Since 2001, Institut Veolia Environnement has been contributing to enriching the company's vision on the major challenges facing our planet.
A platform for reflection and debate, the Institute addresses issues at the interface between society and the environment, such as climate change, urbanization, along with environment-related economic, sociological and cultural questions.
A tool for foresight reflection
The Foresight Committee, the Institute's central body, consists of six internationally renowned experts who contribute an external view from a variety of professional angles and who define the overall direction for discussions.
The Institute also relies on an extensive network of researchers and experts around the globe.
Its activities are based on three platforms: the Foresight Research Program, international conferences and publications.
The Foresight Research Program
With its academic partners, the Institute develops research programs that address major environmental trends.
Examples of recent studies:
- European research project RAMSES "Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for Cities" accepted under the FP7 in November 2012 to establish methods to assess the resilience of urban infrastructures to climate change. The Veolia Institute takes part in the consortium of 13 academic and institutional partners, including Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK, Germany), London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), World Health Organization, European secretariat of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and other European organizations.
- "Measuring urban environmental performance", with United Nations Environment Program.
- "Comparing the carbon inventories of European cities" with the College of Europe (Belgium) and the Wuppertal Institute (Germany).
- "Indoor air pollution in India" with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA).
The Institute has continued its work on sustainable cities, following the 2009 study with the College of Europe on carbon footprint calculation methods in European cities, which was considered in 2010 within the World Bank / UN-Habitat / UNEP working group.
Its 2011-2012 study with UNEP focused on measuring cities' environmental performance and looked at sectors to be integrated, as well as an inventory of existing or missing indicators needed to establish appropriate measures. The results have been promoted in several international forums:
- October 11,at the 3rd edition of « Entretiens du Grand Paris » on « Ville monde, vie de quartier : entre attractivité et soutenabilité ? » at the Cité du cinéma in Saint-Denis.
- October 9 in Barcelona, at the « 6th Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium » organised by the World Bank and the city of Barcelona on « Rethinking Cities: Framing the Future ».
- September 4, during the Steering Committee meeting of the « Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities» held at the 6th UN-Habitat World Urban Forum in Napoli
- June 18, 2012, in the seminar on « Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities » proposed jointly by UNEP, the city of Gwangju and ICLEI at the Global Town Hall during the UNCSD Rio+20
- End of 2011, in Gwangju, South Korea, during the Summit "Green City, Better City"
Through its Future Environmental Trends Conference program, the Institute is committed to contributing to debate and discussion about a different topic and in a different geographic region (France, India, Canada and China).
The Institute wished to expand the scope of its Paris Conference on "Poverty-Environment" held in 2011, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 by organizing a dedicated event in June 2012 in Brazil with Brazilian partners. The one-day conference on "Poverty-Environment" was organized jointly with the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro and with the support of the Brazilian Ministry for the Environment, the French Development Agency and Civicus on June 19. In front of 400 participants, the event gave the floor to 15 international speakers who addressed issues of biodiversity and poverty, sustainable and inclusive urban development, and the role of local officials.
From Paris to Rio+20
The Institute proposed its 6th Conference in Paris on June 27-28, 2011 jointly with the Agence Française de Développement and in partnership with IUCN, WBCSD, IDGM, IPRCC and Social Business Chair of HEC. This event gathered 600 participants and 70 speakers on the theme "Reconciling poverty eradication and quality of the environment: what are the innovative solutions?". Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of the UN Summit Rio +20, delivered the closing address on the preparation of Rio +20.
In November 2011, background articles of the Paris Conference were included as a contribution to the preparatory document of the United Nations Secretariat as a basis for formal negotiations in Rio.
The active participation of the Institute in Rio+20 has offered a great opportunity to promote its activities and partnerships in an international forum at the Botanical Garden of Rio de janeiro and to contribute to the reflections on issues related to a common sustainable future.
In order to achieve its aim of capitalizing on and sharing experience and knowledge, the Institute publishes two original scientific journals: S.A.P.I.EN.S (interdisciplinary synthesis about environment-related topics) and FACTS Reports (spreading the innovative field actions of practitioners such as NGOs).
To ensure that knowledge is widely disseminated and exchanged, Institut Veolia Environnement makes its entire collection of study reports, conference materials and publications freely available to everyone.