Veolia Launches Open Playground, Inviting Innovators to Drive Ecological Transformation as part of ChangeNOW 2021 Challenge

As part of the world’s largest environment event, this new innovation program will develop the company’s future solutions for ecological problems

Boston, MA – Veolia, the leading company for ecological transformation, is inviting startups and other innovators to put their creativity and talent to work to solve some of the thorniest issues currently facing the planet, as part of its launch of Open Playground, an expertise-sharing program that connects the company with entrepreneurs committed to finding solutions for the global climate emergency. Open Playground was recently launched at ChangeNOW, a global summit to create concrete actions and innovations for the planet.

On Friday, May 28, Veolia’s innovation teams participated in a reverse pitch session to present startups, selected by ChangeNOW, with common ecological problems. The objective is to initiate discussions about the solutions to be invented.

The pitches covered the following areas:

  • Ideas on how to keep track of and ensure that plastics can be traced in the supply chain
  • Concepts to create a platform where new sustainable materials are used in the fashion, textiles and luxury goods industry to support a circular economy
  • Innovations in waste streams from the agricultural/food industry so food waste is viewed as a resource
  • Sustainable and self-sufficient houses


“Unfortunately, North America is ranked as one of the highest producers of waste in the world. If we view waste as a resource, we can help our customers realize value and help our planet, all while we aid our ecological transformation movement. Veolia North America is involved in a global discussion with ecological experts and innovators, all working together with the same ambition to ChangeNOW,” said Rob Brown, vice president of strategy for Veolia North America.

“Veolia’s model is essentially collaborative: the solutions that we deploy today in all four corners of the world were invented yesterday with our customers and partners. Now, with Open Playground, we are counting on the agility of startups, immersing them in the key problems facing our business, by providing them with installations and experts that will enable them to invent - with us - tomorrow’s ecological innovations,” said Claire Falzone, Veolia’s director of innovation.


The “Open Playground” program timetable includes:

  • September 2021: selection of startups and development of a roadmap, creation of the team, analysis of requirements and testing until a pilot program is developed
  • March 2022: assessment, including monitoring the viability of pilots and selection of the startups during the second part of the program
  • September 2022: second proof of concept and establishment of a framework agreement to deploy the ecological innovation within the Veolia Group


About Veolia

Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €26.010 billion in 2020.


About Veolia North America

A subsidiary of Veolia group, Veolia North America (VNA) offers a full spectrum of water, waste and energy management services, including water and wastewater treatment, commercial and hazardous waste collection and disposal, energy consulting and resource recovery. VNA helps commercial, industrial, healthcare, higher education and municipality customers throughout North America. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., Veolia North America has more than 7,000 employees working at more than 250 locations across the continent.


Carrie Griffiths
(781) 491-3117
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