Summary of our market study

The asbestos removal market in France has experienced a substantial influx of new entrants, with the number of establishments quadrupling in 2020, reaching a total of 1,000. Predominantly, 80% of asbestos removal involves asbestos-concrete across various sites. However, the sector's profitability has been challenged by stringent regulations, resulting in a decline in the gross operating surplus rate from 11% in 2011 to 6.5%.

Despite this, innovation, particularly in robotics, offers opportunities to reduce labor costs and health risks, exemplified by companies such as Arnaud Démolition and SFTP developing asbestos removal robots. The market is influenced by the construction sector, which aligns with the rising trend of urban renewal and the need to upgrade older industrial sites. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 20% decline in the market was estimated for 2020; however, a swift recovery was anticipated in 2021.

The industry includes a range of players from major construction groups like Vinci, Bouygues, and Eiffage, to leading environmental services such as Veolia and Suez, and specialist asbestos removal corporations such as Snadec and DI Environnement. With the market achieving maturity and a valuation around €1 billion, it is poised to stabilize, although many buildings still require asbestos removal.

Trends and Dynamics in the Asbestos Removal Market

In recent years, the asbestos removal market in France has experienced significant growth and evolution with new entrants quadrupling the number of establishments in 2020. The market, now hosting around a thousand establishments, operates within a highly regulated landscape due to the hazardous nature of asbestos. Asbestos, a harmful silicate mineral, presents notable health risks, especially in buildings constructed before its ban. Asbestos removal services are exhaustive and stringent, requiring dust removal, containment, extraction, quality control, and waste destruction.

However, the booming market is facing threats to profitability; companies have seen their gross operating surplus drop from approximately 11% to just over 6% in a span of seven years. The introduction of tighter legislation has increased operating costs through certification, protection, and training without a commensurate rise in charges to customers—eroding margins in the process.

Innovation is a beacon of hope for the market. Asbestos removal robots are a particular point of interest, with the potential to revolutionize the industry by reducing labor costs and health risks. The adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is also enhancing the design, supervision, and execution of works. From an industry perspective, the construction and industrial sectors are the primary consumers of asbestos removal services, accounting for half and a quarter of the activity, respectively. The need for asbestos removal is further underscored by local initiatives to rehabilitate urban spaces and by the industry's drive to upgrade old production sites. The market is tied to the construction sector, as indicated by the congruent growth patterns between asbestos removal services and the construction industry.

Moreover, asbestos removal has benefited from new segments such as ship and train dismantling. France has started tapping into these domains with projects to dismantle military submarines and old train models, bolstered by the prospect of robotic and eco-friendly technologies. The asbestos removal market is relatively mature, forecast to stabilize around a turnover of approximately one billion euros.

Despite the apparent plateau, the potential remains untapped—many buildings still await asbestos abatement. Regulatory changes and COVID-19 notwithstanding, the market is on a trajectory for a comeback, aligning itself with the broader restoration and reconstruction trend. As for the segmentation of industry players, it's a mix of large construction groups, environmental service leaders, and specialized asbestos removal enterprises. Vinci, a major construction group, boasts a turnover of over 45 billion euros, while specialized players like Snadec and DI Environnement show.

Diverse Spectrum of Market Leaders in Asbestos Removal

The landscape of the asbestos removal market is an intricate network of companies ranging from colossal construction groups to specialized asbestos removal firms. Each one plays a critical role in shaping the industry, navigating stringent regulations, and pushing the boundaries through innovation.

Construction and Infrastructure

Titans At the zenith of the market structure are the behemoths of construction and infrastructure: Vinci, Bouygues, and Eiffage. These conglomerates are not just limited to constructing edifices but are deeply intertwined with the asbestos removal niche. Their extensive resources allow them to tackle large-scale projects that often involve comprehensive asbestos eradication components. Their dominance in the construction sector offers a seamless integration of asbestos removal services, fostering trust and reliability among clients in need of full-spectrum construction and rehabilitation solutions.

Environmental Stewards and Service Providers

Charting environmental sustainability and waste management, Veolia and Suez have made a formidable entry into the asbestos removal market. Their foray pivots on their core competencies in environmental services, ranging from waste management to water treatment. Their entry into asbestos removal is a natural extension of their commitment to environmental health and safety. Leveraging their global presence and expertise, these leaders contribute significantly to advancing safe decontamination practices and advocating for responsible waste disposal.

Pure-Play Asbestos Removal Specialists

The market also celebrates pure-play specialists like Snadec, DI Environnement, Serpol, Wig France Entreprises, and DFD. These companies offer tailored services and exhibit a razor-sharp focus on asbestos decontamination, positioning themselves as experts in this niche area. Their dedication to this hazardous material allows them to develop cutting-edge techniques, operate with high efficiency, and ensure compliance with stringent health and safety standards. These specialists operate with a deep understanding of asbestos abatement complexities and often become the go-to choice for projects requiring meticulous attention to asbestos-related challenges. Each category of player brings its own set of strengths and expertise, crafting a market that is rich with options and solutions tailored to varying asbestos removal needs.

