Another EU Green Week is over attracting a record online audience from citizens and stakeholders around the EU. Dedicated to the EU ambition of a zero pollution, the event zoomed in on efforts to tackle pollution of air, soil and water, creating a world where pollution is no longer harmful for people’s health and ecosystems.


UDITE successfully partnered Veolia last week at 2021 Green Week that took place online from 1st to 4th June 2021 under the banner of ‘Zero pollution – for healthier people and planet’.  This theme coincided with the publication of the EU Action Plan toward a Zero Pollution Ambition that is a key action of the European Green Deal.  It achieved a record involvement from citizens and stakeholders around the EU. Dedicated to the EU ambition of a zero pollution, the event zoomed in on efforts to tackle pollution of air, soil and water, creating a world where pollution is no longer harmful for people’s health and ecosystems.

UDITE and VEOLIA’s successful brought together a high level EU Green Week 2021 workshop  "The ecological transformation: global challenges and local solutions"  that took place on 3rd June involving Jessica Polfjard MEP from the EP Environment committee, Paul Gatt, UDITE President, Senior Vice President Carine Kraus and director Sven Saura from VEOLIA, Michail Papadoyannakis an expert from DG Environment on combating marine plastics pollution, the Mayor of Torremermeija Francisco Trinidad Peñato, a case study from José Luis Sáez Sánchez - TorrePET Chief Executive and Xavier Boivert, DG from the Commune of Mordelles near Rennes in Brittany representing SNDGCT. The webinar moderated by environment and energy correspondent for EURACTIV - Frédéric Simon and was broadcast on YouTube Premier and has attracted over 169 views since it was first broadcast. A big thanks to COSITAL for supporting UDITE with the Mayor of Torremeija and his DG at the local administration who spoke about the benefits of such projects for the green economy, its impact on depopulation and the economic benefits for the population. The workshop coincided with Spain confirming that it will focus its share of the European recovery funds on the ecological transition. If you would like to see the workshop still it is still online on the UDITE YouTube channel.



So what is the role of the DG in relation to the ecological transition?




This was a question answered by a recent webinar hosted recently by our French association SNDGCT as a precursor to a wider debate at the 2021 SNDGCT/UDITE congress in October. Speaking briefly on behalf of SNDGCT Xavier Boivert from the Commune of Mordelles in the Greater Rennes areas was invited to comment on the role of the local authority DG (CEO) in relation to the ecological transition. Xavier outlined a number of issues if we are to respond effectively to the medium and long term agendas in relation to the ecological transition including:-

  1. Professional managers are often time constrained and find themselves at the cross-roads between those that argue for the ‘doable’ and those who are more ‘aspirational’;

  2. How can we create the capacity to engage on this vital topic;

  3. Need to create the time. 

  4. Three key challenges for DG/CEOs 1. Managing relations with elected members and advising theme professionally on the relevant courses of action; 2. Dealing with the administration (Council officers and departmental issues) and 3. Fulfilling that important role that DGs play in lining up the territorial actors in relation to the ecological transition;

  5. Creating the organisational culture for the transition.

  6. That there is a significant delay in responding to these issues across many local authorities due to the capacity particularly of small authorities;

  7. The DG’s main role is the management of the authority managing relationships between elected members and the authorities administrators. 

  8. The speaker in the round table commented on how they had created a post to look specifically at circular economy and understand the opportunities of territory the ecological transition;

  9. Local authorities do not hold all the cards to respond with projects that underpin the ecological transition, so partnerships are vital for progress to be made in any given territory;

  10. Do we have the knowledge, competence and capacity to line up all the key partners on the ground? Nevertheless, the key issue will be to play the partnership approach by advising members, manage the authority and cross departmental working, and build wider important partnerships are the key to making progress in this area if we are to progress rapidly.

UDITE’s business partner Veolia has never been busier in keeping citizens connected to water, sewage and waste management service during the pandemic.  In this latest video Veolia celebrates its everyday heroes that have kept our societies on the road. Acting in an unprecedented crisis caused by the outbreak of Covid-19, Veolia mobilised from the first days of lockdown to maintain the essential services and protect its employees around the world.

Now in this video, Veolia is unveiling for UDITE members there latest video that has been produced over several months, in 2020  not only from Veolia's headquarters in Paris, but on the ground in France, the USA, Morocco, Latin America and Asia. In the midst of the pandemic, Veolia heroes have worked day and night to ensure that water was treated, waste collected and recycled, and that services were maintained. Watch now:


Veolia pays tribute to its everyday heroes who - in deserted streets or on sites, from their computers confined at home, and wherever the Group is present - work in the shadows every day so that the services that are essential to preserve our quality of life continue to be delivered.

At the same time Veolia has launched its long-term vision – the Ecological Transformation. Never have environmental concerns been so instantly visible, or their consequences for our societies so real to people everywhere. Veolia is setting itself a new benchmark as a company for Ecological transformation, to accelerate and expand the deployment of existing solutions, while simultaneously creating the solutions for tomorrow. Working with UDITE in 2021, Veolia is looking to move forward in the context of the EU Green Deal with stakeholders including local government, who are convinced that economic, social and environmental challenges must form an indivisible whole if they are to drive the recovery and next generation sustainable investments.


What is the Ecological transformation?


  • acting to go beyond transition alone and implement the solutions our societies need to turn the tide. 

  • acting to take on the ecological big challenges and build a better and more sustainable future for all.

  • acting to accelerate, invent and promote the activities that have the greatest impact on both today and tomorrow. 

  • acting for a multifaceted performance to transcend the conflicts between its five constituent dimensions , which for us form an indivisible whole.

  • acting for and with our stakeholders, because we will achieve success through being useful to them.

  • acting by channelling our Resources’ commitment to move forward together, never give up and be optimistic. 


Category: International