Decarbonising the water and waste sector and promoting renewable energy

Faced with rising energy prices and the need to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities, SUEZ is innovating to transform non-recyclable waste and sewage sludge into local, renewable energy that supports the ecological transition in local areas. SUEZ is also exploring technologies for capturing, storing and using CO2 that will play a major role in achieving carbon neutrality.
SUEZ Tees Valley

SUEZ Tees Valley, the UK’s first carbon capture project

As well as setting targets to cut CO2 emissions, the IPCC stated that achieving the Paris Agreement targets will require 2 billion tonnes of CO2 to be captured and stored every year from 2030, and 10 billion tonnes every year from 2050. Our capacity for carbon capture is currently in the millions. So work must be done to design technology that can be industrialised and rolled out at scale.
As part of its 2023–2027 sustainable development road map, SUEZ is rising to the challenge. The Group will invest €40 million in R&D with a view to developing carbon capture and storage technologies that can be rolled out to energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities.

Carbon sequestration involves removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it sustainably in ecosystems such as in oceans, biomass, soil and subsoil, to limit rising global temperatures. In the UK, SUEZ is working on its first national project to capture and store the carbon emitted by waste incineration at its SUEZ Tees Valley energy recovery plant in Haverton Hill, which is scheduled to be in operation 2027–2030.
240,000 tonnes 
of carbon will be captured each year in SUEZ Tees Valley energy recovery plant 

Biochar, "black gold" to trap CO₂ in the soil using trees

Faced with the climate emergency, capturing, storing and recovering excess CO2 in the atmosphere is an essential mechanism for achieving carbon neutrality. Made from forestry, landscape and agricultural residues, it has been identified by the IPCC as one of the most effective negative-emission solutions for curbing climate change at scale. 
Biochar is a black powder obtained from the vegetal biomass pyrolyzed at high temperature between 500–600°C, without oxygen for a few minutes. It is a powerful carbon sink, as it extracts and traps part of the carbon from unused biomass. In addition, it makes it possible to produce renewable energy, by generating excess energy in the form of steam or pyrolysis oil, which can be directly recovered on site. Biochar can also regenerate soils, limit the use of synthetic fertilizers which have significant greenhouse gas footprint, and preserve the use and quality of water resources.

As a precursor, SUEZ aims to industrialise the production of a high environmental quality biochar, in order to develop and operate an industrial capacity that will contribute to decarbonize its corporate, industrial and municipal customers. Working on the subject since 2020, the Group also signed a commercial and strategic partnership in 2021 with Canadian pyrolysis equipment company AIREX ENERGIE for joint projects to industrialise biochar production.
2.5 to 3 tonnes eqCO₂
1 tonne of pure biochar can sequester the equivalence of 2.5 and 3 tons of CO₂ depending on the biomass origin, processing parameters and carbon content of the finish biochar

IR-SCAN, SNAC, MeMo, secret energy in our wastewater and waste

Did you know that biodegradable waste from agriculture, the agri-food industry, food distribution, catering and our own kitchens, as well as sludge from wastewater treatment plants, are a tremendous source of abundant local energy which can replace fossil fuels? 

As a producer and operator of anaerobic digesters, SUEZ firmly believes that the production of energy from sewage sludge and organic waste can be further improved thanks to digital technology and artificial intelligence.

In 2022, the Group acquired the BioEnTech startup, which developed digital and analytical solutions for monitoring and optimising the operation of methanisation plants. Three solutions are currently on the market:

  • IR-SCAN®: Making the management of fermentable waste more reliable. This rapid characterisation method for organic materials to be digested enables their composition to be analysed and their methane production potential to be evaluated in a fifth of the time required for conventional biological analysis.
  • SNAC®: Making the  digester operation safer. This smart micro-laboratory indicates the biological health of the digester accurately and enables potential malfunctions to be anticipated.
  • MeMo®: Optimisingthe biogas production. This digital twin of the methanisation plant is a valuable decision support tool.

SUEZ innovations, expertise and know-how on methanisation are aimed at communities, companies and farmers who own (or plan to own) anaerobic digesters: urban or industrial water treatment plants, agricultural, territorial or urban digesters.
40 plants
These solutions have already benefit over 40 plants in France and abroad

SUEZ Biofactory, sewage treatment plants rich in resources!

Decarbonising the energy of the sites operated by the Group on behalf of its customers is one of its major climate commitments, as it aims to increase the proportion of renewable energy and production of energy and resources generated from wastewater activities.    
SUEZ treatment plants are now able do far more than just treat wastewater. SUEZ Biofactories are transitioning from a traditional wastewater treatment plant model to wastewater treatment and recovery complexes based on state-of-the-art technologies. These new plants can produce more energy than they need to operate, in the form of biogas that can be used in electricity, heat, fuel and natural gas. They are also able to recover some secondary raw materials from wastewater, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which are then converted into fertilisers. Treated wastewater can also be given a second life thanks to water reuse.
15,000 tonnes eqCO2 avoided
each year from 2030 through the recovery of biomethane, dried sludge and treated water of Haliotis 2,  the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area's wastewater treatment and recovery complex, which will be gradually developed from 2025.
Haliotis 2, the future wastewater treatment and recovery complex for the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area - SUEZ
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