The circular, social and inclusive economy

French leader in recycling of office paper, ÉLISE is a franchised network of sheltered workshops and subsidized employment enterprises. It is keen to build on its success by replicating its model and diversifying into different types of waste. Its goal: to create 300 jobs between now and 2020.

Social and Employment


Marc-Antoine Belthé

€155,000 granted by the 26/05/2015 Board Committee

Project Leader


ÉLISE has been active in environmental protection since 1997, while also creating jobs for
people with little access to the labor market. The group signed a commercial partnership
with Veolia Recyclage et Valorisation des Déchets in 2012: it delivers all the paper collected to Veolia recycling centers. Over the next three years, 275 jobs have been created on 24 sites and 17,000 metric tons of paper collected and recycled every year. In 2016, Veolia and ÉLISE are keen to expand their partnership to include all types of office waste and envisage processing 68,000 metric tons of paper and plastic every year, together with 50,000 tons of other office waste (plastic cups, metal cans, organic waste, textiles, etc.).

The Veolia Foundation supports ÉLISE in two ways to help it achieve these ambitious goals:
speed up creation of sites over the whole of the country and conduct R&D initiatives to diversify the waste collected.

Replication and professionalization
ÉLISE is keen to develop its network of franchisees in this increasingly competitive waste collection market. The Veolia Foundation is financing a “start-up kit” (crusher and wheelie bins) for loaning to new entities in start-up phase. It also needs to conduct communication campaigns with local companies to inform them about ÉLISE’s services. It wants to acquire new technological tools to optimize the traceability of the waste from collection to the recycling sites.

Lastly, it will be strengthening and unifying employee training on all its sites and standardizing procedures thanks to a detailed manual, as a step towards ISO 9000 certification.

A promising market

  • 400,000 metric tons of office paper collected out of the 850,000 tons produced.
  • ​A government bill provides for mandatory recycling of waste by all companies

R&D and diversification

ÉLISE offers customers the possibility of collecting plastic cups, the second largest source of recyclable waste in offices. The recycling stream exists but is costly given the low numbers of cups involved. The nonprofit will be seeking new technical solutions.

Preliminary studies and equipment are required to collect and sort other waste such as nonspecific organic waste and infectious-risk waste from healthcare activities. ÉLISE intends to identify players with specialized skills and carry out tests. In this way, the ÉLISE network will maintain a lead over the competition thanks to this forward-looking vision of its activity.

Alexis Pelluault, founder and director of ÉLISE

ÉLISE has been active from the opening of the office waste collection and recycling market, twenty years ago. The support of the Foundation and the partnership with Veolia has enabled us to keep our position as leader in France. We currently have 32 sites and hope to have 40 or so by the end of 2016. There is still a great deal of potential in both collection and recycling.

The Foundation’s support will initially enable us to optimize the traceability of the waste collected, category by category, thanks to an extranet set up for our customers – yet another step towards the image of expert that ÉLISE is keen to convey. We also want to strengthen training in our existing activities and to anticipate the new services (organic waste, textiles…). This fits well with a goal of interest to us as well as Veolia: to create bridges between our two structures so that Veolia employees with a disability could join ÉLISE and vice versa. We have many operational projects to develop, but we do not forget our primary vocation – to create jobs for people with disabilities or those in difficult circumstances.