Veolia Environnement SA

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A multinational French company operating in the fields of water, waste management, energy and transport services. The company holds full control of Veolia Environnement Israel. Veolia Environnement Israel provides services to the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

As of August 2015, Veolia Environnement’s subsidiary, Transdev, has sold all of its holdings in its Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR) project to a group of Israeli investors, bringing an end to Veolia's complicity in the Israeli occupation. The approval of the deal by the Israeli authorities and the completion of the ownership transfer in January 2016 mark an end to Veolia’s operations in the Israeli market in general and to its involvement in the controversial JLR project, which services Israeli settlements and territories illegally annexed by Israel. THis was the last stage in a long process of divestment form the Isralei occupation. See more on Who Profits.

Veolia is a multinational French company operating in the fields of water, waste management, energy and transport services.

Veolia Environnement holds 50% in Transdev, formerly the transportation arm of the French conglomerate. This subsidiary holds a 5% share in the CityPass consortium, that controls the Jerusalem light rail project. The Jerusalem light rail is a settlement infrastructure project, designed to connect the city of Jerusalem with illegal settlements around it. Transdev fully owns Connex JLRT, the company which operates all the trains.

In September 2014, Transdev has reported an agreement with other partners in the CityPass consortium - The Ashtrom Group, IIF (Israel Infrastructure Fund) and Harel Insurance - for the sale of Connex JLRT and Transdev's 5% share in CityPass itself. Yet, as of April 2015 this sale is still pending, possibly due to government restrictions.

In April 2015, Veolia sold its water, waste and energy activities in Israel to the US-based investment management firm Oaktree Capital Management. The sale included Veolia’s activities in the Tovlan landfill in the occupied Jordan Valley and in the Ayalon wastewater treatment facility, which treats sewage from the illegal West Bank settlement of Modi’in Illit. As a result, Veolia no longer has any holdings in these two facilities.

Previous disengagement of Veolia Environnement from the Israeli market occurred in September 2013, when the company sold its local bus network, including bus lines serving dozens of settlements in the West Bank, to Afikim company.

Economic Activism Highlights
  • On March 1, 2016, the University College London Union voted to support the BDS campaign, stating that the student union will “not have any commercial or investment relationship with companies that participate in Israeli violations of international law, including G4S, Veolia, HP and military companies that supply Israel such as BAE Systems and Raytheon.”
  • Stanford University students passed a resolution in February 2015, urging divestment from Veolia, among other “companies implicated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, many of which facilitate parallel injury against communities of color here in the United States.”
  • In January 2015 the UC Davis student senate passed a divestment resolution urging the university to drop investments in Veolia Environment because its “subsidiaries hold permits to transfer waste from Israel and its illegal settlements into the Tovlan landfill in the occupied Palestinian territories.” The bill was later repealed based on constitutional technicality.
  • In 2014, the University of New Mexico’s Graduate and Professional Student Association cited Veolia’s “profit from bus lines and a light rail system that connect Israeli settlements to Israel” as one reason for its divestment decision, among others.
  • Loyola University in Chicago passed a 2014 divestment resolution against Veolia over the company’s “documented human rights violations.”
  • Sweden’s Nordea Bank began engaging with Veolia in 2014 over how the company “deal[s] with human rights in their operations in Israel.”
  • The Black Students' Conference of Britain’s National Union of Students in 2014 resolved to “lobby Institutions and Unions to divest from key BDS target companies, including...Veolia
  • The Oberlin College student senate voted to divest from Veolia in 2013, due to “injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian people by Israel.” 
  • In 2012, major Swedish pension funds AP 1-4 began engaging with Veolia over its “management and operation of a light rail system connecting West Jerusalem with with settlements.”
  • In April 2012, the Friends Fiduciary Corporation (Quakers) removed Veolia from its list of socially responsible corporations, citing its “segregated water services to Israeli settlers in the Palestinian Territories.”
  • In 2010, Dutch pension fund PFZW began engagement with Veolia over “concerns about human rights issues.”
  • Dutch Triodos Bank, in 2008, confirmed that it "excludes companies that contribute to the continuation of occupation, like Veolia."
  • Dutch ASN Bank excluded Veolia in 2006, stating “we are of the opinion that Veolia’s activities in Jerusalem are in conflict with UN Resolutions.”