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Protecting the oceans

The oceans play a major role in mitigating climate change. But with over-fishing, rising temperatures and pollution they are being threatened. As an expert in the water and waste sectors, we are making a commitment to protect them in the new Sustainable Development 2017-2021 Road Map.

Issues

The ocean, an endangered but vital source of life

97
%
of the planet's water resources come from the oceans
50
% and more
of the oxygen on earth is provided by the sea
80
%
of marine pollution is a result of human activity
260,000
t
of plastic floating in the oceans
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, SUEZ today uses its 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.
  • Its 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 its presence in numerous regions in and outside France
  • Constantly evolving solutions thanks to its innovativeness and research network
Our actions

Supporting ocean protecting organizations’ initiatives:

Scientific expeditions

We work alongside a group called the Expédition 7ème Continent and Expédition MED. Through expeditions, the former in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the latter in the Mediterranean Sea. The objective is to study the scope of plastic pollution in the oceans, secure media coverage of the phenomenon to alert the international community and launch concrete initiatives.


Good Planet

We’ve partnered with Good Planet, dedicated to combating threats to the oceans through awareness initiatives such as beach clean-ups and the creation of awareness-rising materials and encouraging community involvement.

Patrick Deixonne-founder of Expédition 7ème Continent
"It is by coming together that we will be able to find areas of improvement and develop effective solutions. It is high time that we understand, explain and act"

Patrick Deixonnefounder of Expédition 7e Continent

UNESCO

Since 2015, SUEZ has also been committed to UNESCO’s intergovernmental oceanographic commission with the goal of implementing tangible solutions that help bringing an end to ocean pollution.

Our mobilization

A global campaign for the collection of waste

On June the 8th 2017, we launched a worldwide mobilization campaign for World Oceans Day, named #SUEZ4ocean, aimed at our 84,000 employees. We invited them to gather as many people as possible to organize cleaning operations of plastic waste on shorelines.

Our solutions

Our solutions to regenerate the coastline and preserve the oceans

We offer solutions to control water quality, limit pollution sources and protect and restore coastlines. There are a few examples:

Fighting water pollution involving micro-plastics

While treatment plants represent a barrier to water pollution, certain types of pollutants are able to get through traditional filtration system. This is the case with the microfibers used in our clothes. Thus SUEZ launched Ecoseastem, the first ever research program that looks into pollution by microfibers. Operating a purification station at Nice-Haliotis, SUEZ 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 characterize 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.

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 linked to discharges of raw sewage into the sea. SUEZ 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.

Monitor the sea water quality

In Barcelona (Spain), the municipality 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 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.

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, supermarkets in Argelès-sur-Mer (France) have been transformed into collection centers 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. It is a circular economy initiative that has already been adopted by more than 50 stores in France.
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