IMT Atlantique is ranked in the top 200 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021, which measures the performance of the world's universities in achieving the 17 UN SD&SR goals. This is a great progression that rewards the unfailing commitment of the institution’s staff and students to climate protection - IMT Atlantique is ranked 55th for its actions -, social progress, inclusion and equal opportunities, which places it in 1st place among French HE institutions, tied with the University of Nantes and PSL.
By joining the TOP 200 in 2021, IMT Atlantique will gain 200 places in one year. This is one of the strongest increases in the THE Impact Ranking, which has 1,115 participating institutions this year. IMT Atlantique is one of the three French institutions (leading engineering school) that are the most advanced in terms of sustainable development. This success encourages the efforts undertaken for more than 15 years on its 3 campuses to take into account issues related to sustainable development and social responsibility in all aspects of the institution, whether it be campus life, research or teaching.
A great contribution to the 17 UN SDGs
"We can no longer innovate and develop new technologies without taking into account their ecological or societal impact. Future engineers must be aware of the role and responsibilities they will have in imagining and implementing the solutions we will need to face the challenges that await humanity in the coming decades. Our mission at IMT Atlantique is to prepare them to face these challenges," stresses Paul Friedel, President of IMT Atlantique. "We were one of the very first higher education institutions in France to be active on this subject, and we have strongly reaffirmed our commitment through our ambition to combine digital, environment and energy to transform society and industry."
In 2020, after nearly 15 years of action on this subject, IMT Atlantique wanted to take stock of its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) decreed by the UN in 2015. These 17 goals address the main challenges facing humanity: poverty, hunger, health, access to education, gender equality, universal access to water and energy, climate change, preservation of terrestrial and maritime ecosystems, etc. This led to the publication of the institution’s first SD& SR report presented in terms of the SDGs*.
The institution has deployed numerous concrete initiatives on its campuses in Brest, Nantes and Rennes, in consultation and with the active participation of its 1,800 students. The first actions concerned the environmental management of the campuses, disability awareness, gender equality, social openness, etc. IMT Atlantique's commitment to sustainability is also reflected in its teaching (dedicated teaching units, climate collage workshops, student barometer, etc.) and research, with particular attention paid to the choice of projects. The training of future engineers and research activities thus address the challenges facing the world today and strive to provide sustainable solutions for the benefit of all.
Going further to meet the challenges
In 2019, IMT Atlantique received for the second time the SD& SR label, awarded by the labelling committee of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE) and the Conférence des Présidents d'Universités (CPU). The label recognises the commitment of institutions to sustainable development and social responsibility on the basis of a common reference framework (Référentiel DD&RS CPU CGE) covering five areas: governance, training, research, environmental management, social policy and territorial anchorage.
The Impact ranking validated the relevance of IMT Atlantique's SD& SR approach, which has been in place for 15 years, and gave it a new dimension.
"We have become aware of the importance of the SDGs for thinking more globally about sustainable development issues. And we realised that by thinking in terms of the United Nations' global challenges, we could broaden our field of action and mobilise even more people, both internally and externally, to go further than the French benchmark that we had helped to build", summarises Anne Beauval, IMT Atlantique's Deputy President.
"This projection on a global scale opens up new horizons and allows us to give visibility to the actions of our students and staff, and thus to strengthen them and make them sustainable. For example, thinking in terms of the SDGs has enabled us to highlight our actions in the field of water treatment or biomass valorisation - in research but also through our training programmes recruiting internationally - but also to better take into account the role we play for Zero Hunger through our partnership with AgroCampus Ouest and ONIRIS; for aquatic life by developing ocean monitoring; for peace, justice and efficient institutions by fighting against cybercrime, etc."
by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT