Meeting the green skills gap in early careers at Veolia

Feb 16, 2024 | Case studies, Development, Home Featured, Uncategorized

Veolia is using its graduate programme to meet sustainable business challenges.

Raphaëlle joined Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions (VWTS) graduate programme a year ago as a technical support for Chemical and Monitoring Solutions (CMS) in France.

She is now the first graduate to move into a sustainability-focused role, which is now replicated in four other countries.

The role

We are providing technologies to industries to optimise their water and process systems. Using chemicals may be difficult to associate with sustainability, however its direct effect on industrial scale can bring a new critical point of view.

The optimisation of systems made with our solutions is leading to consequent savings in energy, water, GHGs and more. The CMS France business unit had chosen sustainability as a priority, and took the initiative to nominate Raphaëlle in 2023 to help us achieve our objectives.

In addition to her technical role, she agreed to coordinate our value delivery process ‘Proof not Promises’ which formalises the added value we bring to our clients through projects. It relies on the quantification of savings based on practical results made on clients’ sites.

Growth

After more than a year working at Veolia, Raphaëlle believes that the topic of environmental impact has become serious for most industries, rather for branding or economic reasons.

Our business has therefore seized the opportunity to support our customers in their ecological transition by offering adapted services: technologies like phosphorus-free chemistry, equipment for reuse and digital monitoring.

Though this role was initially experimental, it is worth it. Value delivery, especially for sustainable impact, has become a driving force for most businesses.

Success

In less than a year, Raphaëlle’s role was duplicated in four other European countries and we now have a sustainability director at Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions.

Raphaëlle believes issues like water scarcity will not be solved overnight, therefore stakeholders sooner or later will all have to turn to an alternative.

The most important thing is to understand our business so the sustainability managers can respond to these issues by choosing the right opportunities and by offering the best solutions matching our client’s needs.

The dual identity of graduates and sustainability is so important. Many young people want to work for an employer that has a positive impact on sustainability and employers need to hire sustainability specialists to future-proof their impact and brand.

Since the environmental aspect of sustainability is becoming an increasing priority at VWTS, it is important to mix people that have experienced the business for years with fresh minds that characterise a graduate.

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