Veolia Environnement

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Veolia Environnement S.A.
TypeSociété Anonyme
Traded asEuronextVIE, NYSEVE
IndustryEnvironmental services
HeadquartersParis, France
Key peopleAntoine Frérot (Chairman and CEO)
ServicesWater treatment, waste management, HVAC, street lighting, facility management services, outsourced public transportation services
Revenue29.647 billion (2011)[1]
Operating income€1.017 billion (2011)[1]
Profit€-489.8 million (2011)[1]
Total assets€50.405 billion (end 2011)[1]
Total equity€9.835 billion (end 2011)[1]
Employees331,226 (FTE, end 2010)[1]
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Veolia Environnement S.A.
TypeSociété Anonyme
Traded asEuronextVIE, NYSEVE
IndustryEnvironmental services
HeadquartersParis, France
Key peopleAntoine Frérot (Chairman and CEO)
ServicesWater treatment, waste management, HVAC, street lighting, facility management services, outsourced public transportation services
Revenue29.647 billion (2011)[1]
Operating income€1.017 billion (2011)[1]
Profit€-489.8 million (2011)[1]
Total assets€50.405 billion (end 2011)[1]
Total equity€9.835 billion (end 2011)[1]
Employees331,226 (FTE, end 2010)[1]

Veolia Environnement S.A. is a multinational French company with activities in four main service and utility areas traditionally managed by public authorities - water supply and water management, waste management, energy and transport services. In 2011, Veolia employed 331,226 employees in 77 countries. Its revenue in that year was recorded at €29.647 billion.[2] It is quoted on Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange. It is headquartered in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.[3]

Between 2000 and 2003 the company was known as Vivendi Environnement, having been spun off from the Vivendi conglomerate, most of the rest of which became Vivendi. Prior to 1998 Vivendi was known as Compagnie Générale des Eaux.



1853-1997: Compagnie Générale des Eaux

On December 14, 1853, a water company named Compagnie Générale des Eaux (CGE) was created by an Imperial decree of Napoleon III. In 1853, CGE obtained a concession in order to supply water to the public in Lyon, serving in this capacity for over a hundred years. In 1860, it obtained a 50-year concession with the City of Paris.[4]

For a hundred years, Compagnie Générale des Eaux remained largely focused on the water sector. However, following the appointment of Guy Dejouany as CEO in 1976, CGE extended its activities into other sectors with a series of takeovers. Beginning in 1980, CGE began diversifying its operations from water into waste management, energy, transport services, and construction and property. It acquired the "Compagnie Générale d'Entreprises Automobiles" (CGEA), specialized in industrial vehicles, which was later divided into two branches: Connex and Onyx Environnement. CGE then acquired the "Compagnie Générale de Chauffe", and later the Montenay group. The Energy Services division these companies became part of was later (1998) renamed "Dalkia".

CGE's expansion into communication commenced with the establishment of Canal+ in 1983, the first Pay-TV channel in France. This expansion was accelerated after Jean-Marie Messier succeeded Guy Dejouany on June 27, 1996. In 1996, CGE created Cegetel to take advantage of the 1998 deregulation of the French telecommunications market, accelerating the move into the media sector which would culminate in the 2000 demerger into Vivendi Universal and Vivendi Environnement.

1998-2003: Vivendi

Veolia World Headquarters in Paris, 36-38 Avenue Kléber, Paris 16th arr.

In 1998, Compagnie Générale des Eaux changed its name to Vivendi, and sold off its property and construction divisions the following year.

Vivendi went on to list on the New York Stock Exchange (as "V"), and in December, announced a major merger with Canal+ and Seagram, the owner of Universal Studios film company, to become Vivendi Universal and now named Vivendi.

In July 2000, Vivendi spun off the remaining water and waste companies into Vivendi Environnement (IPO in Paris in July 2000 and in New York in October 2001), later (2003) renamed Veolia Environnement.

2003 – present: Veolia

In 2003, Vivendi Environnement became Veolia Environnement. In 2005, the name “Veolia” was established as an umbrella brand for all of the Group’s divisions (water, environmental services, energy services and transport) and a new logo was created.[4]

In November 2009, Antoine Frérot has become the Chairman and the CEO of the Group after succeeding Henri Proglio who has been appointed CEO of Électricité de France. The change has been part of a huge politico-financial scandal in France[5][6] as Proglio kept executive positions - and subsequent salary - in both companies until public criticism forced him to give up his Veolia revenues.

Its Veolia Water division remains the largest private operator of water services in the world.

