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 the various stakeholders in France. This unique network counts more than 450 members and bases its action on multi-actors partnerships, operational action and innovation with more than 26% of businesses (multinational companies and SMEs), 40% of local authorities (city councils, departments and regions), 20% of NGOs (environmental, development, local solidarity, human rights…),  and 10% of public institutes and higher education institutions. UNEP and UNDP are also members by right.

Comité 21 is not a think tank, but a « do tank » closely linked with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The platform encourages dialogue between all, accompanies the development of responsive approaches and produces studies and prospective analyses.

Within its four divisions - Organisations Social Responsibility, Sustainable territories, Prospective and International actions  – Comité 21 conducts various thematic working groups, training sessions, offers technical and methodological tools for its members, broadcasts information and values good initiatives. It publishes 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 reinforce its ability to anticipate issues, Comité 21 produces regular prospective reports (on various issues such as environmental crisis, green cities, the Agenda 21 action plan, Rio+20).

Comité 21 also produces an interdisciplinary scientific journalVraiment Durable, which provides various points of views like those of philosophers, scientists, artists, researchers, but also experts or entrepreneurs. In 2014-2015, Comité 21 has wished to develop a specific topic linked with its core business: the added value of sustainable approaches, in terms of attractiveness of territories, competitiveness and performance.

Regarding international issues, Comité 21 has launched in 2011 the Club France Développement durable, to mobilize French civil society for Rio + 20 Summit. It seeks to share, co-build and promote the contributions of French non-State actors for international events linked to sustainable development. It is an independent space for dialogue and synergy between the actors involved.

After being deeply involved in the Rio +20 Conference, the 120 organizations members of this Club decided to continue collaborating in order to contribute directly to the success of COP 21 in Paris in December 2015. Since 2013, Club France Développement durable mobilizes French non-State actors for conferences of the parties (COPs) on several fields: sensitization, advocacy, and promotion of solutions on climate change.

Convinced that sustainable development and the 17 SDGs are 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 organisations are involved in the Sustainable Development Goals (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.