Created after the 1992 Rio conference, Comité 21 aims at implementing sustainable development in organizations, companies and territories. It has been a forerunner in engaging sustainable development issues amongst various stakeholders in France. This unique network counting more than 500 members bases its action on multi-actors partnerships, operational action and innovation with more than 130 businesses (multinational companies and SMEs), 185 local authorities (city councils, departments and regions), 185 NGOs (environmental, development, local solidarity, human rights…), 32 public institutes and higher education institutions. UNEP and UNDP are also members by right.
Within its three programmes - Corporate Social Responsibility, Agenda 21 for territories, Education to sustainable development – Comité 21 conducts various thematic working groups, training sessions, offers technical and methodological tools for its members, broadcasts information and values good initiatives. It also published reference works (in French) : “agir ensemble pour le développement durable“, guide “Agir ensemble pour des territoires durable” ; “Guide du marketing responsable, guide “De l’école au campus”, etc.
In order to enforce its ability to anticipate issues, Comité 21 produces regular prospective reports (on various issues such as the environmental crisis, green cities, the Agenda 21 action plan, Rio+20). Comité 21 also produces an interdisciplinary scientific journal, Vraiment Durable, which provides various points of views like those of philosophers, scientists, artists, researchers, but also experts or entrepreneurs.
Comité 21 has been thoroughly involved in the Rio +20 Conference by drafting a manifesto on territorial governance. It has also set up various events during the Conférence, organized a delegation trip for 150 French actors who participated to the Rio Conference, and coordinated a national event in Paris La Villette where newly elected President François Hollande gave its first speech on sustainable development, in front of over a thousand representatives of the civil society.
Regarding international issues, Comité 21 is coordinating the activities of the “Club France développement durable”. This club gathers 60 networks that got together on the occasion of the Rio+20 Conference and who decided to continue collaborating in order to contribute directly to the success of the World Conference for Climate (COP 21) in Paris in 2015.
Convinced that sustainable development is at the crossroad of both horizontal and vertical approaches, but also global and local scales, Comité 21 particularly promotes engagement with stakeholders and good governance. All types of orgnisations are involved in sustainable development (companies, NGOs, territories…), therefore Comité 21 develops a broad network gathering all those actors, on a national scale, but also regionally, Comite 21 Pays de la Loire being its first regional representative office in Nantes.