Environmental dimension

Veolia’s activity is inherently related to the environment, which is why Veolia ranks the environmental aspects among the priorities of its CSR strategy and tries to minimise the environmental impact of its activities.

Veolia introduced its Environmental Management System (EMS) in 2002 on multiple levels – from the various fields of activity all the way to its regional companies and their various plants. In 2014 the system was extended into 100% of facilities of Veolia’s Water and Energy divisions in the Czech Republic by means of certification to the ISO 14001 standard or its internal methodology.

The protection and restoration of biodiversity (natural diversity) is one of the nine key sustainability commitments adopted by Veolia’s top management. Veolia Group companies have been focusing on the protection of the environment and restoration of natural diversity for several years. They focus primarily on the monitoring and evaluation of the influence of our business on the local ecosystems and on the implementation of measures aimed at retaining biodiversity and supporting ecosystem services. Veolia cooperates with the Czech Union for Nature Conservation (ČSOP) on increasing biodiversity in the plants it operates. The company removes barriers and items dangerous to wildlife, builds watering places, installs birdhouses and insect hotels, and modifies its system for grass area maintenance.
Informing, educating and increasing the awareness among employees and the general public in the field of biodiversity is an equally important part of the activities undertaken.

Veolia in cooperation with the Czech Union for Nature Conservation is supporting the development of an environmentally focused visitor centre near the Želivka (Švihov) reservoir – the Water House.
On the global level, Veolia is a leader among the companies that green light the assessment of their activities using the Carbon Footprint methodology. Veolia Czech Republic first pursued the Carbon Footprint evaluation of the impact of its activities in 2010.
Thanks to all projects aimed at saving electrical and thermal energy, improving plant self-sufficiency and optimising chemical and fuel consumption, Veolia’s water management companies have been steadily reducing their respective carbon footprints.
Veolia Energy has been constantly increasing the proportion of its renewable and secondary energy resources, in particular biomass, which represents a strategic fuel of the future. In addition to positive environmental impacts, the generation of green energy also benefits the prices of heat and electricity as well as the local employment rates.
The principal source of biomass are the green chips generated as part of timber processing during wood harvesting, various plant residues from agriculture and the food industry such as wheat bran, residues from oil processing, straw pellets etc.
Veolia Energy started firing biomass at the Krnov CHP in 2003 and more installations followed suit. Biomass is currently used, for example, in Ostrava, Karviná, Frýdek-Místek, Olomouc, Kolín and Nový Jičín. 
Since the cleanest energy is that which does not have to be consumed, Veolia Czech Republic has been pursuing maximum electricity savings in all areas of its activity.
Wastewater sludge is the inevitable by-product of the wastewater treatment process. The goal of the cost-effective approach – in both economic and environmental terms – is to minimise the production of such waste while utilising its energy potential. Resulting from the anaerobic digestion process, biogas is just one by-product. Veolia not only uses this renewable energy resource – it also intensifies the process, aiming to produce more biogas and more clean energy, in effect improving the facility’s energy self-sufficiency. Biogas generated at wastewater treatment plants is incinerated in cogeneration units. Almost all of Veolia Czech Republic’s WWTPs have their processes optimised so as to use all of the biogas generated in the most efficient manner possible.
Hydraulic power plants are another great opportunity for achieving energy self-sufficiency. Identified Veolia water management facilities, primarily water towers and several pressure reducing chambers, were examined with a view to installing small hydraulic power plants that could efficiently use incline and flow rates. Veolia operates a total of 19 small hydraulic power plants in the Czech Republic with a total customer connected load of 4.2 MW. Where appropriate, Veolia also installs solar power plants. 
Cogeneration or combined generation of heat and electricity is a major cornerstone of our corporate strategy. This process is much environmentally sounder than separate generation because it allows for increasing installation efficiency, in effect saving a great amount of fuel (up to 40%). As a result the emissions generated are much lower. Veolia Energy is No. 1 in cogeneration in the Czech Republic.
The world and its seven billion inhabitants face great future challenges. As part of the effort aimed at providing sustainable answers to these challenges and maintaining the planet’s fragile balance, Veolia develops innovative technologies, creates alternative solutions and designs efficient methods for using resources in support of environmental compliance. IDEO is Veolia’s global project in support of innovations. Employees can propose an innovation related to any of the company’s activities or work processes. Since 2008, our employees’ projects have brought improvements primarily in operating processes with annual savings in millions of crowns.