Executive Education

EDHEC Sustainable Impact Challenge - a hands-on learning experience.

ESG education and sustainability are at the heart of EDHEC’s Global MBA Programme 

Reading time :
6 Apr 2023

The EDHEC Global MBA Sustainable Impact Challenge is a 5-month long project that MBAs embark on. Each year EDHEC partners with different companies that present real-life challenges for MBAs to solve. This forms part of the Global MBA’s ESG focused curriculum and EDHEC’s mission to develop leaders that will make a positive impact in the world. The programme’s strong focus on sustainability has been recognised time and again, most recently by the Financial Times, placing the EDHEC Global MBA as number 3 in the world for ESG Education for the third consecutive year.  

Companies and MBAs working hand-in-hand for a more sustainable future 

The learning objectives of the sustainable impact challenge is to

  • Gain perspective on different business approaches to sustainability, learning to become responsible leaders while giving back to society.     
  • Discover and identify the most important issues on social and environmental challenges and needs currently facing businesses or organisations. 
  • Engage critical-thinking and problem-solving skills while collaborating in teams to develop competencies that generate and foster sustainable solutions.    

The participating companies for this year’s challenge included Air Liquide, Atradius, Vulog, IBM, Schneider Electric, Somfy, EO2, SBM Offshore, Technique Solaire, and Circul’R.    

The MBAs worked in teams and each team was presented with a unique challenge that they needed to solve. The topics for this year varied from 

  • Preserving biodiversity 
  • Decarbonisation  
  • Clarifying the various CO2 credits, risk and opportunities 
  • Developing a circular economy model for leather industry  
  • Identifying the impact of Taxation regulation and delegation acts.  



Awards for research, innovation, societal and environmental impact award 

Companies presented a scope of deliverables at the beginning of the project and were highly impressed with the extensive work presented by the MBAs throughout the project timeline and on the final day. The challenge involved a lot of research work and understanding the companies’ offering as well as the industry. The students then developed CSR and sustainability recommendations for the company based on gathered data and the project deliverables.    

On the final day of the challenge, the students pitched their projects in front of an audience of their peers, company representatives and a special jury. Each team only had five minutes to present their findings, analyses and sustainability recommendations.  

Jury member Sébastien Huron, CEO Virbac noted that “there was a high level of energy and engagement from the students, they did a great job condensing five months’ work into a five-minute pitch. The presentations were very detailed, demonstrating high level of market research and I am happy to say I got a lot of ideas that I will be implementing. ” 

The jury deliberated on five of the six prizes to be won, namely; the Research award, Innovation award, Societal impact award, Environmental award, and best pitch award. The sixth and final award was the Audience award, decided by the audience.  


The audience voted using cutting-edge voting technology facilitated by the PiLab, EDHEC’s pedagogical innovation laboratory. PiLab enhances the pedagogical experience for students, professors and researchers alike.   

The importance of the sustainable impact challenge  

The 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report (GDSR) states that transformation must come from all levels: through government policies, financial incentives as well as community action and behaviour changes. The report urges us all to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. 

The EDHEC Global MBA Sustainable Impact Challenge reinforces that developing environmentally sustainable business practices is possible, although it is a complex endeavour that requires commitment and financial investment. Organisations and individuals need to invest in research and fund sustainable ideas.  


For Veronica, the Sustainable Impact Challenge provided a chance to:

  • Veronica Sigurdson

    Develop skills in sustainability: Participating in the challenge allowed us the chance to develop skills and knowledge in sustainable business practices. This included understanding the impact of business operations on the environment and society, developing sustainable business models, and implementing strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of the business.
  • Gain hands-on experience: Since the challenge provided real-world projects and case studies, this provided us with hands-on experience in sustainable business practices. This experience can be invaluable when entering the workforce, as it demonstrates to potential employers that we have practical experience in sustainability.
  • Network with professionals: The challenge involved partnerships with businesses, organizations, and professionals in various industries. This provides us with the opportunity to network with professionals and gain insights.
  • Make a positive impact: The challenge provided us with the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment and society through developing sustainable business models and implementing strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of businesses.
  • Enhance employability: Sustainable business practices are becoming increasingly important in today's business world. By participating in a Sustainable Impact Challenge, we can demonstrate to potential employers that we have the knowledge and skills to implement sustainable practices in the workplace.

Are you ready to make an impact? 

Sustainability, social impact and ethics are integrated into the EDHEC Global MBA curriculum, keeping in line with our mission to make a positive impact. Gain practical experience through learning expeditions to countries and companies leading the way in making a sustainable impact.  

Download brochure 

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