Promote and enable sustainability at every SUEZ location

Our company has over 300 facilities and sites across the country. While all locations and operations are managed to the same high standards of environmental protection, the level and type of activities undertaken to enhance the environment or support the community vary widely.


In 2020, we committed to increasing the local environmental and social contribution we make at every SUEZ site, whether it be an office, treatment facility, transfer station or closed landfill.

Recruit a network of sustainability champions and launch our 10 sustainability principles to inspire action at local level

Our Chief Executive Officer, John Scanlon, launched the initiative, inviting colleagues to volunteer as Sustainability Champion at their location.


The role’s main responsibilities are to design and deliver an annual action plan, based on 10 sustainability principles identified by our employees in a company-wide consultation. These range from avoiding single-use plastics to boosting nature on site or engaging more with local communities.


Volunteers are supported with training and resources, and by regional sustainability champions who provide advice and guidance. Workshops were organised to explore each sustainability principle in turn, sharing ideas from subject-matter experts and colleagues who have successfully implemented projects.


Templates are provided for developing the action plan and reviewing site progress to date. Champions also have an online forum to share ideas and best practice, and seek support.

The results

The network is now well established and still growing. 90% of operational sites have a Champion leading local action and more than 1,000 activities to improve our environmental and social impact had been recorded by July 2021.


Examples of the progress made on the sustainability principles include:


Rather than dispose of furniture, office equipment and surplus items, they are shared for re-use across the business. Eye-catching planters made from tyres and other waste materials adorn the Neachells Lane street sweepings recycling facility in Wolverhampton, whilst others were donated to a local primary school. Desks and chairs discarded by the public have furnished an entire office floor at Charlton Lane Eco Park in Shepperton.

Single-use items and packaging

Reusable bottles have replaced disposable cups at water fountains and single-use coffee cups have been removed from vending machines. Some locations have switched from buying supermarket milk in cartons to deliveries in glass bottles.


Laminating audit checklists and electronic ticketing reduce paper use and printing. Transitioning to digital weighbridge tickets at Earlswood household waste recycling centre has saved 200 sheets per day, £450 in paper costs and more than 200kg of carbon emissions a year. At our materials recycling facility in Pool, a reusable board is now used for daily stocktakes instead of sheets of paper.


Activities range from litter picks with local groups and virtual lessons for schools to donating bikes and other equipment to charities. The team at Seghill landfill teamed up with a local community group in Northumberland to carry out a litter pick, donating the litter picking equipment after the joint event, while Washington depot gave the local football club a skip, which was used to dispose of waste from a clean-up of a rundown churchyard.


Timer switches have been installed for lighting and heating, and more efficient LED lighting as part of a companywide roll out. Motion sensors now control the lights in the changing rooms, toilets and workshop at Cobden Street household waste recycling centre, Salford.


Non-chemical BioHygiene cleaning products using microbes and natural ingredients are proving more effective, leaving surfacers cleaner for longer. Supplied as concentrate, they are diluted for use on site to minimise plastic packaging and transportation.


Bird and owl boxes and insect hotels have been installed on sites, while the planting of wildflowers and trees is encouraging bees and other wildlife. Working with local beekeepers, we now have 36 beehives on our sites.


Additional waste streams – for example, batteries and food – are now recycled, where appropriate, at sites. At our Darwen office, Terracycle boxes are provided for recycling office stationery.


Cycling and walking to work journeys are up across the business and more sites are adding cycle shelters. Video-conferencing technology is reducing the need to travel for most meetings.