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How Data Is Helping Veolia UK Build a Greener World

How Data Is Helping Veolia UK Build a Greener World

We find out how the CIO of Veolia UK is harnessing data to help the company and its customers deliver on their sustainability goals.

From planning a route with his electric car to optimising the production of green energy, Stuart Stock is pushing the power of data to the max at home and work. We find out how the CIO of Veolia UK is harnessing data to help the company and its customers deliver on their sustainability goals.

What do you love about being a CIO?

I really enjoy helping to bring about change. And there’s a lot of change happening within our business and industry at the moment. As a leader in environmental solutions, we are helping thousands of organisations and consumers transform how they manage their waste, water, and energy.

We’re constantly looking at new ways to reduce carbon, preserve natural resources, combat climate change, and protect biodiversity. With technology, we can build a more sustainable world; it’s an exciting and rewarding time to be a CIO.

What made you pursue a career in IT?

I actually trained and qualified as an accountant! And that’s how my career at Veolia UK began – in the finance team for one of its regional waste divisions.

I was fascinated by how we were increasingly using data to shape our decisions and strategies, and realised I was more interested in exploiting analytics than filing accounts. After a number of operational roles, I then moved into IT. It’s an unusual career path but it means I can draw on lots of different skills and perspectives, which is key for a CIO. You have to be able to see everything through the eyes of your colleagues and customers.

Are you still fascinated by data?

Probably even more so now!

It’s fundamental to how we support our customers and evolve our services. By capturing data in cloud-based solutions, such as Salesforce, we can empower our teams with real-time visibility, which helps them make smarter decisions and have richer conversations.

I am always on the lookout for additional datasets that we can exploit to optimise our operations and resources. The more data we capture, the more predictive we can become about our customers and the services they need to achieve their sustainability goals and reduce their carbon emissions. I’ve become so data-driven that it’s even crept into my personal life. Every time I go for a run or a paddleboarding session, I have to check my analytics!

Can you share an example of how data is making a difference?

Data has already helped us achieve some great things – from increasing the capacity of our plants to decreasing our carbon emissions. And there are still more benefits to unlock for our business – and our customers.

For example, we will be able to collect hazardous waste faster by combining the power of data with digital technologies. From oily rags at a local garage to solvents on a construction site, Veolia UK collects more than 381,000 tonnes of hazardous waste every year. By sharing consignment data in real-time with our hazardous waste crews via the Salesforce Field Service app, we can prevent cross-contamination between different materials and maximise recycling opportunities.

How do you maintain the innovation momentum?

Dreamforce has always been a massive source of inspiration. It’s a great opportunity to learn how other organisations are using Salesforce. We want to benchmark our customer experience against the best brands not just our industry peers. If I have a good idea, running helps me think it through.

But that’s just the start of the challenge – to bring an idea to life, you need a motivated and engaged team. With a lot of people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to find new – and fun – ways to bring colleagues together. The ‘bring your pet’ idea was a big hit – it’s not often you have cats and dogs joining online team meetings…

What have you learned from your data and digitalisation journey?

A lot! To maximise the benefits of new technologies and processes, you need good governance – especially around how data is being captured, shared, and analysed. You also need to ensure there’s engagement at every level across the business to create a data-driven culture. And that’s exactly what we’ve achieved at Veolia UK. Data is helping us unlock new insights and offer new services that will help safeguard our planet for generations to come.

By harnessing the power of data and digitalisation, Veolia UK has not only boosted sustainability but also efficiency and agility. Read how in the full success story: Veolia UK helps more organisations combat climate change with Salesforce

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