Over 20% of Veolia’s business currently involves circular economy activities

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Veolia is currently more than half way to achieving a target of 40% of its business to be involved in the circular economy by 2020.

Speaking at an event in Leeds to highlight Veolia’s contribution to making the city at the forefront of developing circular economy innovation, Veolia senior executive vice-president UK & Ireland Estelle Brachlianoff (pictured) revealed the progress towards meeting the target.

She said: “We have transformed from a waste, water and electricity company – a very successful company – to effectively a mining company.

“We extract everything we can and take a second life from it. Over 20% of Veolia’s business is circular, with a target of 40% by 2020…

“…More and more loops are being materialised by Veolia. There are lots of things we do in the UK that are examples of the circular economy, whether it is paint, plastics or sludge.

“With 20% of our revenue from circular economy now, it was much lower than this just a few years ago.”

She also revealed that Veolia has found a way to wash contaminated paper. As an example, she said how paper used to wrap fish and chips would be contaminated with grease, and previously could only be landfilled or incinerated for energy.

But Veolia has developed a technology to wash the pulp, removing the contamination, and allowing the material to be turned into cardboard cup holders as used by fast food restaurants.

Veolia plans to build a facility in Leeds for this paper technology.