Veolia joins hazardous materials working group

Environmental services company Veolia has joined the ChemSec Business Group, aiming to reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals in the global supply chain. 

Veolia is the newest member of the Business Group of environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) ChemSec, the International Chemical Secretariat. As the only environmental services company in the group, Veolia joins Apple, Ikea, Adidas, and other big brands to bring a new perspective to the group. ChemSec is an independent non-profit organization that advocates for substitution of toxic chemicals to safer alternatives. The ChemSec Business Group gathers market-leading companies across sectors to develop corporate practices in the substitution of hazardous substances. It also raises public awareness. 

“We’re delighted to have Veolia on board. The company’s extensive knowledge of waste management will be a game-changer for the Business Group. We’re excited to learn more about the challenges and opportunities connected to hazardous chemicals in the waste phase,” said Jonatan Kleimark, project manager of the ChemSec Business Group

Hazardous chemicals in waste have been a longstanding sustainability issue, even though the discussion about chemical production has gotten most of the spotlight. Nevertheless, to tackle the subject of circular economy and prepare for possible future legislation, many brands are committing to increasing the use of recycled material in their products. 

“There is great demand for post-consumer recycled materials driven by corporate commitments. To meet this demand, and for brands to fulfil their commitments to become more sustainable, the production of recycled material needs to increase drastically,” Kleimark said.

“To realize this goal, there need to be waste management companies that see the potential in recycling materials without hazardous chemicals. Establishing these non-toxic waste streams will be the key to scaling up the circular economy.”

In addition to the business case for non-toxic waste management, legislative action on recycled materials has been in focus in recent years. The recently adopted Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which includes the goal of toxic-free material cycles, along with the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation, is intended accelerate the development of tools that increase transparency regarding chemicals in materials. This will facilitate recycling processes.

As an environmental services company, Veolia plays a critical role in supporting both public and private sectors in transitioning towards safer chemical alternatives in the global supply chain. The company’s decision to join the ChemSec Business Group reflects its understanding of this important issue.

“Through collaboration with the ChemSec Business Group and engagement with other sectors, Veolia is a key partner in driving and accelerating the chemical transition, as a brick of the ecological transformation and other transitions as economical, industrial and social transitions. This is part of our new strategic plan GreenUp which aims to accelerate ecological transformation while preserving human health and ecosystems, for a safer and more sustainable future,” said Ismahane Remonnay, head of prospective and regulatory affairs at Veolia.