IMT Atlantique has published its "Impact Report 2022" on its actions in the field of ecological and societal transformation, based on the 17 goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. Annya Réquilé, Strategic Data Analyst in charge of international rankings and author of this report, takes the opportunity to highlight IMT Atlantique's commitment to these issues, and in particular to certain of the SDGs.
Eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality, developing renewable energies, combating climate change... All these ambitions are part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN. IMT Atlantique, a technological university of digital, energy and environmental transition, is fully committed to these issues. Today, it is one of the most advanced French higher education establishments* in this area.
Strengths as well as areas for improvement
The institution has taken another step forward by publishing a detailed 2022 Impact Report, which provides a detailed assessment of the impact of its actions in a wide range of areas. "We reviewed all our activities in order to identify our strengths and areas for improvement," explains Annya Réquilé, the author of the report. "We chose to base our approach on the UN SDGs, because they provide criteria and give us the steps we need to take to make a positive impact. They allow us to structure our approach".
"Social-Ecological Transformation is one of the priorities of our strategic plan up to 2027," explains Christophe Lerouge, our president. "It now features in all our programmes, through themes such as energy consumption and digital sobriety. Our students, future engineers and scientists, will have a major role to play in meeting the needs of our partners - companies, associations, ministries and local authorities - in the face of major societal challenges. We want our research, our training and the way we run the insitution to have a positive and measurable impact in this area." All 17 of the SDGs are being implemented in various ways, including in the various departments (purchasing, heritage, general services, etc.).
Clean energy: 21% of scientific publications
One of the strengths identified by Annya Réquilé is the theme of "clean and affordable energy", which corresponds to SDG 7. It is the subject of a large number of courses, whether in the form of options, in-depth themes (TAF) or high-level courses - such as the specialised master's degree 'Marine Renewable Energy Expert', or the international master's degree in 'Energy and the Environment'. All of which contribute to the development of skills in these areas. All this is backed up by a strong research component: 21% of IMT Atlantique's scientific publications relate to SDG 7.
But the institution's action on this subject is not limited to training: IMT Atlantique has undertaken a major renovation and construction programme for its buildings, which will result in a reduction of more than 8% in its energy consumption by 2022 compared to 2021. What's more, 75% of the energy used is low-carbon, so the institution is helping to improve energy efficiency at a global level. Researchers in the Energy Systems and Environment Department (DSEE) are working on innovative technologies to reduce the consumption of petroleum products.
Lastly, IMT Atlantique is involved in a number of initiatives to promote the deployment of clean technologies, including the European MySmartLife project (heat networks for 'smart cities'), the RESOH Research Group (Research in Safety, Organisation and Human Resources), responsible for the development of new technologies in the field of safety, organisation and human resources and which studies work in high-risk organisations, including the nuclear sector), (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy sobriety, renewable energies), charte Tomorrow (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy sobriety, renewable energies, etc..). It is also involved in the Smile association, which supports industrial projects linked to smart grids and, in general, it contributes to the development of technologies aimed at providing sustainable energy services, through the support it provides to its start-ups, research groups and workshops on the subject.
61.5% of 84 tonnes of waste recycled
Similarly, IMT Atlantique is particularly committed to responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). In addition to an active approach to ethical and sustainable purchasing, it is committed to eliminating its industrial residues, limiting the use of plastics, sorting and measuring its waste... A policy that is bearing fruit: in 2022, IMT Atlanitque recycled almost two thirds (61.5%) of its 84 tonnes of waste and treated 5% of it, with only 33% being sent to landfill.
The examples could be multiplied.
With 92% of its graduates in employment 6 months after graduation, and 89% of staff benefiting from a contract of more than 2 years, IMT Atlantique is contributing to the fight for "decent work and economic growth" (SDG n°8).
From climate change to preserving the ocean
Similarly, the technological university is heavily involved in the fight against climate change (SDG 13): all students take part in the 'Fresque du climat', a regular carbon footprint is published, and the OceaniX chaire is working on forecasting climate-related disasters, etc.
The same goes for preserving the marine environment (SDG 14): the insitution is a member of the Lab-STICC's Observations, Signals & Environment research team, which is working on data useful for protecting the marine environment; it has organised conferences at the One Ocean Summit in Brest in 2022; it is collaborating on the EuroSea research project (integrated observation for sustainable ocean management), etc. All these initiatives are contributing to the development of knowledge about the health of the oceans and marine biodiversity.
In general, teachers and researchers are regularly involved in collective projects, symposia, networks of experts and other conferences dealing with sustainable development, in France and around the world. In this way, they contribute to the achievement of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (SDG 17).
All these initiatives, whether modest or more ambitious, contribute to quality education (SDG 4). And it's not just students who benefit from this education: the institution is committed to raising awareness, informing and training a wide audience - through conferences open to all, MOOCs, short courses and schemes such as Brio (tutoring for secondary school students).
A positive impact on ecological continuity and the functional state of its ecosystems
Today, IMT Atlantique intends to strengthen its action in favour of biodiversity, SDG 15: "preserve and restore terrestrial ecosystems". In particular, by increasing the number of "virtuous" initiatives on its three campuses: in situ observation sessions for students, wild bee census, "brush workshop" to draw up an inventory of green spaces, bird count, etc., all of which help to raise awareness among students and expand their knowledge on this subject.
"With this first impact report, IMT Atlantique is highlighting the positive impact of the projects, actions and activities that are part of its policy of ecological and societal transformation and which are being carried out thanks to all of its staff and students. The report also demonstrates our strong commitment to the sustainable development goals set by the UN.
Annya Réquilé concludes: "IMT Atlantique's current strategy is aimed at a real ecological and societal transformation to make IMT Atlantique a positively impactful institution, a "grande école à impact"!
by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT