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Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability at ESCP Europe

Integration of ERS into ESCP Europe’s mission, governance, strategy and current operations

Key changes in the School’s activities regarding ethics, responsibility and sustainability that have occurred in the past five years.

The last five years have been important for educational offerings, research and community outreach:

  • Creation of two specialised masters & one Specialisation in the MiM Programme
  • Creation of a Research Chair in Circular Economy
  • Growth in research on ERS
  • Creation in Berlin of a new position
  • Creation of a Head for Sustainability Transition

Integration of ethics, responsibility and sustainability in the School’s educational offerings

ESCP Europe has developed innovative educational content related to ethics, responsibility and sustainability across its programmes. This is done through the development of dedicated programmes, as well as the integration of ERS content in existing programmes.

Professors actively involved in the teaching of the circular economy

Programmes with ERS

Specialised programmes on Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability

Specialised Masters including content on Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability

Generalist programmes

Three specialisations (each with 120 teaching hours) offered to our students on these issues:
Re-Think (Paris), Social Entrepreneurship (Madrid), Sustainability (Berlin)
Integration in existing specialisations:
Development of a module on Art-Thinking for all students in the entrepreneurial track, centred on sustainability issues (Improbable Planète)
30-hour module on sustainability in the marketing major (Paris)
Various stand-alone electives on CSR, Sustainability & social innovation in the MiM programme

Starting in September 2019

“Designing tomorrow: business and sustainability” is the first transversal seminar of Pre-Master's degree for students who join ESCP Europe.

This seminar is based on two pillars:

  • A training seminar. Objectives: Become aware of the major climate and current issues ; Understand the link between these issues and management by reflecting both threats and opportunities in new markets ; Identify levers of action accessible to managers
  • A field survey to be carried out in the first semester. Objective: Offer to studentsfield investigation experience, in the light of major societal and climatic issues and their consideration by economic actors ; the opportunity to formulate and disseminate proposals for action that can help address these major issues.

Pedagogical innovation

Re-Think

Since 2016, professors from various departments (humanities, management control, management, and supply chain & logistics) have joined forces to create a new specialisation called Re-Think: Social innovation, alternative business models and sustainability...

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This specialisation digs into major transformations of capitalism (ecological, technological, social and political) and management, and explores the development of alternative models.

Putting a strong emphasis on social sciences, this specialisation strives to balance reflection and action. The specialisation is organised around two central blocs.

The first block is devoted to developing critical thinking and reflexivity among the students through courses such as ‘critical perspectives on capitalism’ and ‘the dark side of sustainability’ (15 hours each).

The second block is centred on understanding and developing alternatives to mainstream management models through courses such as ‘circular economy’ (30 hours), alternative organisations (15 hours), tools & methods for social impact evaluation’ (30 hours) and ‘field-studies in alternative organisations’ (15 hours).

This 120-hour specialisation is offered to M2 students in the MiM on the Paris campus. In 2018-2019, 30 students are enrolled in the specialisation.

Entrepreneurship meets art…and sustainability: Improbable Planet

In 2011, Sylvain Bureau (ESCP Professor in Entrepreneurship) and Pierre Tectin (artist) created a new type of seminar, for entrepreneurs to produce art in order to grasp social transformations and connect them to their entrepreneurial project...

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Since its creation, this seminar, called "Improbable", has attracted more than a thousand entrepreneurs and executives (Orange, La Redoute, Sacem, BPCE, Galeries Lafayette, Canon, etc.). The rules of the game: create a work of art in three days, working in small groups. The objective: to shake up entrepreneurial habits through the experience of artistic creation.

In 2018, Sylvain Bureau focused this seminar on environmental issues, for entrepreneurs to reflect on current business models, environmental challenges, and the bright and dark sides of technological innovation regarding these issues. In 2018 alone, more than 150 students produced works of art on different School campuses.

More information (in French): http://www.mouvement.net/fil-de-une/lart-de-lentreprise

Research on Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability

Ethics, responsibility, and sustainability represent a significant part of ESCP Europe research output. Since 2015, there has been a significant rise in both the total number of articles published by faculty on these topics, accounting for more than 20% of the publications in 2018 (as of 15th of October).
Number of artciles published in Ethics, sustainability & CSR
as a % of ESCP Europe total research ouput

A dedicated research centre

SustBusy logo, Research centre at ESCP Europe

In 2013, the School created a dedicated research centre, SustBusy (Business & Society - Towards a sustainable world) led by the Berlin campus, to work on sustainable development. The research team is made up of 16 ESCP Europe Permanent Professors from the Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Turin campuses, as well as doctoral students from our PhD programmes.

SustBusy logo, Research centre at ESCP Europe

The School also holds a regular research seminar in Paris on Business & Society, which has hosted 20 external researchers since it was created in 2014

Circular economy: from pedagogical innovation to research

The circular economy constitutes an important area of development for research on Ethics, CSR and sustainability, and illustrates synergies between research and pedagogical innovation.

Since 2015

Since 2015, Valentina Carbone (Professor of Supply Chain & Logistics) & Aurélien Acquier (Professor of Sustainability Management) have developed a new 30-hour course devoted to the circular economy. Courses are designed through real-life collaborations including both professional partners (start-ups or established companies), public/institutional partners (eco-organisms or public authorities), the School’s professors and students. Students are offered the opportunity to work on real-life management questions for start-ups, companies or institutional partners.Courses are part of the Master in International Sustainability programme, as well as the Re-Think specialisation. It is also being offered as a standalone elective in some programmes (MiM and executive MBA), reaching about 90 students every year. These pedagogical innovations have led to different research projects both on pedagogy and business model innovation related to the circular economy.

