SUEZ is now one of the country’s largest recycling and waste management companies, with more than 5,000 people employed at hundreds of locations, from Aberdeen to Cornwall, delivering a full range of services to the public and private sectors – from recycling and waste logistics, to the operation of large scale infrastructure such as energy-from-waste facilities.
The business, which was formerly known as SITA UK and re-branded to SUEZ in 2015, started in modest offices above a shoe shop in Egham, Surrey, in 1988 with just a dozen people, and won its first public sector collection contract in 1989 with Erewash Council.
The business now achieves annual revenues in excess of £800 million; handles over 10 million tonnes of waste a year (which is a significant proportion of the UK’s total waste); and serves millions of people every day.
SUEZ’s 30th anniversary was marked with a celebration at its headquarters in Maidenhead, Berkshire, and with the launch of a new film depicting the breadth and scale of SUEZ’s operations across the country.
A second film, summarising the history of SUEZ in the UK market is also available here.
Chief Executive Officer, David Palmer-Jones, has been with SUEZ since February 1989, shortly after it was incorporated, and reflected on the major transformation of both the business and the sector.
He said: “I am very proud to mark this milestone anniversary for SUEZ in the UK, and to be able to reflect upon our whole journey to date, as the only remaining employee from our early days above the Stead & Simpson shoe shop in Egham back in 1988.
“Our business journey has coincided with, and therefore reflects, three decades of change in UK waste management, which started with the privatisation of council waste services in the 1980s and which, particularly in the past decade, has moved Britain from 0% recycling to nearly 50%.
“This required a huge transformation by SUEZ, and the wider waste management industry, to move waste material out of landfill and into complex new facilities and global value chains – bringing with it new jobs, skills, challenges and opportunities to make the most of waste materials.
“However, I believe that the next 30 years promise even greater change and will require yet another transformation of our sector. There is a strength of government support and public appetite for change in this vital area that we have not seen before and, on behalf of SUEZ, we look forward to continuing to invest and play our part over the next 30 years to help the UK achieve a circular economy.”