In March 2011 the company announced the birth of Veolia Transdev, the result of the combination of its transport subsidiary Veolia Transport with Transdev, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts. Veolia Transdev is the world's private-sector leader in sustainable mobility with more than 110,000 employees in 28 countries.[7]

In July 2011, amid disappointing financial results, the company announced the launch of new restructuring plans and redeployment of assets and businesses.[8] In December 2011, Veolia announced a €5bn divestment program over 2012-2013.[9] The company would comprise only three divisions (Water, Environmental Services and Energy Services). The transport businesses Veolia Transdev would be divested.

Major divisions and subsidiaries

Veolia Water

Veolia Water is the world leader in water services. It handles water and wastewater services for clients in the public sector and in various industries. It also creates and constructs the required technology and infrastructure. In 2011, Veolia Water employed 96,651 people and recorded revenue of €12.617 billion[10] (France 36 %, Germany 12 %, UK 6 %, other European countries 15 %, USA 6 %, Asia-Pacific 14.5 %, other countries outside Europe 10.5 %).

Veolia Environmental Services

Veolia Environmental Services is second in the world in waste management services. In addition to environmental and logistics services, it treats and converts hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The goal: decrease pollutants in waste to lessen its environmental effects, and promote waste recycling and recovery. The company employs 77,421 staff and had 2011 revenues recorded at €9.740 billion[11] (France 35 %, Germany 12 %, UK 17 %, other European countries 9 %, USA 13 %, Asia-Pacific 10 %, other countries outside Europe 4 %).

Veolia Energy (Dalkia)

Veolia Energy (Dalkia) strives to maximise facilities’ energy and environmental efficiency. Its services include maintaining and managing heating and cooling systems, making plants more energy efficient, and selecting the most adapted energies. In 2011, Dalkia employed 52,698 employees and recorded revenue of €7.290 billion[12] (France 48 %, UK 3 %, other European countries 39 %, USA 4 %, other countries outside Europe 6 %).

Veolia Energy (North America)

Veolia Energy (North America) is the largest operator and developer of efficient district energy (heating, cooling and cogeneration) systems in North America, located in ten major U.S. cities. It also provides facility operations, energy management, and advisory services. Until February 2011, this division operated under the Trigen Energy brand name.[13][14]

Veolia Transdev

Veolia Transdev was formed in 2011 from a merger of Veolia Transport with Transdev, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts.[7] Before the merger, Veolia Transport recorded revenues of €7.863 billion in 2011 (For 2010 : Europe 83 %, included France 37.1 %, North America 13.2 %, Asia-Pacific 3.7 %). It employed 101,798 people. It worked with public authorities under public-private partnerships to manage public transit systems (buses, trains, metros, ferries, etc.).[15] On December 6, 2011 Veolia Environment, seeking to reduce debt and focus on its core businesses of water, waste and energy, announced that it will eventually sell its share in Veolia Transdev, within a two-year time frame, by when its own activities will have been reorganized. After this announcement, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, for its part, officially reiterated its commitment to Veolia Transdev and its continued support as a shareholder to the group's development.[16] In early 2012 it was reported that Cube Infrastructure, a fund controlled by the French bank Natixis (Groupe BPCE), was likely to acquire about half of Veolia's stake in Transdev. The Caisse des Dépôts would take over the other half.[17]

Veolia in September 2009 agreed to sell part of its share in the project to the Dan Bus Company for $15–20 million.[18] The sale was however unsuccessful, and Veolia agreed in October 2010 to sell its stake to Egged instead. As a result, Dan sued Veolia.[19] As of December 2011, the sale to Egged was reported to have been held up by the Israeli state. Egged will however need Veolia's expertise for at least five years to run the light rail successfully.

Around the world

Veolia Environnement is established in 77 countries, with employees across the globe in 2010:

Veolia Environnement has 2,573 subsidiaries around the world.[21]

Operating events

West Carrollton plant explosion

On May 4, 2009, a Veolia Environmental Service's plant in West Carrollton, Ohio exploded. The blast leveled two buildings on the property which were a laboratory and a building that had several 200,000 gallon chemical tanks. This particular plant handles fuel blending among other services. Two workers at the plant were injured in the blast.[22] The explosion caused $50 million in damage to the plant itself. More than a dozen homes up to a mile radius from the blast were also damaged due to the explosion.

Fatal accident in Gatlinburg

Two workers died after a catastrophic mechanical failure in April 2011 at a waste water treatment plant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee owned by the local municipality and operated by Veolia Water. At least 1.5 million gallons of a mix of storm and sewage water were spilled into a nearby river after a sewage-holding wall collapsed.[23]

Financial information

On December 31, 2011 shares in Veolia Environnement were held as follows: 9.2% by Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (primary shareholder), followed by Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault (6.3%), Groupama (5.7%), Velo Investissement (4.7%) and Électricité de France (4.0%). Individual shareholders accounted for a further 8.5% of shares, employees of the company 1.8%, treasury stock 2.7% and other institutional investors the remaining 57.1%.[24]

Veolia issued two profit warnings in 2011 and announced plans to quit half of the 77 countries where it does business. It launched a €5bn ($6.4m) fire sale of assets. The company and its top executives were facing the prospect of a US class-action lawsuit in January 2012 over allegations that they made “misleading” statements between 2007 and 2011 about its financial well-being. The company, which was described as "struggling" by the Financial Times, said that a complaint had been filed against it in New York for violation of US federal securities laws. Veolia's shares were the worst performer on France’s CAC 40 index in 2011, falling 60%.[25]

The following is a summary of data (in millions of euros):[1][26][27][28]

Financial data in millions of euros
Consolidated revenue30,07828,60324,67325,24528,62031,57435,76527,84728,70429,647
Operating income1,9711,7511,6171,8932,2222,4611,9601,7881,9821,017
Net income339-2,054125622759928405559558-489
Stakeholder equityN/A6,3005,600N/AN/A10,1919,53210,13110,8049,835
Free cash-flow-1,525168694555901906-1,809-1,344409438
Net financial debt13,06611,80413,05913,87114,67415,12516,52815,12815,21814,730

Stock market data

Data for Veolia Environnment, as listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[29]

On the Paris Bourse (the Paris stock exchange), Veolia Environnement is part of the CAC 40 index of shares.

Sustainability, corporate communications and sponsorship

The company’s sustainable development activities are diverse. Because it operates in four sectors with a huge potential impact on the environment, both the risks and opportunities presented by sustainable development activities are substantial. The company’s sustainability efforts are furthered by its Foundation and Institute which emphasize innovation and research.[30]

The Veolia Environnement Foundation

The Veolia Environnement Foundation supports non-profit activities related to sustainable development, professional continuous development and the protection of the environment in France and overseas. The Foundation supports projects through financial aid and voluntary services provided by its employees. It also supports emergency relief operations in collaboration with humanitarian organisations.[31]

Following the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, the Veolia Foundation dispatched 30 tons of emergency supplies (mainly water treatment units) via French Red Cross air transportation. The Foundation also sent Veolia technical experts to provide water to the disaster’s victims.[32]

Institut Veolia Environnement

The Institut Veolia Environnement was created in 2001 to provide insights into major global challenges such as climate change, urbanisation and various economic, social and cultural issues related to the environment. The institute is built around a committee that brings together 7 experts and an international network of researchers and experts. Its activities include organising conferences and publishing articles and reports.[33]

Boycott controversies

Veolia has been criticized for its involvement in the Jerusalem Light Rail, whose construction started in 2002; operations started in 2011. Critics argue that the railway stretches into the occupied East Jerusalem and to Israeli settlements regarded as illegal by the international community. In April 2010 the United Nations Human Rights Council declared the tramway and its operation to be illegal. The resolution was passed 44 to 1, with the UK, France and all the EU members of the Council voting in favour.[34]

Veolia has a stake in the CityPass consortium that holds the concession, and is also involved in the rail's operation. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has been active against Veolia, principally in Europe.[35] The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, at its London session of November 2010, considered Veolia's role in the Jerusalem Light Rail and found it to be illegal.[36]

In February 2011 the East London council of Tower Hamlets voted to review its position with Veolia and place no further contracts with it, after claiming that Veolia's work for the Israeli government assisted the "continued oppression of the Palestinian people".[37]

The Justice and Peace Commission, part of the Catholic Church in England, urged London municipalities to stop doing business with Veolia because of its involvement with illegal settlements.[38] Veolia denied wrongdoing.[39]

Palestinian human-rights organization Al-Haq instructed lawyers in the Netherlands to submit a formal objection against the decision of Stadsregio Arnhem Nijmegen, a municipality, to award a public transport concession to Hermes, the Dutch subsidiary of Veolia Transdev. The objection was based on Veolia’s involvement in what Al-Haq claims are Israel’s violations of international law.[40]

In a 2012 interview with the Israeli press, Veolia's Denis Gasquet, senior executive vice president, admitted that Veolia had been under pressure from pro-Palestinian groups in Europe, particularly over the Jerusalem Light Rail. Parties within Veolia had argued that the group was losing tenders as a result, but Gasquest said he did not know of any tenders lost due to Veolia's activities in Israel. He confirmed Veolia's intention to stay in Israel, while exiting the transport business.[41]

Research and development

As of December 31, 2009, the Group’s research and development investments reached €89.8 million (€92.1 million in 2008, €84.6 million in 2007).[citation needed]

