The IE Sustainability Office is making big strides in raising awareness about various environmental issues. Read more to learn about who they are, what they do, and their plan to change the world.
Green education is the future. As more businesses and government agencies recognize their important role in combating issues such as global warming and climate change, they have started a concerted push towards adopting more green, environmentally friendly policies. So, it’s vital that the next generation of leaders become not only more environmentally aware, but also skilled in the fundamentals of sustainability.
At IE University, our focus has always been on caring about the environment and ensuring that the planet is a better place for future generations. We anticipate what the world of tomorrow will look like and empower our students with the tools required to prosper in it. That’s why sustainability is at the heart of all our programs; driving home the point that, while individual action is a great starting point, collective effort is the only path towards true change.
Introducing the IE Sustainability Office
The IE Sustainability Office is our solution to these concerns, leading the charge in ensuring all our students become responsible global citizens who are ethical stewards of the environment. Created to bring sustainability to the mainstream IE University community, the IE Sustainability Office is ready to promote increased awareness of key environmental concerns.
The main goal is to help our students develop the right mindset to encourage change. This involves fostering habits that lead to sustainability, including social responsibility, climate action, protecting biodiversity, recycling and adopting the use of renewable energy. From classrooms to student clubs, research centers and labs—the entire IE University community is encouraged to think deeply about the environmental challenges facing our planet.
What’s more, sustainability is fully integrated into the university’s ecosystem; academic and research programs have incorporated relevant topics into their curricula. Plus, a broad array of certificates, research opportunities, workshops, seminars and conferences are available to all our students, faculty and staff.
Key initiatives for sustainability
The IE Sustainability Office is driven by its dedication to educating the next era of business leaders and policymakers on how to build a more sustainable planet. Its approach to this goal is, at the core, driven by the principles of collaboration and a belief that the solution to global challenges lies in interdisciplinary effort. This is the only way to create comprehensive policies that address environmental issues in a more robust way.
Towards this end, The IE Sustainability Office concentrates its efforts on 12 key impact learning experiences. These initiatives are designed to guide the entire IE University community toward becoming more environmentally conscious. They include:
- Social Impact Lab, providing students the chance to offer project-based consultancy services to social enterprises in Spain or South Africa.
- Slow Fashion Lab offers practical training on sustainability tailored to the fashion industry, as well as the chance to meet inspiring professionals across the sector.
- Social Impact Trek MBA, where students can learn about sustainability, impact investing and more in major global hubs like New York, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro and South Africa.
- The Startup Lab focuses on projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Student Projects, allowing them to offer pro-bono consulting and collaborate on projects with legal clinics and social impact investment funds.
- Financiers without Borders (FSF) is an NGO that works towards advancing financial inclusion in Africa, and is wholly run by the students and faculty at IE Business School.
- Emzingo Consulting, which is a personal development company that helps other companies develop transformative leadership programs.
- Impact Project (MBA), giving students the chance to work on real-world challenges through innovative social projects to create a positive impact on companies, communities and society at large.
- Micro-entrepreneurs and student-driven NGOs, including the Helix Social Impact Project and Solar Now in Uganda.
- The Global Village is run by students from the IE Net Impact Club and revolves around an annual multicultural event that raises funds for a social project
- WWF’s ‘100 Companies for the Forests’ Project is a collaborative project with the WWF working toward reforesting and protecting the natural biodiversity of Doñana Natural Park in Huelva, Spain.
- Legal Clinic, offering pro bono legal assistance to NGOs, foundations and vulnerable groups.
Generating positive impact
When students understand the key issues facing today’s society and receive the right support, they can effectively tackle the key social, economic and environmental challenges facing society today. This is the only way to promote sustainable social action that transforms communities and creates lasting positive change.
Because of this belief, the IE Sustainability Office has created several challenges to address climate change and incorporate sustainability in all aspects of university life:
10 Year Challenge
The 10 Year Challenge is a long-term plan to include sustainability in every facet of life at IE University, including the curriculum, organizational culture and campus operations. This will motivate changes in habits and behavior that will positively impact our world.
The main goal of this challenge is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030. To accomplish this objective, the focus revolved around reducing the use of single-use plastic water bottles, cutting down on paper consumption and significantly scaling down energy consumption—turning IE University into a zero-emission institution by 2030.
This challenge builds upon the goals outlined in previous years. In 2020, the IE University community spent over 53.280 hours on activities related to social and environmental impact. The objective is to increase this number every year.
Building a sustainability-conscious community
At IE University, we are committed to building a community that cares about the environment. As we educate future leaders on pressing environmental issues—and encourage more to get involved in activities that promote sustainability—we have already started doing our part to change the world.