Actively committed to sustainable development, École Polytechnique pursues activities in various areas, getting the academic and research departments involved as well as all of the various on-campus participants.
A well-structured process
École Polytechnique’s policies are guided by the Sustainable Development Committee and by the Plan Vert, an outline for evaluating the effectiveness of sustainable development activities and their impact on the environment.
The Sustainable Development Committee, created in April 2010, defines the school’s overall sustainable development strategies and policies and oversees all related activities on campus.
The Plan Vert Reference
Since 2011, École Polytechnique has participated in an evaluation program outlined by the Plan Vert environmental reference. French higher education establishments are legally obligated to establish strategies for sustainable development in all of their economic, social, and environmental aspects.
The two goals of the Plan Vert on a national level are:
> to develop a polyvalent education on sustainable development that is both cohesive and cooperative
> to make French university campuses serve as a leading reference in obtaining qualitative and quantitative results
Participants and types of activities
École Polytechnique participates in sustainable development activities in 5 major areas: academics, research, the campus environment, transportation, and student clubs.
Academic sustainable development activities:
> 21 Master’s 1 level courses
> 5 Master’s 2 level courses
> 3 concentrations in the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program
Research pertaining to sustainable development
> 7 Academic and Research Chairs
> The Coriolis Institute of environmental research (seminars, multidisciplinary projects)
> 49 research projects pertaining to aspects of sustainable development are being pursued in 15 different laboratories on campus
The campus environment
École Polytechnique manages its campus in a responsible manner which respects the environment and surrounding ecosystem. Several programs and activities have been put in place to reduce the school’s environmental impact.
These activities involve various aspects of campus life :
- On-Campus Housing
Students are housed on campus. On-campus boarding is mandatory for all students in the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program, and keeps transit to a minimum, reducing pollution and greenhouse gasses as well as the carbon footprint of the school.
- Waste Management and Recycling
École Polytechnique encourages all of the students, faculty and other staff who work or live on campus to adopt eco-friendly practices in their daily routines, especially concerning sorting trash bins and simple conservation habits for the office.
- On-Campus Dining
Since 2012, the École Polytechnique cafeteria recycles its waste through an innovative process: methanation. Waste materials are thus transformed into energy such as natural gas, electricity and fuel. Organic wastes from the cafeteria are treated and stored in vats which are then sent to the Etampes methnation facility. The resulting thermal or natural gas energy which is produced thus supplements the ERDF network.
In order to improve the accessibility of the campus, École Polytechnique, in collaboration with the Essonne Chamber of Commerce and the CAPS (Saclay Plateau Agglomeration Community organization), is involved in an interbusiness transportation plan with its neighboring establishments in the campus area. At the center of the Saclay Plateau, the area surrounding the campus will benefit starting in 2014 from the significant developments taking place across the entire Paris-Saclay “eco-region”. The goal: develop a high-performance transport system which encourages short-distance travel and alternatives to cars.
When using a car is absolutely necessary, the campus also runs a car-sharing service. This system for self-service cars enables users to reserve practical and energy-efficient vehicles via the internet.
- Energy Management
École Polytechnique is located at the center of the Paris-Saclay eco-region, and is thus responsible for preserving the welfare of the entire region’s ecosystem, with a commitment to constantly improving energy management and sustainable development. For all areas and communities on the Saclay Plateau, including École Polytechnique, several key issues have been defined: balancing the city and nature, developing an overall plan for water conservation and management, energy transition to more sustainable sources (such as solar power), and encouraging transportation with low environmental impact.
- A Hygiene, Safety, and Environment Team, which reports directly to the Director General of the school, also supervises the workplace security norms are properly observed for the facilities and surrounding areas.
- Student Clubs
Six student clubs organize activities and promote awareness for Sustainable Development at École Polytechnique :
- X-MicroFinance (micro-loans),
- Sustainable Development Week (SDDX),
- Else (local farmers’ market),
- Botanix (on-campus vegetable garden),
- Apicultix (on-campus beekeeping and honey production)
> Find out more about On-Campus clubs and Associations.