Institut Veolia

Institut Veolia has been enriching the company's initiatives and foresight on the major challenges facing our planet since 2001. A platform for reflection and debate, the institute tackles issues related to society and the environment – such as climate change and urbanization – while addressing an array of environment-related economic, sociological and cultural issues.

Institut Veolia - website
At the confluence of society’s expectations and environmental demands, Institut Veolia endeavours…


The Foresight Committee is the institute's central body. Its members include seven internationally renowned experts who guide the institute's approach by offering independent insight based on their wide-ranging expertise. Institut Veolia also draws on an extensive network of researchers and experts around the globe. Its activities involve a three-pronged approach comprising international conferences, S.A.P.I.EN.S publications and FACTS Reports.


Conference  on “Ecosystems, Economy and Society” 

The 7th international conference was held at the Academy of Sciences in Washington DC on May 29-30, 2014, on Ecosystems, Economy and Society: how large-scale restoration can stimulate sustainable development. The event was organized jointly with Agence Française de Développement, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the US Water Science and Technology Board. The event brought together over 400 people and 52 speakers from 15 countries. 

> Conference on “Poverty-Environment” conference

From Paris to Rio+20

The Institute's 6th conference: Reconciling the environment: what are the innovative solutions?.

Organized in conjunction with Agence Française de Développement (AFD), in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Initiative for Development and Global Governance (IDGM), the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) and the Chair for Social Business at HEC, the event attracted nearly 600 participants and 70 speakers. Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator for Rio+20, gave the closing speech, placing the messages of the conference within the context of Rio+20.
Institut Veolia set out to expand the scope of the Paris conference during the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development by organizing a special event in Brazil in June 2012.

In November 2011, background papers from 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 follow-up event to the United Nations Rio +20 Conference in June 2012 on “Poverty-Environment” was organized in partnership with the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, with the support of Brazil's Environment Ministry, Agence Française de Développement and Civicus. With some 400 people in attendance, the conference gave the floor to 15 international experts, who addressed issues of biodiversity and poverty, sustainable and inclusive urban development, and the increasing role of local stakeholders.
Institut Veolia was able to demonstrate the progress made with its partners to international bodies and shed new light on issues related to a common sustainable future.



Activity Report 2013 - institut Veolia
PDF - 1.72 MB
Analysis, anticipation and dialogue.
To achieve its aim of capitalizing on and sharing experience and knowledge, since 2007 the institute has regularly published two pioneering scientific journals: SAPIENS  (Surveys And Perspectives Integrating ENvironment & Society) and FACTS Reports  (development actions on the ground, in particular led by NGOs).
In addition to unsolicited submissions of articles, the journals are rolled out via thematic or geographic partnerships. In 2014, these were:
  • A special issue of S.A.P.I.EN.S focusing on large scale restoration prepared and published for the Institut Veolia conference in Washington, in conjunction with the event’s partners and co-organizers. It was an opportunity to establish the state of the art with regard to ecosystem restoration, the ecological improvements achieved, and the related socio-economic development opportunities.
  • Three special issues of FACTS Reports: the first on “Haiti: Local innovations, the keys to sustainable and inclusive development”, a contribution to the project “Development Report” presented by the Fondation de France after the 2010 earthquake; the second on “Distribution to the last kilometer”, a decisive factor in the provision of goods and services and beyond, for the economic and social inclusion of the poorest populations; and the third in partnership with CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation on “Local democratic innovations”.


Institut Veolia works with its academic partners to develop a program of foresight research on key environmental trends.

Recent research

The European research project RAMSES, “Reconciling, Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for Cities” was selected under the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research (FP7) in November 2012 to establish methods for assessing the resilience of urban infrastructure to climate risks. Until the end of 2014 the Institut Veolia contributed to the project in conjunction with 12 academic and industrial partners including the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK) in Germany, the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK, the World Health Organization (WHO), the European secretariat of ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), and a number of other bodies in Germany, the UK, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain.

Other examples

  • Measuring urban environmental performance with the United Nations Environment Programme in 2011-2012.
  • Comparing the carbon inventories of European cities with the College of Europe (Belgium) and the Wuppertal Institute (Germany) in 2009-2010.
  • Indoor air pollution in India with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA).
In order to ensure that knowledge is shared to the full and act as a platform for debate, Institut Veolia makes its entire collection of research reports, conference materials and publications freely available to all.

Institut Veolia 

Anticipating economic, environmental and social trends, backed by a network of experts, to provide a platform for reflection and debate with academic and civil society.
Institut Veolia website