Sustainable Development Ministerial Statistical Department

INSEE and official statistics
Dernière mise à jour le : 26/06/2015

The Sustainable Development Ministerial Statistical Department (SOeS) is a directorate in the office of the Commission General for Sustainable Development of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

The SOeS organises the socioeconomic and statistical observation system for the environment and sustainable development, in association with the national, European and international bodies concerned. It represents official statistic in these domains with the European Union, the United Nations Organisation and the International Energy Agency.

Main missions

The Observation and Statistics Directorate (SOeS) is responsible for collecting, producing and disseminating statistical information in the areas of the environment, energy, construction, housing and transport. It coordinates observation aiming to develop sustainable development indicators for public policies and produces indicators for the ministry. The SOeS is also responsible for implementing the Aarhus convention which defines the conditions of access to environmental information.

These analyses touch on a variety of areas such as choice of infrastructure, town and country planning, information on the environment, preparing and monitoring energy policy, etc.

Statistical production

The SOeS is part of the French official statistic system . In its spheres of competence it produces statistics based on surveys planned in the National official statistical surveys programme, or from many other sources, especially administrative.

In the area of the environment, the SOeS compiles information systems on biodiversity, water, air or the impact of economic and human activities. It develops environmental indicators and satellite accounts, and assesses the social perception of environmental matters. This information is summarised in the yearly report on the environment economy.

In the area of energy, the SOeS carries out compulsory statistical surveys and manages administrative sources concerned with energy production and distribution (electricity, gas, oil). It also gathers data collected by other bodies, on energy production and consumption, among other things to produce the annual energy report.

In the area of housing and construction, it provides data derived from different databases (Sitadel, on construction permits; Géokit, on development and housing) and runs surveys on housing (sales of new dwellings, stock of rented social housing) and construction (monitoring companies, price index for housing maintenance and improvements).

In the area of transport, the SOeS monitors in particular the activity of companies, the working conditions of bus and trucks drivers, the flow of goods and passengers by mode of travel and also the different types of vehicle. It produces price indices on the transport of goods. The reference data are collected in databases (Sitra, FCA) and publications.

The SOeS contributes to compile the national accounts compiled by Insee. Its macro-economic valuation studies are presented in the form of reports to specialised committees: Economy and Accounts of the Environment Committee (CCEE), Housing Accounts Committee (CCL), National Transportation Accounts Committee (CCTN).

Studies and forecasting

The SOeS carries out statistical and economic analyses in its fields of competence. It contributes in particular to the follow-up of the flagship initiatives carried by the ministry in housing, transportation, energy and environment policy areas. These studies consider the crosscutting issues of sustainable development. This may mean for example linking greenhouse gas emissions of buildings or transportation to the economy, compiling public expenditure for the prevention of natural hazards, or modelling energy development scenarios.


The results produced are all posted on the SOeS website.

Databases are accessible online, allowing users to download customised tables. On demand data processing services can be ordered.

Statistical data dissemination is also relayed via a network of regional centres in the decentralised offices of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

Status in institution

The SOeS is the statistical service for the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

It is located on two main sites: Paris (energy, housing, transport) and Orléans (environment, sustainable development), and also four production areas (Rouen, Rennes, Montpellier, and Lyon).

It is structured in five divisions :

  • environmental information division,
  • methods and data for sustainable development division,
  • energy statistics division,
  • housing and construction statistics division,
  • transport statistics division.