The environmental services group expects its recycling turnover to more than double to about 5 billion euros ($6 billion) by 2020 and anticipates potential profit in developed countries’ waste streams.
“The waste streams of developed countries are a real mine for raw materials, and even if we do not become a mining company, our recycling activities increasingly compete with the mining industry,” Frerot told Reuters in an interview.
High-tech sorting and recycling technologies can turn household and industrial waste into new commodities and energy.
Veolia’s water, waste and energy divisions made up 45, 35 and 20 percent of 2014 revenue, respectively. Frerot expects each division to move towards one third as waste recovery and recycling technologies advance.
CH2M Hill held onto the no. 1 spot and URS and Veolia North America retained the second and third spots, respectively, in the 2014 Top 200 Environmental Firms list published by Engineering News Record last September.