Together, these key players create a solid foundation for the market, drive transformation through technological advancements, and ensure the safety and well-being of environments contaminated with asbestos.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introduction and scope of activity

The asbestos removal means the activity of removing asbestos in a building (collective and individual residential buildings, warehouses, factories and offices) as well as on the vehicles (trains and ships). Because of the health risks associated with the development of asbestos, asbestos removal is strictly regulated in France and throughout the world

Asbestos comes in many forms and appears on materials such as mortar, plaster, slab, roofing, bitumen or partitions. To remove asbestos from spaces and buildings, several steps keys are necessary: dust removal, containment, asbestos extraction, quality control and destruction of waste

The asbestos removal market in France is reaching maturity with a multiplicity of actors market players: construction industry players (Vinci, Bouygues) work alongside asbestos removal and site rehabilitation specialists, as well as site maintenance/improvement and deconstruction groups. Ancillary activities enable engineering groups and diagnostic specialists to carve out a place for themselves in certain market niches. As a result, players are trying to penetrate new adjacent market segments such as nuclear dismantling or asbestos removal for vehicles: this is the case of Vinci through its NAOM entity.

I mean, come on, innovation is key to the market with the rise of the robots asbestos removers and digital to simplify on-site diagnosis. The future challenge will be to succeed in combining the different professions and to tame digital and technological methods in order to survive in a market that still has a lot of potential.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Entreprises enregistrées sous le code 39.00Z
  • Principaux types de matériaux traités
  • Taux d'excédent brut d'exploitation (EBE) des entreprises de désamiantage
  • Répartition des types de chantiers recourant au désamiantage
  • Répartition des lieux traités entre intérieur et extérieur
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Latest news

Veolia's plan for growth in energy - 13/01/2024
  • The group already generates a quarter of its sales (just over 10 billion out of almost 43 billion euros in 2022) from the operation of heating networks, the recovery of energy from waste and wastewater, and energy-related services.
  • The Group, which has positioned itself in the field of "decarbonizing local energy", estimates that it will be worth 500 billion euros in Europe by 2030
  • Services related to energy efficiency in buildings and industry could represent a market worth 200 billion euros by 2030
  • Green energy supply and heating/cooling networks could be worth 150 billion euros by 2030.
  • The operation of heating networks is Veolia's main energy business (revenues of 5.9 billion euros in 2022),
  • Veolia operates more than 500 networks.
Veolia to sell its engineering subsidiary SADE - 27/11/2023
  • SADE's annual sales are expected to reach around 1.1 billion euros in 2022.
  • SADE employs around 6900 people.
Citeo and Suez start up France's second plastic packaging sorting facility - 28/10/2023
  • The Suez group and Citeo have invested 19 million euros in the conversion of a plastic packaging sorting platform.
  • 15 million euros were injected by Citeo and 4 million by the Suez group
  • The extension of sorting rules to all household packaging has been mandatory in France since January 1, 2023.
  • The over-sorting center in Epinal is designed to sort four main types of plastic: colored PET, opaque PET, PET trays and polystyrene.
  • 25,000 tonnes of plastic, mainly from the eastern part of France, should be over-sorted each year in Epinal.
  • The Epinal site is the second over-sorting center to be built in France, after Bourgogne Recyclage and before Environnement Massif Central, which is due to open in mid-2024.
  • The recycled plastics leaving the Epinal center will be recycled in France or in neighboring countries.
  • Starting in 2025, Carbios will process multilayer PET trays at its future Longlaville plant.
Valgo to extract perfluorinated pollutants - 30/08/2023
  • Specialist in the revitalization of polluted sites and soils Valgo has obtained a European patent for its innovative solution to extract per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) from water
  • Valgo has sales of 130 million euros by 2022 and 700 employees.
  • Valgo plans to market its solution to local authorities from late 2023 or early 2024.
Veolia aims to triple recycled water production worldwide - 03/07/2023
  • Veolia is committed to tripling its production of recycled water by 2030, bringing it to 3 billion m3 in the long term.
  • The group produced 1 billion m3 of recycled water last year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 18 million people.
  • Veolia has 250 water recycling sites in 18 countries.
  • Worldwide water recycling is estimated at just 11%.
  • Wastewater reuse rates reach 89% in Israel, 40% in Singapore, 15% in Spain and less than 1% in France.
  • The potential for wastewater reuse in France is 1.6 billion m3.
  • Veolia acquired additional expertise in membrane filtration through its takeover bid for the Suez group.
Veolia: "The merger with Suez is a real success" | Veolia and Suez: A success! - 18/06/2023
  • 40,000 new employees.
  • Employee shareholding rate: 42%.
  • Employees holding 6.5% of group capital.
  • Additional sales from the acquisition: approx. 10 billion euros.
  • Total sales of the new Veolia in 2022: 43 billion euros.
  • Group present in the top 3 of their businesses: France, Spain, Australia, United States, Chile, etc.
  • Global market for ecological transformation: 2,550 billion euros.
  • Veolia's organic growth in 2022, excluding the Suez takeover: 15%.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Suez Groupe
DI Environnement
Serfim Groupe - Serpol
Wig France Entreprises
Desamiantage France Démolition
Véolia Groupe
Codepa (Livio groupe)
Ouest Contôle Environnement CICEA OCE
Baelen groupe 3DNext

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