Ecological Transition: Sciences Po Launches a Three-Year Action Plan

Ecological Transition: Sciences Po Launches a Three-Year Action Plan

Courses, research, campus: all the measures
  • Paris campus - the garden ©Martin Argyroglo/Sciences PoParis campus - the garden ©Martin Argyroglo/Sciences Po

In the face of a climate in crisis and a planet experiencing profound ecological disruption, Sciences Po has set itself an ambitious three-year action plan. This plan will form one part of the much wider Climate Action: Make It Work initiative, launched in 2015. It responds to the institution’s obligations as both a place of study and work and a centre for teaching and learning, in Paris and across the six regional campuses.

Putting environment at the heart of teaching and research

Sciences Po also recognises its responsibility as a site of teaching and the transmission of knowledge. Meeting regularly between April and October 2019, our research and teaching review committee, led by Bruno Latour, has produced an encouraging first report on the place of environmental concerns within our educational ecosystem. A significant and varied range of teaching and research on the environment already exists, which now needs to be expanded and rendered more visible and more accessible to a wider audience. This is the objective of the 2020-2023 roadmap (fr, pdf, 120 Kb) that the institution has set for itself with regards to teaching and research. The roadmap establishes environmental issues as a priority theme for the university, which should feed into all aspects of our teaching and research. Key measures include: 

At undergraduate level

  • The creation of a mandatory core course on the history/sociology of the environment
  • Introduction of exploratory seminars and active educational exercises on each campus
  • An ecological issues certification
  • More opportunities within this field for the Civic Learning Programme

At master’s level

  • A core foundational course in environmental issues for all master’s students
  • Creation of a skills certificate
  • New dual degrees on ecological issues

For doctoral students

  • Creation of an interdisciplinary programme of doctoral research on the subject
  • Creation of a summer school to introduce candidates to the challenges of social science research on the environment

For research

  • Recruitment of at least 15 academics working on issues related to environmental disruption between now and 2023. 

10 Objectives for a “Sustainable Campus”

Sciences Po has also taken action as an organisation, presenting a action plan to reduce the ecological footprint of all its campuses and activities (pdf, 150 Kb). Directly inspired by our climate consultation, organised with students, teachers, and employees in November 2019, this plan takes the form of ten concrete objectives that will reduce our carbon consumption over the next three years:

  1. Reduce pollutant professional trips
  2. Reduce our water and energy consumption
  3. Reduce digital pollution
  4. Reduce single-use plastic waste
  5. Reduce paper consumption
  6. Improve recycling
  7. Promote reuse
  8. Plant new green spaces and implement sustainable management of existing ones
  9. Reinforce our policy on responsible purchasing
  10. Improve the catering offering on our campuses

This plan will build on various other initiatives launched over the course of the last few years: our eco-responsible travel policy, introduced in 2018, the establishment of environmental specifications in public tenders as of 2014, the removal of plastic bottles from our campuses in 2019, communal printer-photocopiers, recycling of waste, and so on.

These institutional commitments follow on from agreements made by Sciences Po and partner universities at the U7+ Alliance international summit, and as part of its collaboration in the European University project, CIVICA. “These plans are the result of a collaboration across the entirety of Sciences Po, with the common goal of taking firm action in response to the climate crisis and mobilising to prepare the world of tomorrow, both with and for our communities", summarised Frédéric Mion, Director of Sciences Po.

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