2016 Water Company of the Year

Veolia Water Technologies walked away as the Water Company of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2016, recognising its positive intra-organisational restructuring that has resulted in a “leaner, more focused and dramatically more effective water company”. The results of this restructuring saw the company’s share price gaining 50% over the course of the year!

This is the latest corporate development in a 160 year-long journey that has seen the company evolve from a provider of water treatment solutions for European cities in 1853 to one that is on the cutting edge of advancing ‘circular economies’ for more sustainable ways of living across the world.

Tracing our roots: an overview

The company’s earliest services in the mid-19th Century were designed to manage waste and sewage, promoting public health, driving more sanitary living conditions for urban populations.

As potable water delivered to homes became a reality 20 years or so later, the company began to expand outside of France, establishing water networks in several neighbouring countries, providing clean drinking water and treating wastewater to towns and cities.

By the 1920s, the company had begun to incorporate industrial wastewater solutions to its portfolio. Veolia enjoyed a sustained boom from the 1950s as the demand for public services began to increase. In industry, Veolia played a key part in helping factories and plants manage their waste, reduce pollution and enhance their performance.

The early 1990s saw the beginning of a shift to sustainable development. In the 20 years that follow, Veolia is established as a global group that is the leading name in environmental services, now offering waste management and waste-to-energy solutions; optimising energy use and efficiency.

The next chapter

Veolia is now at the forefront of the vital ecological transition needed to preserve the planet, enhance human development and provide fresh impetus to the world economy. By continuously improving processes and services, Veolia aims to:

  • reduce the use of natural resources;

  • promote widespread recycling and waste recovery;

  • to provide new raw materials; and

  • move closer to a circular economy.

The company’s solutions are now structured across three worldwide portfolios: water management; waste management; and energy management.

Together as One Veolia, the company works hand-in-hand with cities and industries to provide new models based on performance, efficiency and responsibility to help build tomorrow’s world!

Veolia Water Technologies

Drinking water plant in Neuilly-sur-Marne (France)

The water knowhow division of Veolia, Veolia Water Technologies specialises in technological solutions that provide the complete range of services required to design, build, maintain and upgrade water and wastewater treatment facilities for industrial and municipal clients. Sharing the mandate of the original Veolia offering, the company has supplied solutions for over 160 years, during which time it has constantly grown and added to its technological capabilities.

Across the world, Veolia Water Technologies helps clients achieve their water and wastewater needs through sustainable, cost-effective strategies and solutions based around:

  • energy-efficient water treatment;
  • measuring and improving environmental and economic performance;
  • turning wastewater into a resource, advancing circular economies.

Veolia Water Technologies South Africa: A journey of successful growth and expansion

Veolia Water Technologies South Africa is the result of a long process of corporate expansion, at both national and international level, with numerous brand changes that reflect the company’s growing product and service offering.

Veolia Water Technologies South Africa traces its roots back to 1972, when, as Chematron Products, a privately-owned company, focused on the food and beverage and general industrial process water market in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

In 1999, Chematron Products was acquired by Vivendi Water, the world’s leading water and wastewater treatment company and renamed Vivendi Water Systems.

In 2004, Vivendi Water Systems changed to Veolia Water Systems and the South African entity thus became Veolia Water Systems South Africa. Until this point, the local company had focused primarily on small- to medium-sized projects, chemicals, services and operations.

In 2005, Veolia Water Systems merged with Weir Envig, an industrial effluent treatment specialist with operations in Africa, the Middle East and Australia, becoming VWS Envig.

Similarly to Veolia Water Systems, Weir Envig had a long history in the southern African water treatment industry, having evolved since 1978 from Debex Desalination and Membratek to become Envig and, after acquisition by the Weir Group of Scotland, Weir Envig.

By 2011, VWS Envig changed its name to Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa (Pty) Ltd, a move that better reflected the presence of its international parent company, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies.

Lastly, in 2015, in line with the successful restructuring of the global group, the business was renamed Veolia Water Technologies, and the South African entity, Veolia Water Technologies South Africa.

As part of the Veolia family, Veolia Water Technologies South Africa has access to a portfolio of more than 350 technologies featuring everything from online diagnostic solutions to evaporation and crystallisation, energy-producing sludge treatment, state-of-the-art desalination and laboratory-grade water.