SUEZ PRESENTS ITS CONCRETE SOLUTIONS TO PROTECT THE OCEANS AND LAUNCHES A WORLDWIDE BEACH CLEANING OPERATION
SPEECH BY JEAN-LOUIS CHAUSSADE, CEO OF SUEZ, AT THE UN CONFERENCES IN NEW YORK ON “OUR OCEANS, OUR FUTURE”
The oceans cover almost 71% of the surface of the Earth and play a major role in the way our planet works. They produce 50% of the available oxygen, regulate the climate, store CO2 and are an essential resource for mankind.
The oceans, an essential resource for life, are today under threat from human activity
The oceans are under threat from pollution, 80% of which comes from the land and human activity. There are 269,000 tonnes of plastic floating on the ocean surface, and 80% to 90% of this waste is made up of polyethylene, a plastic used in packaging materials.
The Mediterranean sea is especially vulnerable to land-based pollution on account of its small size (it makes up less than 1% of total ocean area), which limits its self-cleaning capacity. Almost 500 tonnes of plastic, i.e. 250 billion microplastic fragments, threaten the Mediterranean. Implementing upstream solutions is a priority for the towns and cities of the Mediterranean area that wish to preserve their populations’ living environments, region’s attractiveness and economic activities such as tourism and fishing.
How SUEZ is working to protect coastlines
Water and waste treatment experts have an important role to play in the conservation of the ocean. On every continent, SUEZ develops concrete solutions to preserve water resources and to recycle and recover waste, thereby contributing to the protection of the coastline and marine ecosystems. For example, in Marseilles (France), SUEZ is working with the local authority to preserve the area’s exceptional coastline (which runs for 51 km along the 21 beaches within the city limits) by deploying innovative technologies that aim not only at preserving the coastline and the quality of bathing waters, but also at regenerating marine biodiversity.
SUEZ offers solutions along with NGOs (7e Continent, Expédition MED, Goodplanet) that act as lookouts, whistle-blowers and help to raise awareness, take action and inspire public policies. In June 2015, the Group also became a partner of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, as part of World Oceans Day.
Participation of Jean-Louis Chaussade to the United Nations Oceans conferences in New York on 7 and 9 June
This year and for the first time, from 5 to 9 June 2017 in New York, the United Nations is holding conference on the theme of Oceans, on “how to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”. Jean-Louis Chaussade will speak at two conferences to highlight the need of leading concrete actions to protect oceans.
A large majority of our solutions play a key role in the fight against marine micro and macro-pollutants, because they are part of the complete cycle of water, waste and secondary raw materials.
Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ
Launch of a global collection of waste on beaches
This year, SUEZ has chosen World Oceans Day to launch a worldwide mobilisation campaign for its 84,000 employees by organising cleaning operations of plastic waste on coastlines and in catchment areas. Named #SUEZ4ocean, it aims to gather on an interactive map all the initiatives carried out locally to reduce, upstream, the pollution of the littoral and marine environments.