As part of its ecological and social transition initiative known as "Together", ESSEC has placed student mobility at the heart of its strategic priorities with the implementation of a number of new measures. The school aims to reduce the CO2 emissions of its students' travel by 25% by 2025. To achieve this objective, three key actions have been identified: the improvement of its international mobility offer, a policy to encourage low-carbon travel, and the raising of students' awareness of responsible travel practices.
"Preparing our students to work towards a peaceful future requires that they be made aware of the world’s complexity and of its cultural diversity. Study trips, internships and international academic exchanges all contribute to this learning process. Nevertheless, each trip must count and this is why we have put in place new measures to encourage our students to travel in a more responsible way," explains Vincenzo Vinzi, Dean and President of ESSEC Business School.
Today, student travel for internships and international exchanges accounts for 64% of the school's overall carbon footprint. To promote rich international experiences while reducing the environmental footprint of these trips by 25% in 3 years, ESSEC has made a commitment on three levels:
1) Destinations accessible via low-carbon transport (notably by train) will be favored for study trips organized by the school
For study trips organized for its students, ESSEC has decided to give priority to European destinations accessible by low-carbon transport instead of more distant destinations accessible only by air.
When studying abroad at one of ESSEC's international campuses, the school will encourage students to choose destinations in the same region and provide them with financial assistance for their study trip.
2) "Sustainable mobility vouchers" will be awarded by the school to students who choose low-carbon transport instead of air travel for their internships and exchanges. ESSEC will help students choose low-carbon travel by subsidizing up to €100 for their train, bus or car-pool journeys in Europe when traveling to their exchange or internship location.
This scheme aims to compensate for some of the difference between train and plane fares as well as fostering the adoption of less carbon-intensive travel.
3) A policy of raising students' awareness of low-carbon travel practices has been implemented
ESSEC is fully committed to improving students' understanding of responsible travel by sharing information on the carbon impact of travel and promoting innovative and inspiring means of transportation.
For example, the "Reinvent your mobility" contest, created and co-organized by the non-profit Le Noise ESSEC and the Together team, awards €2,000 to students for sustainable international travel projects. This summer, the first three winners received funding and support from ESSEC for their project to travel more than 1,000 km by bicycle.