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Environment: students at l’X spring into action

At the end of September, students from five grandes écoles, including École Polytechnique, released a manifesto for an "environmental wake-up call". One of the students behind the project was Corentin Bisot, a third-year student at l’X.

Their plan is to spur everyone into action and bring students together in the face of the climate emergency. Students from École Polytechnique, ENS, HEC, CentraleSupélec and AgroParisTech launched a manifesto for an "environmental wake-up call", on September 25. Close to 15,000 students, 472 of whom are from l’X, have already signed.

The manifesto was the brainchild of Corentin Bisot, who is currently in his third year of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program. Former Chairman of the student society devoted to sustainable development at l’X, Bisot has been dedicated to tackling environmental issues for some time now. "We wanted to go one further than the actions already being undertaken on campus like waste reduction and management, by discussing the subject of education," he explains. "All students should be entitled to an environmental education."

For Bisot, sustainable development should not be considered a specialization, but an integral curricular component taught all throughout academic programs. "We are working alongside the Department of Academic Affairs at l’X and we recently managed to integrate a section on corporate social responsibility into internship defenses for second-year Ingénieur Polytechnicien students," continues Corentin Bisot, who wishes to make a shift towards soil physics research in line with agriculture and climate transition.

"Our message is not to boycott companies who may not be committed to environmental issues."
Corentin Bisot, Ingénieur Polytechnicien student

The students decided to release this manifesto during Sustainable Development Week, which is organized every September at École Polytechnique. "In contrast to what has been reported in the media, our message is not to boycott companies who may not be committed to environmental issues, but rather to get students informed and make them think about these issues, in order to develop genuine awareness of the situation," says Corentin.
For Ibrahim Chenouf, Vice Chairman of the National Council of Engineering Students, who is studying for a master’s at École Polytechnique and Essec, the goal of this manifesto is to let the collective student voice be heard. He states: "If everyone keeps these problems in mind, we will be able to change people’s logic and bring environmental concerns into corporate strategy." In June 2019, École Polytechnique will open an international scientific symposium on sustainable development, a topic chosen in tandem with Kès, the l’X Student Council.