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The “Eco-Responsibility Project”: how EM Normandie students are rising to the challenge of the UN’s 17 SDGs!

25 May 2022 School news
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For the second year in a row, EM Normandie and its Foundation have organised a competitive project to encourage students to get involved in sustainability. The “Eco-Responsibility Project” is built around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations. The global goals are shared by all the countries in the UN and have the following overarching themes: ending poverty, protecting the planet and prosperity for all.


Since February, 900 3rd year post-baccalaureate students on the Grande École Programme in Caen, Le Havre, Paris, Dublin and Oxford campuses have been taking part. In teams of four, they have spent three months assessing and making recommendations on how to integrate the SDGs within organisations that are committed to Sustainable Development (SD) and Social Responsibility (SR).  


Entrants have to answer the following inter-related questions:

  • How have companies/organisations integrated the SDGs into their SD & CSR policy (situational analysis, leverage, obstacles)? If they have not yet integrated the SDGs, what are their plans for SD & CSR?
  • What measures would you recommend to improve or complete the integration of SDGs?


Supervised by 16 mentors, the students were put in professionalising situations to work on real-life business cases. A first panel of judges assessed how well their analytical skills, creative thinking and proposals dealt with the practical challenges that companies actually face. 18 teams were then selected to go through to the final to defend their projects in front of a second panel of judges comprised of representatives from the EM Normandie Foundation and partner companies (Société Générale, La Poste, U.N.ADERE, ACSEA, Attitude Manche, CFA Sport Animation Tourisme, Clemajob, Ecomiam, Klee, Partelios, Pommier, Réseau Entreprendre, Samsic , SASP, Soudry and The Roof Le Havre).


This challenge is fully in line with EM Normandie's “School for Life, School for Good” philosophy,” explained EM Normandie’s Managing Director, Elian PILVIN (Class of 1996). “We want to develop our students’ skills so that they are equipped to deal with major contemporary issues and can play their part in changing the world... for the better!  The Eco-Responsibility Project is a practical means of building students’ awareness of the mechanisms they can suggest to companies in order to make real change happen in a way that supports sustainable development and CSR”.



First prize: the EM Normandie Foundation awarded first prize to Noémie COUASNON, Danish GOULAMHOUSS, Baptiste MAISONNEU and Maxime ROGER (Paris campus) who worked for the Partelios Group, a social housing association Normandy (social landlord, contractor and developer). Some of their proposals included: creating a transport scheme; using 3D printing with aerated concrete to build more economical and ecological buildings; installing digital boilers and “intelligent radiators” and developing a community beehive project for the company. They were awarded €750, which they chose to donate to the Action leucémies [Leukemia Action] association.


“Coup de cœur” [Special commendation]: Baptiste DELAETER, Pierre DESPLANQUES, Pablo DIAZ and Nicolas DUFRENE (Caen campus) won this prize for the quality of their action plan for Ecomiam, a distribution network of frozen food products that are 100% of French origin. They recommended creating green spaces at sales outlets; working towards net zero buildings and installing the necessary equipment to use carbon emissions for the company's freezers. Their prize money of €250 will also be donated to charity.


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