The Research and Innovation division includes 850 experts and supports around 200 scientific partnerships with private and public organisations. The division focuses on four main issues:


Veolia Environnement’s R&I division has determined 9 main development programmes through which a number of research projects are managed:

Veolia Innovation Accelerator

To boost and accelerate the innovation process, Veolia Environnement has established the Veolia Innovation Accelerator initiative.[44] This is a programme for the identification and support of the best technologies (also called “cleantechs”) within the most innovative start-up companies in the industry.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Annual Results 2010". Veolia Environnement. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ Annual Results 2009". Veolia Environnement. Retrieved March 21, 2010
  3. ^ "Legal Notice." Veolia Environnement. Retrieved on February 9, 2011. "It is published by Veolia Environnement, a corporation with capital of €2,495,631,835 ; Paris Corporate & Trade Register No. 403 210 032, headquartered at 36/38 avenue Kléber, 75016 Paris, France[...]"
  4. ^ a b Veolia Environnement website - Our history
  5. ^ « Le double salaire d'Henri Proglio embarrasse l'UMP », Le Monde, 20 janvier 2010, sur le site, consulté le 23 janvier 2010.
  6. ^ ">« Henri Proglio renonce à son double salaire», Le Figaro, 22 janvier 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Veolia Transdev" (Press release). Veolia. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  8. ^ "Restructing" (Press release). Veolia. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  9. ^ "Investor Day 2011". 2011-12-06 accessdate=2011-12-27. 
  10. ^ Veolia Water Business Overview 2009, p. 7-14
  11. ^ Veolia Reference Document 2009, p. 41-42
  12. ^ Veolia Reference Document 2009, p. 46
  13. ^ BusinessWire, Trigen’s Name Change to Veolia Energy ..., News: February 17, 2011, downloaded March 20, 2011.
  14. ^ Veolia Energy (North America), News, downloaded March 20, 2011.
  15. ^ Veolia Reference Document 2009, p. 50
  16. ^ "La Caisse des Dépôts confirme son engagement auprès de Veolia Transdev" (Press release). Caisse des Dépôts. 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  17. ^ "Le fonds Cube est favori pour acheter la participation de Veolia dans Transdev" (in French). La Tribune. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  18. ^ Avi Bar-Eli (2009-09-13). "Dan to buy 5% stake in Jerusalem light rail from Veolia". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  19. ^ Avi Bar-Eli (2010-11-25). "Dan suing as Veolia rides with Egged". The Marker. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  20. ^ Veolia Environnement Annual & Sustainability Report 2009, p. 7, 25
  21. ^ Veolia Reference Document 2009, p. 338
  22. ^ West Carrolton Plant Explosion, download date May 4, 2009
  23. ^ "Bodies of workers found at Gatlinburg treatment plant". CNN. 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  24. ^ "Capital Structure". Veolia Environnement. September 30, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  25. ^ James Boxell (2012-01-06). "Veolia faces prospect of US class-action suit". Financial Times. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  26. ^ "Annual Report 2007". Veolia Environnement. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Annual Report 2008". Veolia Environnement. Retrieved April 19, 2009. 
  28. ^ "Annual Results 2009". Veolia Environnement. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  29. ^ Bloomberg. Veolia Environnement SA.
  30. ^ Veolia Environnement website: Sustainable Development
  31. ^ Veolia Environnement ‘Fondation’ website
  32. ^ Business in the Community website, ‘How Business in the Community’s Members have responded’
  33. ^ Institut Veolia Environnement Activity Report 2009, ‘Analysis, Anticipation & Dialogue’, p. 4-7
  34. ^ A/HRC/RES/13/7 of 14 April 2010
  35. ^ Nora Barrows-Friedman (2011-08-04). "BDS victory: Veolia loses yet another contract in the UK". Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  36. ^ "Findings of the London session, 20–22 November 2010". Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  37. ^ Simon Rocker (2011-02-10). "Tower Hamlets council backs Israel boycott". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  38. ^ "J&P Commission urges London boroughs to stop dealing with Veolia". Independent Catholic News (United Kingdom). 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  39. ^ "Holy Land: Veolia responds to J&P critics". Independent Catholic News (United Kingdom). 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  40. ^ "Hermes schendt mensenrechten Israël" (in Dutch). Omroep Gelderland. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  41. ^ Avi Bar-Eli and Itai Trilnick (2012-02-15). "Not afraid to make money in Israel". The Marker - Haaretz. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  42. ^ Research and Innovation 2010, p. 7-11
  43. ^ Research and Innovation 2010, p. 16-18
  44. ^ Veolia Environnement Accelerator

External links