The World Economic Forum’s latest Global Risks report has water as the second largest risk factor for global businesses.

French environmental services conglomerate Veolia has recognised this, while also seeing water management opportunities in Asia.

Veolia wants to help existing clients to shrink their water footprint, and Jean-Philippe Filhol, CEO of Asia Industrial, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, has leveraged an internally developed auditing tool to do so.

“Veolia developed Green2Biz in Asia to help manufacturers focus on operational savings and costs while reducing their environmental footprint to achieve sustainable value and cost savings,” Filhol says.

The carrot to convince customers to undertake changes was Veolia’s offering of a free water audit with its GreenVieWS auditing software. It is an “expression of our total commitment”, Filhol says.

Following an audit, a report is generated, an action plan suggested with appropriate technologies and solutions, and if the company wishes, solutions are installed.Filhol launched the Green2Biz programme in Singapore in 2013, and one of the first companies to use the tool was Toyo Memory Technology, a manufacturer of substrates for hard drives, at its Malaysian plant.

Both costs and water usage were reduced at Toyo, and at an important time. As it turned out, during the process of implementing changes that decreased consumption, a new higher water tariff was introduced in Malaysia.

The win for Veolia is in providing new management technologies to existing customers. In addition, once improvements to a plant have been installed, the volume of water saved is compared with Veolia’s estimates, and savings beyond those targets are shared between Veolia and the client.

Filhol says that some companies are resistant to Veolia’s recommendations as they may believe their operations are already at “optimum” levels, but that Green2Biz typically generates costs savings of 10-40%.

The programme’s successes have led to a plan to introduce Green2Biz in Europe and North America by the end of 2014. “What really matters is to combine financial profitability while protecting the environment as it ultimately leads to sustainable growth,” Filhol says.

environmental footprint  L’Oréal  south-east Asia  Veolia  water management 

Responsible Business Summit Asia 2015

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