• Veolia ANZ
    Veolia ANZ

Dealing with hazardous chemicals in waste is poised to be one of the most critical sustainability issues in the coming decade.

To tackle this challenge, the environmental service company Veolia now joins the likes of Apple and Ikea in 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 NGO ChemSec.

As the only environmental services company in the group, Veolia joins Apple, Ikea, Adidas, and other big brands to bring a valuable new perspective that the group has so far lacked.

ChemSec Business Group project manager, Dr Jonatan Kleimark, said 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", Kleimark said.

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 product.

"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,” he said.

"To realise 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, should accelerate the development of tools that increase transparency regarding chemicals in materials. This will facilitate recycling processes.