The climate crisis is the main challenge we face today. The current generation has understood this and is playing an active role in building a more sustainable environment on a global scale. At Rennes School of Business, our goal is for our students to develop a mindset behaviour and skills that enable them to think of solutions and implement actions that are environmentally and socially responsible.
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in Rennes SB is the desire to initiate reflection, implement actions and training with all internal and external stakeholders, opening the way to new, more virtuous and positive models for the population, the planet and the business world.
Across the campus, the School is focusing on reducing its carbon footprint and increasing awareness of how resources are used. These priorities require the efforts of all stakeholders (students, employees, teachers, suppliers, etc.), who are widely aware of these issues.
The CSR actions of the Rennes School of Business revolve around 3 key ideas: “Committing ourselves”, “Daily action” and “Education”.
Our history as a higher education institution has long shaped our commitment to environmental and social responsibility. These are reflected in our CSR mission statement. These commitments are enriched by exchanges and the sharing of best practices with our stakeholders. Today, they are recognised in numerous rankings and through our accreditations.
The notion of responsibility has been one of the pillars of Rennes School of Business since its creation in 1990.
In recent years, the School’s CSR mission has been extended and formalised in parallel with the development of the dedicated team: to support the School and all its stakeholders in providing a collective and committed response to the challenges of current and future transitions and transformations.
What are the three pillars of CSR?
The mission of the CSR team encompasses 3 strategic goals defined at the beginning of 2022:
The School has been committed to a transition process for many years. Since 2007, with the creation of the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), several disciplines including ethics, CSR and sustainability have been addressed in both research and teaching through this interdisciplinary approach.
Over the years, this research centre has been run by three different professors, each contributing their expertise on diversity, spirituality and management and social sciences and business, among others. The Centre’s members have made valuable contribution to national and international research in the field by publishing books and numerous articles in specialist French and international journals.
The 2019-2023 strategic plan has redesigned research centres based on an impact approach with the Breton region. The School has decided to infuse CSR into and across all its activities, including research and teaching.
Today, the CSR mission at Rennes School of Business is developed and supported by a cross-disciplinary team of four people within the Human Relations and Managerial Innovation department, enabling it to be at the heart of the School’s transformation challenges. This transdisciplinary team is currently made up of four people and reports directly to the Human Resources and Managerial Innovation department, placing it at the heart of the School’s transformation challenges.
Rennes School of Business’ commitment to CSR has been recognised by various rankings: The Echos Start 2022 ranks the School 12th among the schools most committed to the ecological transition. For the second consecutive year, Rennes SB ranks in the “Transforming School” category, the 2nd highest level in the Positive Impact Rating in 2023.
These rankings consolidate the School’s procedures and CSR policy.
The school has completed its self-assessment for the SD&RS label, carried out its Scope 3 carbon assessment, plans to develop a low-carbon trajectory for 2025-2026 and publishes its PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) report. All employees are involved in the School’s Climate/Carbon Awareness Plan.
Rennes School of Business also participates in the Companies Climate Convention, Western Region (“CEC Ouest”).
As part of its CSR policy, the School is developing several sponsorships such as the “Route du Rhum 2022”, during which Rennes SB sponsored skipper Fabrice Payen, the first skipper to be fitted with a prosthetic knee, and Social Change 2022 event. In 2023, Rennes SB becomes the official sponsor of the Marathon Vert, a race for which a tree is planted for each Km run (the School took part in 2022, with 92 trees planted). The 2023 Marathon Vert will take place on 21 and 22 October. This event is a good way for participating students to engage in physical activity through sport. This Marathon also allows them to promote physical wellbeing and sport in Rennes SB.
Our membership of different networks allows us to share best practices among peers on diverse transition-related topics:
Transition themes are also developed through the various networks to which Rennes School of Business belongs, such as the Commission d’évaluation des formations de diplômes de gestion (CEFDG), the Conférence des directeurs des écoles françaises de management (CDEFM) and the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (CGE).
Download reports: PRME report; Responsible purchasing guide; our codes and charters
In line with the school’s social and societal commitment through its programmes and assistance and support schemes for its students, the Rennes School of Business Foundation was created in 2022 under the aegis of the Fondation de France. The Rennes SB Foundation enables young people to come and study at the Rennes School of Business regardless of their social background.
On a daily basis, Rennes SB takes action on environmental and societal issues through the many initiatives it implements with its internal and external stakeholders (students, employees, partners, etc.).
Throughout the year we organise events and awareness-raising activities in the form of conferences, round tables, workshops and other events aimed at all our stakeholders.
