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Further progress in achieving l’X’s Sustainable Development Goals

Two years after the École Polytechnique made five strong commitments to sustainable development, further progress has been made in their implementation.

vue du campus de l'Ecole polytechnique

École Polytechnique formalized its actions in favor of sustainable development in June 2019 by setting up five ambitious commitments that have since become embedded in its strategy.

The rollout of these five commitments - implementation of a dedicated training certification, training of 100% of students in sustainable development, launch of an interdisciplinary center on renewable energies, launch of an international student challenge, and the goal of a carbon-neutral campus -has involved several landmark initiatives since the beginning of the year.

The School emphasizes this approach by closely and permanently involving its students, faculty and staff in this long-term process.

The first recruitment campaigns for the sustainable development certificate have been launched with 128 students registered among the X2019 class. This certification is intended to provide in-depth training on sustainability issues for all engineering and most of Masters of Science & Technology students.

The objective of training more and more students in sustainable development has materialized with the participation of 3rd year Bachelor students in the two days  seminar already compulsory for engineering students.

The Energy for Climate (E4C) interdisciplinary center continued to grow with its first general assembly on February 11 and 12 and a review of its eight priority research areas. In early summer, the center will publish its white paper outlining its goals and projects.

After the success of the first edition of the E4C International Student Challenge, the second one, launched in October 2020, challenges students on the following theme: "Carbon neutrality objectives 2050: local declinations". The results will be announced at the closing ceremony on September 20. 

The ambition of a carbon-neutral campus has been further translated into initiatives aimed at further reducing energy consumption with the installation of outdoor LED lighting, the refurbishment of the roof of the campus restaurant, and the insulation of staff and students housing buildings. Active mobility has been further developped with the launch of the Sustainable Mobility Package, which allows X staff to be reimbursed for all or part of the costs incurred in travelling to work, when the means of transport is more environmentally friendly (carpooling, bicycles, etc.) and the installation of 42 secure bicycle parking spaces, 21 of which are equipped with an electrical connection,.

The greenhouse gas emissions assessment of the campus, carried out between March and July 2020, showed that three items account for 80% of emissions: energy (36%), buildings and research equipment (24%) and mobility, which includes business travel by plane and commuting (20%).

This carbon assessment is a starting point and will help to identify action-levers to reduce emissions which will be  incorporated in the School’s climate plan to be published before the end of the year.