Veolia Summer School is one of the various social initiatives of the international Group directed towards the development of young talents. Its goal is to aid the transfer of knowledge from Veolia to the next generation of young citizens, direct their attention to the changing world and develop their skills for coping with nature’s challenges through the finding of solutions for the future. Young participants take what they have learned to the countries they represent.
The goal of the program is also to strengthen the relationship between the universities, students and Veolia around a central topic: the responsibility towards the environment and the shared mission of resourcing the world.
This year, 38 participants enjoyed the event. These students were coming from universities and colleges in the US, Armenia, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Ireland, China, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Hungary, Morocco, Mexico, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Argentina, Romania, Czech Republic, Spain, Australia and Bulgaria.
This was the third consecutive year where Bulgarian students had the opportunity to participate in the initiative of Veolia which gathers students from the following specialties: water, energy and waste management, innovative environmental technologies etc., and related to the activity of Veolia Group around the globe. This year the Bulgarian representatives in the company’s summer school were two graduates from the Faculty of Biology of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” – Diana Dimitrova and Georgi Ilarionov. They shared that they had set off for Paris after a series of interviews with Veolia in Bulgaria, facing strong competition. The students also stated that in Veolia’s Campus they obtained a lot of knowledge, experience shared by world’s leading experts and employees from the company, as well as a fresh look at the future of the global resources and their management.
The summer school program is fully practical, including discussions with experts from various fields, visits to strategic sites operated by Veolia, workshops, project development. There is also a privilegied meeting time with Veolia’s Group Chairman and CEO, Antoine Frerot.
The Bulgarian students had the opportunity to visit the waste disposal site in Paris, a wastewater treatment plant with aerobic digestion, and an innovative green bar created on remnants of old railroad tracks.
The young talents also worked with experts on a specific project: management of water, energy and waste in a new environmentally sustainable region with 16,000 inhabitants, located at the intersection of three French cities.
Senior mentors from Veolia managed and accompanied the students. Diana and Georgi shared that they have been quite impressed by Todor Nikolov. He started his career development at Veolia Bulgaria in 2011. He has been the Executive Director of Veolia Energy Varna from 2012 until 2016, and then he took on the challenge to work at the Group’s Technical and Performance Department in the Headquarter. Todor Nikolov participates every year as a mentor and lecturer in Veolia Summer School.
“By this initiative we aim at developing the next generation of leaders and innovators whose contribution will be crucial in the future to the responsible use, protection and renewal of resources. While sharing with them our best practices and knowledge in the field of water, energy and waste management, we also strengthen the link between Veolia and the Universities on a worldwide scale. On our side, thanks to our two young “ambassadors” we are proud to have the opportunity to give another evidence of the promising quality and potential of the next generation of Bulgarian managers, commented Francois Debergh, Country Director for Veolia in Bulgaria.
The first Bulgarian student who took part in Veolia Summer School in 2016 was Martin Dimitrov from the Technical University of Varna.
After Veolia Summer School Martin was enthusiastic: “For me Veolia Summer School was a journey in the future. I saw how the people in Veolia, who managed the resources entrusted to them, create a high quality product, e.g. potable water from wastewater”. Today, Martin Todorov is a Customer Service Specialist at Veolia Energy Varna and he believes that Veolia in Bulgaria will give him an opportunity to implement his ideas for the resources of the future.
Kristina Peneva from the Faculty of Biology at Sofia University and Daniela Garilova from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG) won participation in Veolia Summer School in Paris in 2016. Andrey Stoynev from the UASEG and Elena Deleva from the Faculty of Biology at Sofia University did an internship in the campus of the multinational company in the summer of 2017.
Veolia started the summer school in 2010 and until now 328 young people studying in 191 universities from 41 countries have been trained through that initiative.
Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 169 000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2017, the Veolia group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 55 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 47 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy.
In Bulgaria, Veolia is active through Sofiyska Voda, Veolia Energy Bulgaria, Veolia Energy Varna, Veolia Energy Solutions Bulgaria and SADE Bulgaria.