Veolia Institute

Veolia Institute 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.

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At the confluence of society’s expectations and environmental demands, Veolia Institute 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. Veolia Institute 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 “Methane emissions mitigation : from science to innovative solutions”, a contribution to COP21

COP21, the climate change summit was held in Paris in November-December 2015, represents a major opportunity for climate negotiations The Veolia Institute has naturally chosen to structure part of its 2015 activities around this event. It has focused on the theme of methane, using its resources to raise awareness about this topic, which is still insufficiently addressed in strategies to reduce GHG emissions.

The Institute's contribution to COP21, is structured in two stages:

  • An international Conference on the reduction of methane emissions, November 9, 2015, organized jointly with the Agence Française de Développement and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC). This event was granted official COP21 label by the French government. To know more:
  • Two side-events during COP21, on December 8, 2015, at Le Bourget to further disseminate the outcomes of the conference and continue the discussions on methane: one in the blue zone, official negotiations area, jointly with the US State Dpt and ISWA, and the other in the Climate generations areas dedicated to civil society.
As it did during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference in 2012, the Veolia Institute, with its status of think-tank, participates as an actor for civil society. In May 2015, the UNFCCC provisionally granted the Veolia Institute the status of "Observer NGO"; admission of the new observer organizations will be formalized during COP21. 


Conference  on “Ecosystems, Economy and Society” 

The 7th Future Environmental Trends international cConference of the Veolia Institute 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. 



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 Veolia Institute 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”.


Veolia Institute 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, Veolia Institute makes its entire collection of research reports, conference materials and publications freely available to all.
Activity Report 2014/2015 - Veolia Institute
PDF - 4.2 MB
Analysis, anticipation and dialogue.

Veolia Institute 

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 Institute