Veolia Institute

As a platform focusing on analysis and exchange, the Veolia Institute has been enriching the Group's reflections and its forward-looking vision on major global issues since 2001. The Institute addresses topics at the crossroads of society and the environment - such as climate change, the resilience of cities, etc.


At the confluence of society’s expectations and environmental demands, Veolia Institute endeavours…


In conjunction with the international academic world, the Veolia Institute brings multidisciplinary insights into our changing world. It analyses the environmental and societal issues that will have to be tackled over the next few decades, and in particular those related to changes in urban lifestyles and sustainable production and consumption patterns (cities, urban services, environment, energy, health, agriculture, etc.).

Over the years, the Veolia Institute has developed a high-level international network of intellectual and scientific experts, universities and research organizations, public authorities, NGOs, international organizations, etc.

Recognized as a legitimate platform for global issues, the Veolia Institute has been recognized as an "NGO Observer" by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Thanks to the international reputation of its members and their expertise, the Foresight Committee guides the Institute’s work and development.

At its last meeting the Foresight Committee explored the issues of plastic pollution in the oceans with an interdisciplinary group of experts. The key take-away message from this meeting: the solution is not at sea but rather on land – we have to transform our "disposable society" into a circular economy.

The Veolia Institute's activities are organized into three sections: the Veolia Institute “Facts Reports” review, conferences and prospective studies.



This high-level international publication, created in 2007, was launched to promote and facilitate the dissemination of good practices implemented on the ground in order to resolve issues relating to the economy, health, the environment, agriculture, education and development in both developing and developed countries.

This interdisciplinary review brings together and disseminates the experiences and expertise of various actors (researchers, academic experts, public authorities, companies, NGOs, international organizations, etc.) in order to benefit from a range of views on a given subject by combining feedback from good practices from actors on the ground and expert analysis. Articles are submitted to a reading committee before publication.

The most recent issues of Facts Report covered the following topics:

> Reinventing plastics

Once perceived as a symbol of modernity, plastics have been the subject of a rapid and profound global challenge in recent years, particularly because of ocean pollution.

Can we devise a "de-plastified" society? How can we leave our waste-based society for a resource-based society?

The Veolia Institute brought together various stakeholders (researchers, policy makers, NGOs, companies, etc.) in order to explore the issues relating to reducing plastic pollution and identify ways of creating a circular plastic economy. A conference was organized following the publication.


> “Resilient cities”

In order to explore the many challenges facing our cities (climate change, natural disasters, health crises, loss of attractiveness, industrial decline, poverty, etc.) and innovative solutions to deal with them, in late 2018 the Veolia Institute published a Facts Report on "resilient cities". Following this publication, the Veolia Institute organized a conference to continue to explore these issues alongside a variety of stakeholders involved in these topics.


> “Artificial intelligence and robotics in cities

The Veolia Institute published a review that looked at the impact, especially for cities, of the development of artificial intelligence along with its increased role in foresight and anticipation, and analysed the challenges posed by its growth on public policy, personal data and citizens. Following this publication and in partnership with The Future Society, in February 2018 the Veolia Institute organized a conference debate on the theme of artificial intelligence and robotics. The speakers exchanged views about the opportunities and threats brought by these technologies and suggested ways of taking advantage of this new technological revolution.


Find previous issues.



The Veolia Institute organizes two types of conferences:

The most recent conferences addressed the issues of plastics and resilient cities.

The last two international conferences focused on the following topics:


> “Resource availability in a low carbon world”

In November 2017 the Veolia Institute in partnership with Oxford Martin School in Great Britain organized a conference to look at the availability of mineral resources in the context of the low carbon transition and the related economic, energy, environmental, geopolitical and governance issues.

More information about this conference  

As well as the video of the speech by Lord Nicholas Stern at the conference.


> “Reducing methane emissions: science and innovative solutions”

In 2015, the Veolia Institute launched its "methane" program for COP 21 with a pre-COP21 international conference that brought together high-level speakers and almost 150 participants in the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, and two side-events during COP 21 in Le Bourget.

In 2016, the Institute continued to raise decision-makers’ awareness of the importance of taking action on methane - in addition to taking action on CO2 - during COP22 held from 7 to 18 November in Marrakech. Thanks to the NGO observer status it was awarded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015, the Veolia Institute organized a side event in an official zone entitled "Actions on near-term climate mitigation to protect the Paris climate goals and the SDGs”. It partnered with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the main voice in bringing the subject of methane and other short-lived climate pollutants to the attention of policy makers.

Find all the Institute’s work on methane here


> Conference "Ecosystems, economy and society"

The 8th edition of the Environmental Foresight Conference program was held in Washington DC on 29-30 May 2014 at the Academy of Sciences on "Ecosystems, economy and society: how can large-scale restoration drive sustainable development?". The co-organizing partners were the French Development Agency, 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 different countries.

> All the presentations from the “Ecosystems, economy and society” conference



Alongside its academic partners, the Institute conducts forward looking studies on the major environmental trends.


> Workshops on common goods

The Veolia Institute organized reflections associating Veolia researchers and managers on the notion of common goods. Beyond the doctrinal debates, the work undertaken by the Institute has been to concretely examine the scope of the notion of common goods in some of the areas that are particularly important for modern-day societies and which concern the company’s activities.


To ensure knowledge is shared and act as a platform for exchanges, access to the Veolia Institute’s work and conferences is free of charge.


Activity Report 2016/2017 - Veolia Institute (6.03 MB)