The Rungis International Market has awarded SUEZ a €31 million contract to expand its food and non-food waste sorting and recovery capability

Semmaris, the Rungis International Market’s management company, has awarded SUEZ, a leader in environmental services, a contract to collect and sort waste at the world’s largest fresh produce market. Since January 2024, SUEZ has been implementing solutions to raise awareness and improve waste sorting and recovery. By leveraging SUEZ’s expertise, the aim is to double the proportion of waste sorted by 2025 for the Rungis International Market, which is fully aligned with its CSR strategy to reduce the size of its environmental footprint. This €31 million contract runs for seven years.

Principal target: to double the proportion of waste sorted by 2025

Since the beginning of 2024, SUEZ has worked alongside Semmaris on preventing, sorting and recovering waste at the Rungis International Market, with a focus on collecting and sorting all biowaste, which is now mandatory under the AGEC law.

To reach the target of doubling the proportion of waste sorted by 2025, several actions are underway:

  • Sorting at source: clearly visible and easily understandable signs have been displayed to facilitate sorting and to enhance the quality of waste collected with a view to its recovery;
  • Advice and support: certified training sessions, awareness-raising workshops and thematic events are organised by recycling specialists for Rungis International Market’s staff;
  • Sorting ambassadors: local representatives implement educational initiatives to increase buy-in from wholesaler customers;
  • Operational optimisation tailoured to Semmaris’ various sites and facilities: new working methods have been introduced to optimise performance of the market’s sorting and landfill unit.

SUEZ has also undertaken to put in place a zero-waste policy by setting up a platform for donations of unsold produce, a system for handling produce that is too severely damaged, and also biowaste composting and methanation.

Fully electric collection vehicles cutting carbon emissions

SUEZ’s fleet of fully electric vehicles will handle waste collection and on-site logistics. Drivers will also be trained in eco-driving techniques. These initiatives will reduce annual carbon emissions sixfold from 159 tons of CO2, or the equivalent of 3,182 return flights between Paris and London.

An ambitious access-to-employment programme to help people get back to work

Lastly, REBOND Insertion, a SUEZ subsidiary, is also involved in delivering this contract. It will strengthen the operational teams by offering various assignments to long-term job seekers.

Stéphane Layani, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Rungis Market, said: “This contract with SUEZ opens up new possibilities for the management of the Rungis Market’s waste. As the number one French public service operator in the food sector, the Market needs to take a lead in how it processes and recovers food and non-food waste. SUEZ is a leader in this area, and I firmly believe that by joining forces, we will achieve our objectives and fulfil our CSR commitments.”.