Since 2017

Since 2017, within the framework of the Horizon 2020 project, the SustBusy research centre has received €216K in funding from the European Union as part of a European research project entitled “the route to circular economy”. From ESCP Europe, the project is coordinated by Sylvie Geisendorf (Berlin Campus) and involves professors from various campuses (Berlin, London, Paris).

Since 2018

In October 2018, ESCP Europe founded a Research Chair on Circular Economy supported by Deloittefor three years and led by Aurélien Acquier & Valentina Carbone.

In 2018, eight publications had already been accepted in different academic journals: a special issue on the circular economy in California Management Review (guest edited by Terence Tse,London Campus), Organisation & Environment (Florian Luckede-Freund, Berlin), Thunderbird Business Review (Sylvie Geisendorf, Berlin; Francesco Rattalino, Turin), Journal of Business Ethics and Journal of Planning and Control (Joe Miemczyk, London Campus).

In view of the current development of research and teaching activities related to ERS, future orientations include creating a dedicated research cluster on sustainability and increasing resources and visibility on these topics.

Events / Community outreach

The School wants to position itself as a platform for innovation on ERS issues. To do this, the School must be a catalyst for debate on social innovation, sustainability, etc. These debates are led by professors, alumni and student societies.

Student Societies

Our students are actively involved in extra-curricular student activities related to ERS: several student societies are focused on social and environmental issues, and have developed professional activities in this context:

Logo, the Noise, ESCP Europe

the NOISE ESCP Europe New Observatory for Social & Environmental Innovation), member of the NOISE network located in nine schools and universities around France, is developing content, rethinking education, sharing information and developing social innovation projects, and trying to empower students as change makers.

Logo, Fleur de Bitume, ESCP Europe

Fleur de Bitume offers consulting activities for free to help charities on their professional projects.

logo, Wintegeat, ESCP Europe

Wintegreat has developed innovative programmes to empower qualified refugees and facilitate their professional integration. Such projects involve students, administrative staff and professors as coaches, tutors and mentors of refugees.

Logo Star Trekk', ESCP Europe

Star Trekk' is a sports association. It organises an eco-friendly trek each year and promotes sustainable development.

Logo, France-Népal Solidarité, ESCp Europe

Solidarité France-Népal, in partnership with HEC students, helps disadvantaged populations in Nepal by organising two-month missions every summer to promote education and improve sanitary conditions.

Logo, OIKOS, ESCP Europe

Creation of an oikos chapter at ESCP Europe after successful application to this international student initiative on sustainability. Organisation of many events for students.

ESCP Europe Alumni

Several social innovation incubators in Paris have been started by ESCP Europe alumni:

Dissemination of academic knowledge

Dissemination of academic knowledge to professional communities is also managed through various mechanisms:

Professional Conferences

The School hosts or organises various professional conferences (such as ASLOG – a professional logistics association, Lab RSE, Comité 21)

Circular Economy Morning-sessions

As part of the activities of the Circular Economy research chair, ESCP Europe will organise “circular economy morning-sessions” (starting on April 2019) targeting professionals of the circular economy, journalists, consulting experts and academics, to be held every two months on topics about the circular economy.

Publications

As a contribution to public and managerial debates, professors regularly publish articles in theconversation and also produce video materials (through Xerfi) to disseminate knowledge.

SDG-oriented Career Week and conference

SDG-oriented Career Week and conference for the MiM on the Berlin campus (January 10th-11th / Allianz Forum & ESCP Berlin).

Participation in studies on higher education and integration of energy issues (e.g. Shift Project on higher education and carbon transition).

Extra curricular events

The School regularly organises extra curricular events related to ERS. For example, on the 18th November, 2018, ESCP Europe and the NOISE ESCP Europe co-organised a special conference with Mr. Muhammad Yunus.

Process of integration

Social Diversity programmes: students enrolled at ESCP Europe as part of the Talent Spring Programme

Grants

  • Compliance with Ethics in different processes: research, recruitment
  • Berlin campus: Creation of a Sustainability Advisory Board that meets once or twice a year with members from businesses and NGOs in Berlin
  • Green Campus Initiative in Berlin / campus management initiatives launched across campuses

Formal commitments to ethics, responsibility and sustainability (e.g. UN PRME)

ESCP Europe uses the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a framework to make sense of sustainability issues in its educational content and interactions with stakeholders. In 2018, the School concluded an exclusive partnership with the UN to participate in UN publications through professors’ contributions concerning these goals. Likewise, ESCP Europe took part in the 2018 ABIS Knowledge Into Action Forum in response to the call from the business community to academia to help develop competitive and innovative business models for the UN SDGs through research and knowledge development.

As a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), we are committed to its ERS frameworks.

As a founding member of the French “Conférence des Grandes Ecoles”, ESCP Europe participates in the working group on sustainability and social responsibility, in tandem with other French schools and universities, and has used the “référentiel CGE” self-assessment tool in its approach to sustainability. The School is also a Member of “Comité 21”, a multi-stakeholder platform bringing together business, NGOs and academia in France on sustainability issues.

Florian Lückede Freund participated in the ABIS Knowledge Into Action Forum 2018

Next events organized by the Chair Circular Economy