Bocconi Has Great Impact, Except on the EnvironmentEXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AND TEACHING OF SUSTAINABILITY, ACCESS TO EDUCATION, REDUCING CONSUMPTION AND EMISSIONS, INTEGRATION INTO THE COMMUNITY. THE STORY OF BOCCONI'S ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL COMMITMENT IS IN THE 2019 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
A university in which 59% of research projects and 22% of publications revolve around sustainability issues. A university which has its own graduate program, the MASEM – Master in Sustainability and Energy Management – which is listed as first in the world in the EdUniversal ranking of masters in sustainable development. This graduate program devotes 26 courses to sustainability, with 1,400 hours of lessons followed by over 3,000 students. The University has also facilitated access to higher education through grants and scholarships totaling almost €30 million in 2019. It promotes diversity and inclusiveness through numerous initiatives and has made a mantra of environmental responsibility. This is a university that is increasingly committed to leading the societal change towards sustainability, also in the urban community to which it belongs. All these elements emerge from the pages of the 2019 Sustainability Report just released by Bocconi University.
"It is a document that outlines Bocconi's commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Agenda", explains Bocconi General Manager Riccardo Taranto. "Here the University takes inspiration from the traditional values that have distinguished it since its origins, but also opens a new prospective vision for achieving sustainable development in education, knowledge, and development of the international community. We are also exploring professional opportunities for students that lie in the near future, in a spirit of inclusion and diversity».
A closer look at the document reveals the vision that has guided Bocconi in recent years, and which since 2013 has found impetus in the work of the Sustainability Committee, presided by Prof. Francesco Perrini. That vision is based on these principles: to be an inspiration for future protagonists of sustainable change (Empower), develop the path towards a sustainable university (Embrace), get involved and be a leading actor in the global challenges to achieve sustainable change (Engage).
The development of sustainability at Bocconi also passes through all the equal-opportunity initiatives related to facilitating access to academic education (more than 4,500 scholarships and tuition remissions were granted during the academic year 2019/20), inclusion (425 students participating in volunteering initiatives promoted by the University), the evolution of the life experience on campus, and the fostering of a culture of environmental responsibility.
With regard to the latter point, the 2019 figures say that Bocconi reduced its overall energy consumption by 7% compared to 2017 and self-generated 8% of its energy needs thanks to 1.2 MW of photovoltaic panels installed on various buildings. In addition, a plan to reduce single-use plastics through the installation of drinking fountains throughout campus has saved over 8.4 tons of PET plastic waste per year (700,000 bottles of water), while a more careful management of supplies has, for example, enabled savings of almost one million sheets of paper in 2019.
Finally, the intention to be more and more active in the challenges of sustainability: Bocconi's commitment has seen it increase its presence as a global partner (today it is part of a network of 282 partner schools in 54 countries and has its own network of more than 120,000 Bocconi alumni around the world) and as a promoter of employment (95.7% of MSc graduates are employed one year after graduation) and entrepreneurship. Finally, the strong relationship with the metropolitan area and the local community: among the various initiatives is the completion by the end of 2020 of a new sports and recreational center also open to neighborhood residents, the latest development in Bocconi's urban campus in Milan.
«The kind of Bocconi that emerges through the Sustainability Report is the one contained in our current motto, Knowledge that Matters, and in the recent campaigns titled 'We Are Open' and 'Now More Than Ever'», says Taranto and concludes: «Being open to the outside world, while being connected to your roots and dedicated to the improvement of knowledge in a world where knowledge is badly needed, in order to crucially understand that environmental, economic and social forms of sustainability are fundamental priorities now more than ever».
by Andrea Celauro
Translated by Alex Foti