Protect the oceans

Every year, 8 to 12 million tonnes of plastics and micro-plastics are dumped into the oceans. The safeguarding of the oceans is played out on land. Today we command the technologies to collect, recycle and recover plastics and wastewater. To transform this waste into resources is to enter into the circular economy. Thanks to this new model, the preservation of the oceans becomes possible.

Our commitment

Using SUEZ's knowledge to protect the oceans

Preserving the world’s oceans is a major commitment which is included in the new 2017-2021 Sustainable Development Road Map. Located at the center of water and waste challenges, we today use our expertise to help shape local public policies that limit pollution of the marine environment by human activity. Thanks to its overall vision, we can supply our customers with tangible solutions that limit terrestrial sources of pollution by changing the conception of the waste life cycle to a more circular model and by making the cities’ water networks more intelligent.

  • Our expertise in water and plastic waste treatment to develop solutions to reduce pollution that originates on land
  • A comprehensive logistics network as a result of our presence in numerous regions
  • Constantly evolving solutions thanks to our innovativeness and research network
Our actions

Supporting ocean protecting organizations' initiatives:

Since 2015, the Group has been working with the UNESCO intergovernmental oceanographic commission to raise the general public’s awareness of the importance of protecting our oceans, in particular on World Oceans Day, which takes place every year on 8 June.

With nearly 50 major international groups in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste

In January 2019, several major groups, including SUEZ, and multinationals from the plastics industry set up an international alliance that aims to eradicate plastic pollution from the environment, and from the oceans in particular. They have jointly committed to providing $1 billion in funding for this operation. SUEZ’s role will consist of collaborating with these industrial manufacturers in favour of eco-design. It is necessary to promote the use of plastics that can be reprocessed and to ensure that they are recyclable.

With scientific expeditions

The Group is a partner of 7th Continent Expedition and Expédition MED. In the course of expeditions, in the Pacific and the Atlantic for the former, and in the Mediterranean for the latter, these NGOs plan to study the scale of plastic pollution in our oceans, to publicise the issue in the media in order to alert the international community, and to launch concrete actions.

With skipper Stéphane Le Diraison and his Time for Oceans sailing boat

Committed to the same cause, SUEZ, Bouygues Construction and the Boulogne-Billancourt (France) town council are supporting skipper Stéphane Le Diraison for three years, as he spreads an important message: the protection of our oceans involves a multitude of players and demands collective action from institutions, businesses and citizens.

Aboard the 60-foot Time for Oceans, Stéphane Le Diraison took part in the Route du Rhum and has also entered the 2020 Vendée Globe. Time for Oceans bears a message defending the protection of our oceans. He is setting an example by showing us how we should all now view the oceans.

With Good Planet

SUEZ is also partnering Good Planet in its operations to raise awareness, which range from cleaning up beaches to creating awareness-raising materials that will make the population wake up and take action.

Our actions in Asia: partnership in marine protection and raising awareness on the plastics pollution problem

Partnership on Innovative Research on Marine Protection

SUEZ, together with its subsidiary, Macao Water, signed a framework agreement with the University of Macau in 2020, to develop a robust research partnership platform that will combine the three parties’ resources and strengths in scientific research and marine ecosystem protection.  Under the agreement, innovative research will be conducted on near-shore marine ecosystems and water treatment technology to protect the ocean and its biodiversity.

Raising Awareness on the Plastic Pollution Problem

In our offices across Asia, we promote the use of environmentally-friendly bags among staff and also motivate others to avoid plastics bags.  
In Hong Kong, we organized a “Goodbye Plastic Waste” Primary School Drawing Competition to draw attention to this imminent plastic crisis.

In Taiwan, we collaborated with local primary school to make Christmas trees out of used plastic bottles to encourage the reuse of plastic.
Our solutions
We offer solutions to control water quality, limit pollution sources, including plastic waste in particular, and protect and restore coastlines. Here are a few examples:

Fighting water pollution by micro-plastics

While treatment plants represent a barrier to water pollution, certain types of pollutants are able to get through traditional filtration systems. This is the case with the microfibers used in our clothes. Thus, we launched  the first ever research program that looks into pollution by microfibers. Operating a purification station at Nice-Haliotis, we teamed up with the Nice Côte d’Azur city authorities, the MED Expédition NGO and the Villefranche oceanographic laboratory.
The aim of the programme is to characterise the pollution caused by plastic microfibers, to assess the impacts of this pollution on the natural ecosystem and to identify the best available technologies to treat this type of pollution, such as dynamic microfiltration.

Controlling discharges of wastewater and rainwater into the natural ecosystem

AQUADVANCED® Urban Drainage proposes a step-wise offer to optimally and transparently manage sanitation systems. The range offers operators and local authorities an all-inclusive tool to protect the environment, people and property, while also achieving an optimal economic balance by anticipating risks of flooding and pollution, protecting the natural environment, cutting operating costs and making use of existing assets and past investments.

Collecting plastic bottles

80% to 90% of the plastic found in the oceans is made of polyethylene, a type of plastic frequently used for packaging. To prevent this waste from ending up in the sea, around 100 supermarkets in France have been transformed into collection centres thanks to the Reco® solution. Residents are invited to drop off their plastic bottles and containers in the car park of their local store in exchange for vouchers. The containers are then sorted and recycled and given a second life. Another good example of the circular economy is Head & Shoulders which has created the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from beach plastic.

Addressing the plastic waste crisis 

We are bringing SUEZ’s European experience in plastic recycling and the production of circular polymers to Southeast Asia with a plant in Bang Phli District near Bangkok, Thailand. With an annual capacity to convert 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste into high-quality post-consumer recycled plastic, the plant will contribute to Thailand’s target to achieve 100% plastic recycling by 2030.

Setting up a pollution control barrier to restore coastlines

The coastline of Casablanca (Morocco) is one of the most industrialized in the country, generating pollution mainly due to discharges of raw sewage into the sea. We provided the city with assistance in building the new pollution control system, which is now used to treat all of the city's sewage. 24 kilometres of coastline are now protected and the beaches have been returned to the residents.

Monitoring sea water quality

In Barcelona (Spain), the municipality has installed the COWAMA water quality monitoring system along the city's beaches. This control system is used to identify the main sources of pollution, in real time and to anticipate water quality along the beaches. Using the iBeach app, this information on water quality can be sent to citizens who want to see the water temperature, flag colour, UVA radiation level and even whether jellyfish are present.

Monitoring sensitive zones with drones

In Barcelona, we are running an experiment that consists of using drones to monitor sensitive zones in the region, polluting emissions, confined spaces, water masses and the coastline. When the drones are equipped with thermal cameras, they help us to better understand the interactions between water quality along the coast and human activities that could impact the quality of bathing water.