|Traded as||Euronext: VIE
OTC Pink: VEOEY
|Antoine Frérot (Chairman and CEO)|
|Services||Water treatment, waste management, HVAC, street lighting, facility management services|
|Revenue||€29.439 billion (2012)|
|€1.095 billion (2012)|
|Profit||€394 million (2012)|
|Total assets||€50.405 billion (end 2011)|
|Total equity||€9.125 billion (end 2012)|
Number of employees
Veolia Environnement S.A., branded as Veolia, is a French transnational company with activities in three main service and utility areas traditionally managed by public authorities – water management, waste management and energy services. In 2012, Veolia employed 318,376 employees in 48 countries. Its revenue in that year was recorded at €29.4 billion. It is quoted on Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange. It is headquartered in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.
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.
In 2014, following a major restructuring, the company adopted the unaccompanied Veolia name across its businesses.
- 1 History
- 2 Operations
- 3 Financial information
- 4 Corporate social responsibility
- 5 Research and development
- 6 Operating events
- 7 Controversies
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
1853–1997: Compagnie Générale des Eaux
On 14 December 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.
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 27 June 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.
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.
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 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 formation 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.
In July 2011, amid disappointing financial results, the company announced the launch of new restructuring plans and redeployment of assets and businesses. In December 2011, Veolia announced a €5bn divestment program over 2012–2013. The company would comprise only three divisions (Water, Environmental Services and Energy Services). The transport businesses Veolia Transdev would be divested.
Veolia is established in 48 countries, with employees across the globe in 2012:
- France: 31%
- Europe (not including France, Central and Eastern European countries): 23%
- Central and Eastern Europe countries : 13%
- China and Asia-Pacific: 12%
- South America: 10%
- Africa and Middle-East: 6%
- North America: 5%
The company has 2,573 subsidiaries around the world.
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 2012, Veolia Water employed 89,094 people and recorded revenue of €12.078 billion 37.2% of its revenue comes from France, 30.2 from other European countries, 8.8% from Americas, 16.2% from Asia and 7.6% from Africa and the Middle East.
Veolia operates waste management services around the world, including the treatment of hazardous and non-hazardous liquid and solid waste. It also deals with the collection and recycling of waste. 
Veolia bought Dalkia in 2001, and ran the business as a joint venture with Électricité de France (EDF) until 2014, when it purchased Dalkia's international operations in full, and EDF bought its French operations. The company's services include maintaining and managing heating and cooling systems, making plants more energy efficient, and selecting the most adapted energies. In 2012, Dalkia employed 49,824 employees and recorded revenue of €7.664 billion (France 42%, Continental Europe 24%, Southern Europe 14.5%, Northern Europe 8%, North America 3%, China 1.5%, other countries 7%).
In North America, Veolia Energy traded under the Trigen Energy name until February 2011. It 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.
Transdev (formerly Veolia Transdev) was formed in 2011 from a merger of Veolia Transport with the old Transdev, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts. Currently, Veolia owns 40% of the company's shares. 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.). On 6 December 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.
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. This was not implemented, but instead, Caisse des Dépôts acquired 10% of the shares from Veolia in October 2012.
As of January 2016, Transdev employed 83,000 people and recorded a revenue of €6.6 billion.
On 31 December 2012, shares in Veolia Environnement were held as follows: 9.3% by Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (primary shareholder), followed by Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault (6.3%), Groupama (5.42%), Velo Investissement (4.73%), Électricité de France (4.22%), Veolia Environment (2.73%). Public and other institutional investors the remaining 67.3%.
Veolia issued two profit warnings in 2011 and announced plans to quit half of the 77 countries where it does business. It launched a €5 billion ($6.4 billion) fire sale of assets. The company and its top executives were facing the prospect of a U.S. 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 U.S. federal securities laws. Veolia's shares were the worst performer on France’s CAC 40 index in 2011, falling 60%.
|Net financial debt||13,066||11,804||13,059||13,871||14,674||15,125||16,528||15,128||15,218||14,730||11,283|
Stock market data
Data for Veolia Environnement, as listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
- Market capitalisation on 31 December 2010: $15.27 billion
On the Paris Bourse, Veolia Environnement is part of the CAC 40 index of shares.
- Number of shares outstanding on 31 December 2012: 522,086,849
- Market capitalisation on 14 September 2012: €4.98 billion
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.
The Veolia Foundation
The Veolia 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.
Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 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.
The Institut Veolia 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 seven experts and an international network of researchers and experts. Its activities include organising conferences and publishing articles and reports.
Research and development
As of 31 December 2009, the Group’s research and development investments reached €89.8 million (€92.1 million in 2008, €84.6 million in 2007).
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:
- Manage and preserve natural resources
- Control impacts on natural environments
- Care for health and living environments
- Develop alternative sources of energy
Veolia’s R&I division has determined nine main development programmes through which a number of research projects are managed:
- Waste collection, sorting, and beneficial re-use
- Sustainable city and building management
- Energy efficiency
- Environmental and health standards
- New activities
- Drinking water
West Carrollton plant explosion
On 4 May 2009, a Veolia Environmental Service's plant in West Carrollton, Ohio, United States, 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. 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, United States, 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.
Relations with Israel
In February 2011 the Tower Hamlets London Borough Council of the London borough 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".
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. Veolia denied wrongdoing.
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.
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 and occupied Palestine, while exiting the transport business.
On April 1, 2015, the company announced on its website "Veolia closes the sale of its activities in Israel." This was taken by supporters of the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement to signify a success for their campaigning efforts: "The sale follows a worldwide campaign against the company’s role in illegal Israeli settlements that cost the firm billions of dollars of lost contracts."
Veolia offered unpaid internship positions under the Irish government's JobBridge initiative. This scheme was opposed by left-wing political groups, who claim it amounts to free labour and can cause a claimant who refuses many such offers to fall foul of a provision in the Irish Social Welfare that allows benefits to be withdrawn from unemployed who repeatedly refuse work.
Flint water crisis
On June 22, 2016, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette began its first civil action in the Flint water crisis by filing suit against Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN) who were hired to consult Flint water plant officials after the switch to the Flint River in April 2015. The lawsuit accuses Veolia and LAN of professional negligence and public nuisance. Veolia is also accused of fraud. Veolia called the accusations "baseless, entirely unfounded and appears to be intended to distract from the troubling and disturbing realities that have emerged as a result of this tragedy". And added: "In fact, when Veolia raised potential lead and copper issues, city officials and representatives told us to exclude it from our scope of work because the city and the EPA were just beginning to conduct lead and copper testing." 
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- "Hermes schendt mensenrechten Israël". Omroep Gelderland (in Dutch). 13 October 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- Avi Bar-Eli and Itai Trilnick (15 February 2012). "Not afraid to make money in Israel". The Marker – Haaretz. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Veolia closes the sale of its activities in Israel". Veolia. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "BDS Victory: Veolia sells Israel businesses targeted by Palestinian-led boycott campaign". Mondoweiss. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Michigan AG Sues Private Water Giant Veolia over Flint Water Crisis. Democracy Now! June 23, 2016.
- Flint water firm said it was told to 'exclude' lead and copper issues The Flint Journal via MLive.com, June 23, 2016
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