Sustainability Report 2021

Delivering Sustainable Solutions for Northern Ireland

Our commitment to being the benchmark company for ecological transformation drives everything we do.

At Veolia we believe our usefulness drives our success and that through our environmental, social and financial actions we can have a positive impact on all our stakeholders.

Our latest Sustainability Report shows the impact Veolia has on all our stakeholders in Northern Ireland and Ireland which demonstrates our usefulness and underpins our success.

By resourcing the world through our businesses in water, waste and energy services, Veolia delivers solutions that facilitate access to essential services and natural resources.

We know how precious and finite the planet’s natural resources are and we’re continually looking for ways to conserve, use and recycle them more effectively.

Our purpose

Veolia's purpose guides us on our journey and is at the heart of our Impact 2023 strategic programme.

Our Multifaceted Approach

Veolia developed the concept of multifaceted performance to ensure we give equal care, attention and resources to economic and financial, commercial, environmental, human resources and social performance.

"Our clarity of purpose and multidimensional approach means we are well placed to deliver the innovations in ecological transformation the world needs."
John Abraham
Chief Operating Officer: Industrial, Water and Energy UK, Ireland and Nordics

Supporting our employees to be the best they can be

We cannot achieve our ambitions without having great people in our company. We are committed to supporting all of our employees to be the best they can be. This means ensuring their workplace maintains high standards of safety, and that we protect and enhance everybody’s health and wellbeing.

Committed to team safety

The Veolia Minimum Requirements (‘VMR’) programme was rolled out during 2021.

Developed in conjunction with our site teams, it saw the creation of minimum standards for all operational sites to both ensure a safer working environment and enable the sharing of best practice. The standards were piloted, reviewed and refined before being implemented across all operations.


An annual event, Safety Week 2021 built on the Team Safety campaign of 2020 and the safety commitment boards from 2019.

Videos, case studies and practical tools were made available to managers to help run team exercises throughout the week. A specific programme was delivered for those working in offices or from home to encourage maximum participation in the event.

Relaunching our wellbeing strategy

In line with our commitment to supporting our employees’ wellbeing, we reviewed and relaunched our Wellbeing Strategy, ensuring we had a proactive focus across the five pillars of wellbeing; Mental Health, Physical Health, Nutrition, Financial Fitness and Social.

We also launched an interactive Wellbeing Calendar to give employees access to a range of wellbeing resources.

Our Employee Assistance Programme gives employees and their families access to a broad range of resources including free confidential counselling and specialist information and advice across a range of topics.

We continued to support employees through our dedicated team of Mental Health First Aiders in Northern Ireland.

Inclusion Strategy 2021-2023

Led by our newly appointed Inclusion Lead for the UK and Ireland, we launched our Inclusion Strategy 2021-2023.

Part of the Future of Work pillar of our four year HR Strategy, it will help guide us on our journey to become a more inclusive place to work.

It focuses on five priority areas:

  • Attraction & Selection
  • Awareness & Upskilling
  • Development
  • Communication
  • Customers

2021 Highlights

Recognising talent from all backgrounds and selecting and recruiting people in an inclusive way.

Roll out of unconscious bias training to senior leadership team and people managers.

Gender-specific language removed from job descriptions to encourage a wider range of applications.

New Diversity & Inclusion hub launched across the UK and Ireland.

More than 800 employees across the UK and Ireland signed our Inclusion Pledge.

Our annual “Voice of Resourcers” employee survey is a key tool for measuring employee engagement.

All employees are invited to participate and share their views on working at Veolia. We use the feedback to constantly improve our employee experience. 

"The work we have done to create an open and welcoming environment, while supporting our employees to be the very best they can, is fundamental to our success as a business"
Donna Marie Masterson
Head of HR, Veolia Ireland and Northern Ireland

Supporting the communities in which we operate

Operating as a responsible business

CORE – the Standard for Responsible Business – is Northern Ireland’s only corporate responsibility accreditation.

In April 2021 Veolia was awarded the Business in the Community Northern Ireland Silver Level CORE accreditation for a further two years.

Supporting local suppliers

Across the island of Ireland, Veolia works with approximately 1,000 local suppliers that support both our operations and our customers. 

In addition to our important commercial arrangements with them, we partner with them to enhance their approach to both health and safety and sustainability.

Helping the next generation

Our schools engagement programme with Young Enterprise Northern Ireland was adapted in 2021 to allow it to continue despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

Helping the communities we live in

The Veolia Connect Community Fund allows Veolia employees to apply for funding to support community organisations they are directly involved with. In 2021 we received 39 applications and allocated €15,000 to fund 15 projects across the island of Ireland.

“The communities where we live and operate are key stakeholders for Veolia. Working with local suppliers, engaging with schools and donating time and money to community organisations helps improve these communities. Behaving responsibly benefits everyone.”
Sinéad Patton
Regional Director, Northern Ireland

Accelerating ecological transformation.

In providing water, waste and energy management services in local communities across the island of Ireland, we are well placed to combat pollution and accelerate ecological transformation.

Our commitment to achieving Net Zero

We are committed to achieving Net Zero by 2050 at the latest, a target that is underpinned by our global vision of Ecological Transformation across the Veolia Group.

Our Journey to Net Zero published in 2021 details a wide-ranging programme of measures to decarbonise services essential to everyday life –  including waste, water and energy – and will guide us to meeting our target. 

"As the champion of Ecological Transformation, Veolia is ideally positioned to help our customers and communities meet the major environmental challenges ahead. A combination of innovative solutions and dedicated teams to implement them will ensure our success."

Helping our customers increase resource efficiency

We are committed to listening to, understanding and acting on the needs of our customers. This is what drives us to be creative, passionate and innovative in finding solutions to help our customers increase resource efficiency and financial surety in water, waste and energy, and to meet their net-zero goals.

Converting from Heavy Fuel Oil to Natural Gas

We are working with a major food processing company in Northern Ireland on their journey to a low carbon future. As a first step, we are managing the conversion of their boilers from Heavy Fuel Oil to natural gas.

This will make their production process more efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

Improve Reliability and Resilience

Over the course of a long term contract, assets and utilities will, naturally, need to be upgraded.

In conjunction with a major utilities customer in Northern Ireland, we planned and began the implementation of a £12m investment across six sites. When complete, this project will ensure reliable, efficient equipment which will reduce our customer’s operational costs and carbon footprint. It will also facilitate energy generation from surplus steam for consumption on-site.

Delivering for our customers is what we do every day. Across the island of Ireland our on-site teams work with our technical experts and our office based staff to provide top quality
services. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS), combined with our contract renewal successes, shows that we are trusted by our customers to deliver for them.

Creating real social value

We know that today’s long-term investors are no longer satisfied with financial return alone. They want us to create real social value, factoring in climate risk and finding ways to develop and grow sustainably.

The Veolia Group was ranked second in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the Multi and Water Utilities industry

More than 22.5% of our employees are now shareholders

Our Ethics Guide is in place to explain to employees and other stakeholders what ethics and compliance mean to Veolia