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Sustainability & Organizations Institute

From COP to COP: about Climate and Biodiversity - Think, Teach, Act

Last year has been marked by two crucial international conferences to decide the future of the planet and life on it. The U.N. climate change conference, COP27, at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which closed on November 20 and the U.N. biodiversity conference, COP15, at Montreal (from December 7 to 19).c


From COP to COP Annual overview about Climate and Biodiversity

2022 has also been marked with cascading weather disasters, forcing some world leaders to implement their engagements to reduce global warming. Action can no longer be delayed. And this not only applies to our Heads of State and governments. We should not expect everything to be resolved by COPs and international diplomacy. Business leaders, employees, citizens and higher education institutions like ours - we all have a critical role to play in addressing climate change.

Our entire future is at stake. There is much to process in order to advance. That’s why, more than ever, we need to understand and act. Here is how we intend to help students, executives, decision makers, companies and organizations to navigate in this complex world and to engage the necessary transformations centered on science-based knowledge.


On Biodiversity

HEC Community calls on business leaders and decision-makers to take action for biodiversity

Biodiversity : HEC Alumni calls for decisive action


The HEC Alumni White Paper on Biodiversity aims at building momentum to address the biodiversity crisis.

This report serves two intertwined objectives:

  • raising awareness of the biodiversity crisis in the business community
  • delivering a call to business leaders and policymakers to address this crisis with decisiveness and efficiency.
White paper Biodiversity cover


French Minister Backs HEC White Paper on Biodiversity

Biodiversity report delivery AgnesOn the eve of COP15 in Montreal, the HEC Alumni Association formally presented the French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher (H95), with their White Paper on Biodiversity. The publication is an urgent and timely call to the global business community and policymakers to join forces to defend the world’s biodiversity, an essential complement to the fight against global warming. The 129-page paper was co-authored by two senior HEC alumni and five young graduates.

Read the full white paper


Actionable steps to avert the biodiversity collapse

It aims at laying ground for steps with actionable insights and best practices.
A list of actions which are well within reach and can be launched in the very short-term, engaging company-wide dialogues to build momentum to adress the biodiversity crisis.

In order to avert the biodiversity collapse, they will need to ensure that:

  1. They are up to date with the main concepts related to biodiversity, and the drivers of the biodiversity crisis;
  2. They have adequate knowledge of the biodiversity risks that their company is exposed to, and the extent to which their business model relies on biodiversity;
  3. Their corporate governance is designed to take into account biodiversity issues both in day-to-day business decisions and in longerterm strategic planning;
  4. Employees have access to training on biodiversity issues, both the general concepts and more idiosyncratic issues related to their specific line of work.
  5. Finally, business leaders can benefit greatly in this endeavour from an in-depth and constructive dialogue with outside stakeholders including policymakers, scientists and civilsociety organisations.
White paper Biodiversity fig4 resize


8 recommendations to integrate biodiversity into business strategy and practices




Understand what is at stake when talk about biodiversity and ecology with Gilles Boeuf's conference (in french).

 La biodiversité : quelle urgence et quelles solutions? Conférence de Gilles Boeuf à HEC Paris
Gilles Boeuf Adopt to ecology




On Decarbonization

Why we need to put a value on carbon

For for the launch of the first edition of the HEC Climate Days on May 2022, we were very honored to welcome Christian Gollier, Professor and Executive Director of Toulouse School of Economics, and contributor to IPCC reports.

Examining the economics of climate change, he first explained the mechanics behind our inertia:

  1. Externalities: if you emit CO2, you benefit from cheap energy but are damaging the future, whereas if you reduce emissions and therefore reduce future damage, you bear the sacrifice but do not enjoy the future benefits.
  2. The tragedy of the horizons: we are desperately short-termist, even “democracies are in a dictatorship of the present”.
  3. Carbon leakage: if you penalize carbon emitters, they will move across the border, along with jobs

The Economics of Climate Change, Christian Gollier - HEC Climate Days



Carbon Footprinting and Pricing: The Role of Marketing in Climate Change



Net zero strategies and carbon offsetting: real transformation or greenwashing?

According to the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor that assessed the transparency and integrity of 25 companies’ emission reduction and “net-zero” only one had proven “reasonable ambition”. Carbon offsets that are usually part of the net zero strategies represent emissions stored, absorbed or avoided by a given project, such as reforestation or renewable energy. The value of the market for offsetting projects has exceeded 1 billion euros in 2021 and is growing fast driven by the corporate demand.
But does it really contribute to net zero or is it just an excuse to continue business as usual?

Net Zero Strategies: Real Transformation or Greenwashing? - HEC Climate Days
 HEC Climate Days: Carbon offsetting can you buy indulgence?



On Planetary Boundaries and Growth

Watch the conference (in french) of Philippe Bihouix, engineer, specialist in non-renewable resources and promoter of Low-tech, on “Planetary Boundaries -Resources and Technology”.

Limites planétaires – ressources & technologie. Conférence de Philippe Bihouix à HEC Paris
Philippe Bihouix Sobriety


Watch the conference (in french) of Timotée Parrique, researcher at the School of Economics and Management of Lund University, one of the most committed economists in favor of degrowth, author of the book “Ralentir ou périr. L’économie de la décroissance” (September 2022, Seuil).

 "Ralentir ou Périr" Timothée Parrique à HEC Paris
Timothée Parrique Green Growth




Climat: The imperative of Transforming our economies


Faber’s Clarion Call to Students: “Don’t Quit! Redefine the Economies of Tomorrow”

Emmanuel Faber Talks
ISSB Chairperson Emmanuel Faber kickstarted the 2022-2023 HEC Talks season with an impassioned plea to students to “reinvent the future” through resilience and a regenerative culture. The September 12 talk by the former Danone CEO marked Faber’s first return to his alma mater since the 2016 Commencement Day speech which drew millions of viewers and transformed Faber’s public image.

HEC TALKS: With Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)
Emmanuel Faber Climate Change


What must be done to bring the French economy into line with a 5% annual reduction in global emissions, compatible with our climate commitments, while allowing everyone to find a job?
This is the question that the “Plan for Transforming the French Economy” (PTEF ou Plan de transformation de l’économie française), led by Jean-Marc Jancovici, President of the Shift Project, is addressing.
Watch his conference

Climat, énergie : comment transformer l’économie française avec Jean-Marc Jancovici

Jean-Marc Jancovici Resilience



HEC Climate Days: Discussing tools and mechanisms for climate action

Climate Days 2022

The need to tackle climate change has created massive challenges for businesses and policymakers. The Climate Days organized on the HEC campus on May 30th and 31th brought together actors from the corporate, political, and academic world as well as the civil society to discuss potential solutions to these challenges.






On Climate Action




 How to be a climate leader in your business?


Engaging Stakeholders for Climate Action - HEC Climate Days