Veolia Environnement, the world’s largest environmental services company, has selected Chicago as its new North American headquarters for the company’s four operational groups. The company has signed a 34,500-sq.-ft. lease in Aon Center (200 East Randolph Street) and will occupy one floor overlooking Lake Michigan, downtown, the Gold Coast and Millennium Park in early October 2008.
Veolia Environnement announced the news at an event where the company revealed results of a first-of-its-kind survey examining how more than 8,600 people in 14 of the world’s largest cities feel about city living. Chicago, one of the three U.S. cities included in the survey, ranked highest among residents in overall satisfaction with their city. According to the survey, Chicago residents are among the most optimistic about their future and cited the city’s cultural activities and diversity of people as qualities they like most about their city.
Veolia Environnement’s North American headquarters will house approximately 60 executive managers and administrative personnel from four operational groups focused on water services and technologies, waste services, energy and facility management, and passenger transportation.
The four North American operational groups – Veolia Environmental Services, Veolia Water, Veolia Energy and Veolia Transportation – have combined North American revenues of approximately $4.5 billion and employ approximately 31,000 people.
“We are pleased that Veolia has selected Chicago for its North American headquarters,” said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. “Chicago is often praised for its innovative environmental initiatives so it makes sense that the world’s largest environmental services company would make our world-class city its home. Chicago offers an ideal location for connecting with the world, a thriving business climate and a great quality of life.”
Michel Gourvennec, chief executive of the Veolia Environnement group in North America, as well as president and CEO of Veolia Environmental Services North America, said the new headquarters builds on a base of approximately 1,000 local employees and combined annual revenues of approximately $240 million in the Greater Chicago area.
“In addition to being a truly world-class city, Chicago offers a perfect, centralized location for managing our North America operations and for consolidating our business leadership,” Gourvennec said. “The City of Chicago’s many environmental initiatives mirror our focus on sustainable development and our interest in providing leading-edge environmental programs for our municipal, industrial and commercial customers. Chicago’s renowned universities and diverse culture present a tremendous source of workforce talent that is important as we grow and consider our future leaders.”
The new space will meet sustainable development standards for the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) program.
“We are delighted to add Veolia to our highly engaged corporate community,” said Rita Athas, executive director of the city’s economic development office, World Business Chicago. “Chicago’s tremendous talent pool, peerless infrastructure and access to the world, along with its incomparable quality of life, will contribute to a great home for Veolia.”
Veolia Environnement was selected for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2006 and was established on the FTSE4Good index in 2004.