ChangeNow ranking: KEDGE, 6th most committed school to ecological and social transition

True to its promise to be an original, sustainable and inclusive school, KEDGE Business School aims to train responsible managers and accelerate its ecological and social transition. This commitment has been recognised by the ChangeNow ranking - Les Echos Start on Monday 30 October 2023, and has enabled KEDGE to achieve 6th place among 26 business schools. This ranking determines the degree of involvement of each school in the ecological and social transition, using various criteria relating to programmes, collaborators, professors, students and graduates.

The ecological and social transition is at the heart of KEDGE's mission as a higher education institution. A pioneer in this approach since 2007, KEDGE has been awarded the DD&RS label (Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility Label) since 2019.  With the development of its KEDGE Impakt strategy, the school is contributing to the United Nations' international agenda: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This commitment is highlighted and recognised in Les Echos Start's ChangeNow ranking, which assesses the extent to which schools take environmental and social issues into account, alongside traditional criteria of excellence. It analyses a number of indicators, including the density of impact in the programmes, the involvement of the school's entire ecosystem and the CSR measures in place.

Impact at the heart of education and training

Keen to train future managers and entrepreneurs who will have a positive impact, while offering a unique learning experience, KEDGE offers impact courses and pathways. 

Thus, the 1,500 students on the Grande Ecole Programme (PGE) and in M1 develop their critical thinking skills by analysing the paradoxes faced by companies in responding to social and environmental challenges in the fields of marketing, human resources or finance, around a compulsory core curriculum including :

  • Ecological Macroeconomics (30h - L3), accredited by leading organisations such as the UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) 
  • Corporate Responsibility and Resilience (30h - L3),
  • Ecological Finance (30h - L3)
  • The Dark Side of Management Sciences (30h - M1),
  • Think 2050 (30h - M1)

In addition, KEDGE has launched several Master of Science (MSc) programmes to train experts in sustainable and inclusive transformation:

- Since 2016 the first MSc in Sustainable Finance.

In addition to the knowledge provided (financing innovation, economics of emerging markets, ESG risk analysis, methodology for measuring social impact), the master offers innovative teaching formats, such as the Impact Investment Challenge - a collective challenge in which students take on the role of 'impact investors', with the aim of developing an investment project with social impact as its main target.                                                                                    

- Since 2022, the MSc Business Transformation for Sustainability. 

- Finally, as part of the LCL Chair in Impact Finance, certification in sustainable and impact finance will be offered from 2024 to all M1 students in the PGE and specialised MSc programmes. The programme will include online courses, masterclasses with industry experts, case studies and mentoring for 1,000 students.

We have been committed to CSR for over 15 years. With the adoption of KEDGE IMPAKT, fully integrated into our school strategy, we are accelerating our ecological and social transition around 3 pillars: Care for people, Act for the planet, Innovate for tomorrow. Our 6th place in the Change Now ranking underlines the commitment of the entire KEDGE community in this area: collaborators, teachers, students and alumni.

Our responsibility is to equip all our students so that, in the future and in the face of global limits, they have all the keys they need to support and steer the evolution of business models.

Anne-France Piteau, KEDGE Ecological and Social Transition Director

KEDGE community : mobilised around the ecological and social transition

Research at the forefront of sustainability issues

For over 15 years, the research activities and expertise of the teaching staff have shed light on the ecological and social transition. On the one hand, with the activity of the KEDGE Chairs and, on the other, in the student sphere with the case studies written by the professors. Nearly 2/3 of the professors work on ecological and social transition issues.

More than ever committed to the subject of responsible finance, KEDGE has set up two chairs in this field:

- A research chair supported by asset manager CANDRIAM entitled "Finance Reconsidered: Addressing Sustainable Economic Development" (2019), the aim of which is to understand how best to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into investments. On the strength of its initial results, this chair was renewed in October 2023 for a further 4 years.

- More recently, in July 2022, KEDGE Business School and LCL launched the "Impact Finance" chair with a strong pedagogical dimension, aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of KEDGE students in this field.

KEDGE also has a research centre dedicated to sustainability as well as a SEEFAR (Shift for Ecology, Economics, Finance and Accounting Research) research centre which promotes sustainable and ethical solutions in economics, finance and accounting. The centre's professors aim to develop alternative tools and solutions to promote sustainable economic, financial and accounting models, as well as to transform the public discourse and educational content around these subjects.

A network of committed alumni

With the launch in 2022 of its KEDGE Alumni for Impakt network, the school is bringing together its graduates who are contributing to the ecological and social transformation of organisations and different business sectors. This network fulfils two objectives:

  • Bringing together alumni around different events and increasing the school's impact by promoting synergies. 
  • To enable the sharing of career paths and experiences, to showcase unique career paths among alumni and students.

True to the school's promise to offer an ever-updated pedagogy, this network also intends to contribute to the training of graduates throughout their careers, in connection with the ecological and social transition.

Among the first actions initiated in 2022-23 is the possibility offered to KEDGE alumni to take the TASK™ certificate - a measurement tool on an individual's sustainability knowledge, based on the Sulitest Knowledge Matrix inspired in particular by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the work on planetary limits, and that on the Doughnut economy.

Employees, students and graduates involved and united in the ecological and social transition

KEDGE has put in place a number of cross-disciplinary initiatives to mobilise and unite employees, students and alumni around corporate social responsibility:

The Impakt Fund: a participative scheme

In 2023, KEDGE launched the second edition of the Impakt Fund, a participatory scheme designed to encourage the emergence and financing of impact projects - by students or employees. Participants are then supported in their transformative and impactful initiatives with a social or environmental scope.

The IMPAKT referral network

KEDGE has created a network of IMPAKT referents, with one member from each of the school's departments, in order to promote cross-functionality within its various programmes. The aim of this network is to :

  • contributing to cross-functional projects relating to impact (such as the analysis of applications received for the Impakt Fund),
  • share best practice,
  • co-constructing and co-piloting IMPAKT roadmaps for each department.

Climate Days

Regardless of their programme, each student entering KEDGE takes part in a "Climate Day" specific to their course of study. This day serves as a first milestone enabling students to learn the essential facts about the causes and consequences of climate change and its impact on the economic world and business activity.

To encourage active learning, students are offered collective intelligence workshops that encourage them to think and then take action, in particular the Fresque du Climat and 2tonnes workshops. This workshop invites each participant to assess their current carbon footprint in order to move towards 2 tonnes of C02 equivalent, alternating between role-playing and individual and collective decision-making.

In total, nearly 3,000 students are made aware of this issue every year, through our general and specialist programmes.

A 100% digital sustainable development report

In order to report on its achievements in terms of ecological and sustainable transition, KEDGE produces a sustainable development report every year. It highlights the initiatives and performance of the KEDGE community in this area. 

For the first time, the report is hosted online and replaces the previous paper report. Eco-responsible and inclusive, it has been awarded an A rating in the EcoIndex analysis for its environmental performance and incorporates the rules of digital accessibility.

Student associations more committed than ever

In addition to mobilising associations specialising in environmental issues, all KEDGE student associations are committed to transforming their approach to social and environmental responsibility. Each of the associations has a Transition & Impact manager who is part of a network called Care Lab. This is a space for dialogue and reflection, information and training, as well as work to build, produce and manage an impact report, produced for the first time this year.