Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Veolia, the benchmark company for ecological transformation offering game-changing solutions for water, waste and energy management, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi to roll out an exclusive partnership covering research and academic collaboration, student internships, and research capacity building and development.

Veolia will make the most of its leadership in strategic sectors such as water, waste and energy management through its collaboration with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, with conferences, seminars, workshops and other relevant events related to their common interests around sustainability and a clean-energy future.

The MoU was signed by Philippe Bourdeaux, Director of the Africa - Near & Middle East delegated Zone, and Professor Nathalie Martial-Braz, Vice-Chancellor of Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, in a ceremony on November 30, 2023, during COP28, and will remain valid for an initial term of five years.

One of the core areas of collaboration between the two entities will be the research partnership that aims to understand the recycling habits and practices among the UAE population, and find ways of promoting sustainable practices in urban and multicultural settings. Deploying a sociological approach to understand the complexities of recycling practices across the UAE’s cities in the context of the country’s rapid urbanization and growth, the partnership will provide recommendations for stakeholders to enhance recycling rates and promote sustainable practices among all residents of the UAE.

Commenting on the initiative, Philippe Bourdeaux of Veolia said: “We are delighted to contribute the deep knowledge and expertise of Veolia Near & Middle East and work with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, a pre-eminent research-intensive educational institution in the UAE, towards realizing a truly exciting and sustainable future for the region. This new MoU will not only help researchers and students at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi gain deep insights into global sustainability best practices, but will also be a catalyst for enhancing recycling rates and promoting a circular economy as well as sustainable behaviour across the UAE society. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of researchers under this dynamic partnership.”

Sharing her viewpoints on the partnership, Professor Nathalie Martial-Braz, Vice-chancellor Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi said: “Developing sustainable economic models that help the UAE keep resources in use for as long as possible, and then recovering and regenerating additional products and energy from those resources, has always been a key strategic focus of our research programs at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. That’s why we are delighted to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with Veolia and are truly excited to align its leadership in sustainable practices and ecological transformation with our mission to exchange knowledge and create opportunities for students to develop their skills and expertise.”

Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. Serving for about 170 years with nearly 213,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2022, the Veolia group provided 111 million inhabitants with drinking water and 97 million with sanitation, produced nearly 44 terawatt hours and recovered 48 million tonnes of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated revenue of 42,9 billion euros in 2022. www.veolia.com

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi was established in May 2006, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and under license from the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is an Emirati university that benefits from 760 years of academic experience of the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris. The university boasts a 93,000 square meters state-of-the-art campus located in Al Reem Island. Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi follows the French Education System and Sorbonne University and Université Paris Cité award its degrees, while all degrees are also accredited by the UAE’s Commission for Academic Accreditation. Over 2800 students of more than 90 different nationalities have graduated from Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi to date.