VEOLIA

Dubai 2020 | SUSTAINABILITY | INTERVIEW
Sebastien Chauvin

Can you provide an overview of your operations in the UAE and the defining features of your relationship with the country?
Veolia is a French-listed company and world leader in the environmental business, with three main activities: water, waste, and energy. Veolia Middle East has supported the public sector and industries to meet their biggest challenges in terms of resources efficiency, growth, compliance, workforce safety, and digitalization. As the global leader in optimized resources management, Veolia Middle East is committed to delivering innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions to its clients. We are both developers and operators. We have more than 1,000 patents for specific water-treatment solutions. In the UAE, the majority of our business is related to desalination and wastewater treatment. Within the energy division, we are experts in energy efficiency and the management of energy production facilities for several industries. This expertise also includes steam production, heat production, cooling, and energy management in buildings. Furthermore, we manage energy efficiency specifications for buildings, including malls.

How do government policies concerning various aspects of energy, waste, and water management influence your business models?
The water business is driven by the government and has minimal influence on Veolia's business model. Waste management is slightly different as it is still growing because of the boom in the UAE, and with the continuous increase in population, the government needs assistance to structure the market. We aim to find the most appropriate business model, making sure that the investment tax requested by the government is reduced as much as possible by recovering waste to create recycled raw materials. Moving forward, with the population increasing across the region, waste will probably be the biggest challenge; therefore, we must be innovative and deliver solutions to help the government convert waste to new resources. This is called the circular economy and it involves creating local value chains that engage a broad range of stakeholders.