As sustainability and climate change are among the biggest challenges of our times, the place held by these topics in the training of future managers has become fundamental. ESCP’s MBA in International Management makes it a point of honour to embed these themes in the programme’s classes and teachings. 

Because our School believes present and future leaders have a role to play in the preservation of our environment, part of the programme was designed to provide our students with the tools they need to develop ecological literacy. Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability are well-integrated into the School’s mission of training tomorrow’s leaders. Hence, ESCP’s community is committed to making 100% of students literate on climate issues and planetary limits. A goal which can be achieved with the support and help of a pool of well-recognised faculty members specialised in the matter. Moreover, each European campus possesses its own sustainable representatives. These are a few of the assets the school offers for present and future students who are eager to embrace a career focused on change and sustainability. 

To get a better insight into how ESCP’s MBA in International Management can help you become an active participant in the fight against climate change, we have asked Professor Aurélien Acquier, Associate Dean for Sustainability ESCP Business School, to tell us more about the specificity of the programme regarding these topics. 

Sustainability as a core teaching matter at ESCP

As Prof. Aurélien Acquier explained to us, ESCP is determined to make sustainability a central topic: “The MBA programme of ESCP Business School made a clear statement that sustainability must be an integral part of a top manager’s training and ethos. Rather than specialised sustainability managers, we want to create managers with a sustainability mindset.” 

Indeed, sustainability is the first pillar of the school’s new strategy and by the end of the year 2022, ESCP will train 100% of full-time programmes on the transition to sustainability: “This is the outcome of a longtime commitment and sustained effort over the last years. In terms of governance, the school created, three years ago, the position of Dean for Sustainability Transition, which provides the School with a new member of the School’s Executive Committee,” enthusiastically explains Aurélien Acquier. 

“Rather than specialised sustainability managers, we want to create managers with a sustainability mindset.”

Prof. Aurélien Acquier, Associate Dean for Sustainability – ESCP Business School

To generate this sustainability mindset, the course and classes of the MBA in International Management enable students to gain knowledge and skills regarding the climate issue, even if they do not wish to specialise in that field: “For more than 5 years, all students from the MBA programme follow a compulsory course on sustainability and business. This course has two objectives: first, to boost the participants’ ecological literacy (climate change, biodiversity, energy and their implications on our societies and economies); second to establish a link with corporate strategy, in terms of risks and opportunities”, says our Associate Dean for Sustainability.

Passionate about climate? Deepen your knowledge and ambition at ESCP

At ESCP Business School, we believe experiential learning is as important as theory. Hence, MBA students interested in sustainability also benefit from consultancy projects as well as from specific classes on the matter: “Students from the MBA also have Company Consultancy Projects focused on sustainability. MBA students can also deepen their knowledge through specific electives on sustainability transition, for example on social innovation and entrepreneurship,” explains Aurélien Acquier. This way, students who are eager to start a career in the field of sustainability can deepen their knowledge and further develop their engagement. 

Moreover, the quality of ESCP’s faculty will help you get the skills you need to become an environmental leader. To do so, the school created a full-fledged Sustainability department with 15 professors connected through a specific system to all other departments. As Aurélien Acquier tells us: “This organisational choice was extremely important for scaling fast and reaching our ambition to train 100% of the students in a coherent fashion, across all our European campuses.” Outside of class, students can also meet other students and professionals who are very much involved in sustainability projects. As Prof. Acquier explains: “We make sure to build strong relationships with, and between, our students and alumni, for example through the ESCP Transition Network, a network bringing together students, admin and professors on various operational projects related to sustainability.”

Thinking about a career change in the field of sustainability? Meet your peers at ESCP

If you are thinking about changing fields to stick to a career that fits your ideals, you are not alone: “The number of students interested in sustainability has considerably expanded over the years. More and more people in our society realise the scale and scope of the risks and effects of resource scarcity, social inequalities, and ecological risks. These students share common traits: they have high expectations. First, they look for first-class training on what they view as the challenge of the current century. They also want to understand the implications for their daily job, and they have a clear willingness to do their part and challenge the status quo. In a word, they consider their professional life as a way to play their part regarding sustainability issues,” says Prof. Aurélien Acquier.

“Students consider their professional life as a way to play their part regarding sustainability issues”

Prof. Aurélien Acquier, Associate Dean for Sustainability – ESCP Business School

And as our Associate Dean for Sustainability concludes: “Again, we want to train managers so that they develop a sustainability mindset. Some students want to specialise in sustainability: they tend to professionalise in environmental consulting, impact investing, international institutions or become social entrepreneurs. But other students (those who do not want to specialise in sustainability) are equally important to us. In terms of career perspectives, our discourse to them is the following: it is only a matter of time before sustainability becomes an integral part of your job. Capital allocation, risk management, product innovation, design, distribution, strategy, and regulations will all be fundamentally affected by sustainability trends. Instead of waiting for these changes to materialise, they should take action, anticipate, and integrate sustainability in all business functions.”

If you would like to learn more about ESCP Business School’s commitment to a more sustainable future, feel free to read our Sustainability flyer.
Are you looking forward to starting a career in the sector of environmental protection or sustainability and have questions? Reach out to our team or student ambassadors to learn first-hand how ESCP’s MBA in International Management can help you on your professional path.