Some notable examples:
Our students are a driving force behind the organisation of events:
For 2023, we have put in place a three-stage awareness-raising plan for all employees (faculty and administrative staff) based on the following themes:
Here are a few examples of approaches implemented at the School:
All programmes offered by Rennes SB have at least one core CSR and/or business ethics training course. The overall objective of these courses is to raise awareness among all students of the school about the social responsibility principles upheld by companies or organisations in connection with all the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, a range of courses on climate change, biodiversity and natural resources is also offered as part of our courses.
Several programmes are dedicated to transition and CSR issues:
For four days, around fifty young students at the end of their first year of preparatory classes in the Programme Grand École – Master in Management from all over France, will gather at Rennes School of Business for a seminar dedicated to CSR, sustainable development, sustainable marketing and finance. In addition, as part of its mission to educate and raise awareness of the challenges of transition and to share best practice, Rennes School of Business is stepping up the number of conferences and presentations on these subjects, both at in-house events and at its partners’ events (trade fairs, high schools, forums, conferences with partner universities, etc.).
During their three-year Bachelor studies, students must take part in several events related to CSR training, such as the “Rennes Impact Challenge”, a workshop with the Diversity Fresco and the “Reciprocity” module.
The “Rennes Impact Challenge”: carried out each year in conjunction with a local partnership (the Rennes Metropolitan Development Council in 2022 and Destination Rennes in 2023) and the School’s CSR Council and Department, all 1st year Bachelor students are asked to propose projects with a positive impact on the region, in line with one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Rennes Impact Challenge was awarded the Coup de Cœur prize at the Trophées Campus Responsables Francophones.
The Diversity Fresco: to prepare the “Reciprocity” module, students in BiM2 take part in the workshop where the emphasis is on the concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion.
The “ Reciprocity” module is a mandatory CSR module in the 2nd year of the Bachelor’s Degree in Management (BiM). It aims to develop social awareness, humility and empathy among the students and enables them to commit to a cause that is close to their hearts. Students cooperate with an NGO outside the School to carry out a humanitarian project for which they are assessed.
In the first year of the Matser in Management (MiM), students can follow the “Environment & Transition Management” course. This course allows them to benefit from conferences, projects and case studies as well as the academic excellence of expert speakers on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) topics. In the second year, two ‘curiosity packs’ are offered in connection with CSR: Sustainable Business and Sustainable & Social entrepreneurship.
“Learning by doing”: as part of a CSR and sustainable development approach, students carry out projects in the 24 student associations of Rennes SB. During the validation process for these projects, environmental and social issues must obligatorily be included so that they can be validated by the Manager of the association centre.
“Ignition Days”: at the start of the academic year, students in their 2nd year of PGE are invited to come up with innovative product or service concepts which highlight the sustainable development issues that they address.
The Master of Science in Sustainable Management and Eco-Innovation (MSc SMEI), closely linked to CSR, is designed to train students to become responsible managers and business leaders. They will be able to apply sustainable development knowledge when developing responsible business practices, and offer ethical personnel management within companies. Taught in partnership with UniLaSalle-Ecole des Métiers et de l’Environnement in Rennes, this programme offers interdisciplinary modules from numerous business sectors and environmental engineering. It covers topics such as: Environmental Impact Assessment, Eco-Design management, Sustainable Supply Chain/Green Logistics and all SDGs are covered.
The CSR Summer Programme is a two-week event on corporate social responsibility for students from our partner universities.
In January 2023, the “Act for a Better Campus Challenge” was held for the 100 new international students entering the academic year. The aim was to develop innovative and responsible projects that they can apply on our campus.
Final dissertations also include transition issues. This research work is the culmination of all the degree programmes (Bachelor, PGE, MSc). For these dissertations students are strongly encouraged to focus their research question on a CSR issue, by including a specific reference to it in the information that they must provide when officially entering the topic of their dissertation. In February 2022, the Programmes Committee of Rennes SB approved the inclusion of a section dedicated to a reflection on Corporate Social Responsibility and transitions (ecological, social, economic) being systematised for all final dissertations that have not directly included a research question related to these subjects.
The “Career Passport” also includes transition issues. This tool has been designed to help students build their career plan step-by-step, based on key skills that will be assessed annually by a professional. Several deliverables are expected in this “Career Passport”, including a deliverable concerning personal development objectives (linked to the SDGs defined by the UN as Transformation Skills for Sustainable Development) and a deliverable concerning understanding digital, environmental and sociocultural challenges in students’ professional experiences.
Rennes SB’s CSR approach is at the heart of the school’s research strategy. This strategy is integrated in all our research centres: Agribusiness (Agribusiness, Sustainable Development and CSR), AI-Driven Business (Intelligence, Data-Driven Global Business), Digital & Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management (G3D), Rethinking Tomorrow’s Organisation (RTO), Financial Market & Corporate Outcomes (FMCO) and the Centre for Unframed Thinking (CUT), in addition to the production of several articles and activities by our teacher-researchers.