Emlyon Business School becomes a benefit corporation, increasing focus on social and environmental responsibility

emlyon business school, now officially a benefit corporation, is building its SER commitment into each of its initiatives: The school is making SDG 10-Reduced Inequalities the core focus of the coming academic year and launching a mandatory “climate action” course as part of the MSc in Management – Grande Ecole program.

As stated in its Confluences 2025 strategic plan, emlyon business school became a benefit corporation on July 26 after its Supervisory Board voted to approve the change. The school’s mission, now defined in its articles of incorporation, is “to provide lifelong training and support to enlightened people who effectively change organizations to build a society that is fairer, shows solidarity for others and respects the planet”.

Defined by all of the school’s stakeholders in a collaborative process, his purpose embodies emlyon’s core beliefs:

Efficiency must be combined with responsibility and humility;
The company and the economy must also produce social and environmental justice;
The changes to be made call for knowledge, awareness and boldness;
It is necessary to act and lead differently for the common good.
As a benefit corporation, the school undertakes to pursue the following goals in its training, research and day-to-day operations:


Nurture the spirit of enterprise with teaching grounded on experience and testing;
Develop critical thinking and creativity through the pluralism and interconnection of different fields of knowledge;
Hone students’ skills so that they can meet social and environmental challenges;
Enable students to build their individual employability.

Promote academic freedom and develop pluralistic research;
Play an active role in the global scientific conversation and in socioeconomic debates on value creation and social and environmental justice;
Keep training programs current by incorporating newly-created knowledge.
Day-to-day operations

Innovate in matters of inclusion and environmental protection;
Deploy a management model that respects people and contributes to their development;
Engage all of the school’s stakeholders in an active community that shares emlyon’s educational project.
A benefit corporation steering committee will be set up to monitor and adjust emlyon business school’s road map. In July 2022, an Independent Third Party (ITP) will be selected to audit the achievement of the school’s stated objectives.

The 2021-2022 academic year will be devoted to the tenth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 10): reduced inequalities.

The 2021 fall intake will revolve around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 10, which aims to “Reduce inequality within and among countries”. The courses, partnerships, conferences and meetings held will give students the key skills they need to bring solutions to the planet’s problems.

Within this context, the film “Bigger than us” by director Flore Vasseur, will form the backbone of the 2021-2022 year. This full-length documentary filmed all over the planet shows young people fighting for human rights, the climate, freedom of expression, social justice, and for access to education and food. Presented at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, this film will be previewed by the 3,650 newcomers enrolled in the BBA, PGE and MS/MSc programs at Saint-Etienne, Lyon and Paris. Tickets will also be given away to emlyon staff and partners, as well as to the students enrolled in the school’s social accessibility programs.

Thirty emlyon students have already seen the film and are currently being trained by the Makesense association to put the ideas into action and become the movement’s “emlyon ambassadors”. Accompanied by faculty professors, they will chair the post-screening discussions held in 14 cinemas across three cities.

Climate change also a key focus as the 2021-2022 year begins

UN SDG 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts – was also in the spotlight when students undertaking the MSc in Management – Grande Ecole began the academic year. Last year, over 1,100 MSc in Management – Grande Ecole students gathered to take part in the Climate Fresk. Training students in social and environmental issues remains a priority as the 2021 academic year begins. The school, the N.O.I.S.E. association, and the Corporation Council have organized a second edition of the Climate Fresk for newcomers to the MSc in Management – Grande Ecole program on the Ecully campus.

The “Climate Action” course is now mandatory for this year’s cohort. It will help students understand the climate issues at stake and will give them the opportunity to take action by acting on recommendations they will have co-constructed themselves. This cycle is delivered over 10 weeks, with one seminar per week led by recognized experts in the climate emergency. On September 13, the opening lecture will be delivered by Pascal CANFIN, Chairman of WWF France from 2016 to 2019, and now a European MP and Chairman of the Commission for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).