Case Study: Putting people centre stage at Veolia

by Dec 2, 2019Case studies

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As a UK leader in environmental solutions, Veolia provides a range of water, energy and resource management services designed to build the circular economy and preserve scarce raw materials.

Date 2019
Region UK-wide
Size 5000+ employees
Sector Environment

Doing things differently

Working in a sector under much public scrutiny, Veolia is not afraid to do things differently; both in its committed focus to reduce carbon and how it is investing wholeheartedly in its staff.

In 2017, Veolia identified that its street cleansing, collections staff and operatives in household waste recycling centres were experiencing abuse, often on a daily basis.

By working collaboratively with employees, the company launched the ‘Respect at Work’ campaign and associated training programme.

The training, which is delivered to all ‘at risk’ groups, helps employees to establish a safe and consistent way to deal with challenging situations.

Alongside this Veolia has created a simple reporting process, encouraging staff to log and report incidents.

Food & Beverage Training

Respect at work

To date 3,500 employees have undertaken the programme equating to over 10,000 training hours. Reporting of incidents has quadrupled in the last three years indicating that employees trust that the organisation will work to resolve incidents effectively.

Furthermore 96.5% of employees feel that they have acquired a new skill or knowledge through the training and overall satisfaction scores have increased.

Veolia’s approach to training is inclusive, strategic and refreshing. The organisation focuses on upskilling entry-level operatives through level 2 apprenticeships as this meets the strategic need of possible future skills gaps.

Support also comes from the top with the Management Board signing a statement of intent to support the Respect at Work campaign.

Food & Beverage Training


Veolia is showcasing that it is delivering on its values of respect at work and safety at all levels of the organisation.

“We estimated that every day over 100 of our front line employees are victims of shouting, upsetting language and physical assault from members of the public. We wanted our employees to know that Veolia does not think that it is okay and to work together to address this issue. Our single most important business objective is to embed a proactive safety culture for all employees, Respect at Work helps us to deliver this.”


Beth Whittaker, HR Director (Veolia UK & Ireland)


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