Corporate social responsibility

We recognise our responsibilities as a business, an employer and a neighbour in the communities where we serve our customers across the UK. The SUEZ group’s sustainability roadmap directs our efforts, setting the priorities and goals we must meet in order to live up to our economic, environmental and social responsibilities.
Economic

Leading the transition towards the low-carbon and resource-saving circular economy

SUEZ in the UK has been a pioneer of the circular economy as a concept and business model. Now we are playing our part in the SUEZ group’s mission to lead the resource revolution that will help create it. To get to this point has meant reinventing and diversifying our UK business to become a resource manager, energy generator, fuel manufacturer, commodity trader and supplier of products – from compost to closed water systems and bespoke biocides.

 

We are committed to:

  • researching and developing new processes, and investing in a variety of treatment and production facilities.
  • extracting as much value as possible from our customers’ waste.
  • improving the productivity, quality and profitability of our customers’ water-based products, processes and services.
  • monitoring and promoting the positive socio-economic impacts we make through local employment and responsible procurement policy.

 

We must continue raising resource efficiency to integrate SUEZ and our customers fully in the circular economy, and so create a sustainable business.

Environmental

Going beyond environmental compliance to produce sustainable power and products

Environmental protection has always been at the core of the SUEZ business in the UK. Like all group companies, we strive to go beyond compliance, surpassing minimum environmental standards where we operate.

 

Our business model also revolves around conserving and managing precious natural resources, while enabling the low-carbon economy.

 

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of our age. The SUEZ Sustainability Road Map commits the group to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to two degrees, and sets us targets for reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions and those of our customers. We are also working with the Carbon Trust to reduce our footprint year on year.

 

Activities that contribute toward this and our other environmental goals include:

  • Diverting more material resources from the waste streams of customers away from landfill to productive uses.
  • Expanding energy-from-waste generation as a cost-effective local power source for factories and homes, complementing other forms of renewable power.
  • Creating valuable products from waste materials, such as compost, solid fuels and other fossil alternatives.
  • Helping customers go beyond compliance with regulations – on water purity, discharge limits and other emissions, packaging recycling, hazardous waste – to minimise environmental impacts.
  • Pioneering innovations in recycling, such as our award-winning process for producing concrete blocks made from street sweepings.
  • Restoring former landfill sites for amenity use, planting trees and hedgerows.
Social

Giving something back, contributing to the common good

Being collaborative and contributing to the common good are SUEZ group priorities and twin pillars of our social responsibility.

 

We see collaboration as central to the development of SUEZ in the UK and our dealings with all stakeholders.

 

Our first duty of care is for the safety of our people. We set targets for continuous improvement in safety performance, underpinned by robust safety management systems. Our award-winning behavioural programme, Safety in Mind, complements this safety framework.

 

We invest heavily in training and development, and consult our employees regularly through surveys on opinion – which show high levels of engagement – and other topics, such as wellbeing. Employees at all levels are represented on our UK Works Council, which influences decision-making in various areas, including safety management and apprenticeship training.

 

We also engage with wider society for the greater good.

 

Our Giving Something Back programme encourages every employee to get involved with local causes.

 

The programme does this in three ways:

  • Fundraising for charities, including our national partner, Macmillan Cancer Support.
  • Building a network of education ambassadors.
  • Raising awareness of SUEZ Communities Trust and the projects they fund.

 

This not-for-profit body channels a share of the landfill tax we collect to worthy projects. More than 4,000 have shared some £110 million since its creation in 1997.

 

Through the SUEZ Advancing Aspirations programme we build links with schools and colleges in disadvantaged areas. Our staff coach employability skills and we provide work experience placements with a view to reducing the numbers of school leavers who are not employed, in education or training (NEETs).

 

And, our people volunteer on clean-up days and get involved in other community activities.

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