Business in the Community in Ireland supporting the "Sustainability. Beyond the Rhetoric" series of high level webinars.
Sinéad Patton
Chief Financial and Commercial Officer

Continued commercial success

Launch of the Energy Performance contact for St James's Hospital in Dublin

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.

Water treatment equipment

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.

Hazardous waste treatment in Ireland
Waste management

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.

Our 20 year Energy Performance Contract with St James’s Hospital in Dublin is a great example of improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and lowering costs.
Fergus Elebert
Regional Director
Economic and Financial

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.


Business continuity

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.

AVA logo


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.