As described by the Statutes of the Foundation:

“The primary objective of the Foundation shall be to initiate and conduct studies and other research and disseminate knowledge within the field of environment. Activities include the assessment and development of technologies, policies and related environmental management techniques and strategies for an environmentally sustainable development of society” (Statutes, January 1998, Article 2).

Operational organization and processes are detailed in the Internal Administrative Regulations and Rules of Procedure. These give an overview of how SEI is organized and governed, and where and how decisions are made in the organization at different levels and functions. They detail the division of roles and responsibilities between the Board, the Executive Director, SEI centres, and other governance structures in SEI; and processes for internal planning, steering and reporting.

The Board and Executive Director control funding, administrative and programme work undertaken by all Foundation centres. For other centres, the relationship is laid down in their respective Statutes and in bilateral centre agreements. The delegation of decision-making in the SEI Foundation is regulated in the Rules of Authority (Delegationsordning). Decisions can also be delegated by the Executive Director.

The SEI foundation

The SEI foundation in Sweden (Stiftelsen The Stockholm Environment Institute) consists of SEI HeadquartersSEI AsiaSEI Africa, SEI Latin America and SEI Oxford.

In Sweden, the foundation’s organization number is 802014-0763 and the VAT number is SE802014076301. Since 1988 the foundation has produced annual audited financial reports.

Associated centres

SEI Tallinn, SEI US and SEI York are separate administrative entities within SEI.

  • SEI Tallinn is a non-profit research organization incorporated in Estonia as a foundation. The SEI Executive Director chairs the SEI Tallinn Board. SEI Tallinn’s annual reports with financial details are provided on the SEI Tallinn page.
  • SEI York is a unit in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York. It is governed by a formal agreement between SEI and University of York, and, through a Board, co-chaired by the SEI Executive Director and the University of York’s Dean of the Faculty for Science.
  • SEI US is a non-profit research organization with 501c (3) status in the United States. The SEI Executive Director chairs the SEI US Board. SEI US’s annual reports with financial details are provided on the SEI US page.

Steering documents

SEI’s operations are governed through three levels of internal steering documents. These express procedures, principles, accountabilities, instructions and routines of work at SEI following organizational goals and legal and other requirements.


Our global policies are short, principle-based documents that bind everyone at SEI. They include:

  • SEI Code of Conduct
  • Anti-Corruption Policy and Action Plan
  • Business Sector Policy
  • Environmental policy
  • Equity Policy, including Gender and Diversity
  • SEI People Agenda and Leadership Model


Instructions are detailed and operational. They can either be SEI-wide or centre-specific.

Instructions may include: finance and administrative procedures, travel instructions, project management instructions, position and promotion procedures, procurement instructions, anti-harassment complaint procedures, and work environment instructions.


Guidelines provide practical guidance and clear processes to enable individuals, teams and centres to work effectively. Ownership of guidelines is determined by topic and implementation responsibility.

For example, guidelines may cover communications activities such as social media, written publications, digital content, and best practices on capacity building and proposal writing.