Ecological and social transition approach


Higher education and research institutions have a key role to play in addressing current and future economic, environmental, social and political challenges. This is particularly true of business schools that are responsible for training the managers and leaders of tomorrow and for influencing practices through their research. In order to positively guide and shape the way we respond to the major issues that are disrupting business and society, it is fundamental that we, as educators, adapt and transform.


Ever since ESSEC was founded in 1907, we have always strived for and committed to building a society that is more respectful of the environment and human beings. A pioneer in offering apprenticeship programs, equal opportunity programs, and specializations in social and environmental innovation, ESSEC has always had as its guiding principle to innovate in its pedagogy and research as well as in how it operates as an organization.

Aware of the pressing issues at stake, ESSEC has placed environmental and social issues at the very heart of its strategy, via the Together approach, which was formalized in October 2020. The resulting roadmap embodies our commitment through concrete initiatives in our pedagogy, our research, the transformation of our campuses, as well as in our governance and the operation of the institution's services

Our approach is: radical, in order to tackle the root of the problems and question established practices; holistic, so as to have an impact on all the school's professions and activities; reflective, in that we apply new operation models combining efficiency and respect for the planet and society.

Together is continuously co-constructed with all of the school’s stakeholders, its faculty and staff, but also its students, alumni and partners. Together, we are bringing about a transformation that is both clear-sighted in the face of the seriousness of the situation, as well as being confident in our collective ability to imagine solutions and new managerial practices that promote a fairer, more human, more sustainable and more united world.

In order to ensure that environmental and social challenges are truly taken into account in all of the institution's strategic decisions, we have set up a specific governance structure:

  • A Strategy and Social Commitment role has been set up within the school's Executive Committee, reporting directly to ESSEC’s General Management;

  • A consultation committee, a governance body that brings together the various ESSEC stakeholders, set up to monitor action plans and issue opinions;

  • A Societal Impact Committee, an offshoot of the Supervisory Board, established to monitor ESSEC's achievements in relation to its ambitions.

On a day-to-day basis, our transformation approach is driven by a dedicated team working on the ecological transition and on issues of equality, diversity and inclusion, in addition to our professors and staff members from our Teaching and Research Chairs focusing on social and environmental issues.

This team is developing eight specific action plans: Training & Education; Research & Dissemination; Diversity & Inclusion; Circular Economy; Climate & Carbon Footprint Reduction; Biodiversity; Territorial Anchoring and Impact on Society; and Alumni. These action plans have enabled us to strengthen and harmonize all the initiatives that have been in place for several years, but also to identify new levers for change and to incorporate new objectives.

Of stakeholders involved in governance by 2020
People dedicated to SD&CSR issues at ESSEC
Of ESSEC's total budget allocated to the implementation of Together
Of students trained on social and environmental issues
Dedicated to transition issues in the Master in Management program
Of Master in Management students prepared for sustainable development and social responsibility positions
Of publications by ESSEC researchers on sustainable development and social responsibility issues
Professors are members of the Sustainability Guild
Of students trained in anti-discrimination
oOf reported breaches of the charter for the respect of others duly processed
Gender equality index

In recognition of the relevance and impact of the actions deployed as part of its strategic transition approach, ESSEC was awarded the DD&RS label at the end of 2022 for a period of four years. The school was also voted most committed to the ecological and social transition in the Change NOW x Les Echos START ranking in 2023.