Awareness of the issues surrounding sustainable development is intrinsic to ENGEES, thanks to its environmental focus. As ENGEES is keenly aware of the challenges inherent in the protection of the environment and of water resources, the school has long incorporated the objectives of sustainable development into its teaching and research, as well as its day-to-day operation. ENGEES is the first major engineering school in Alsace to have highlighted, structured and amplified its sustainable development and social responsibility goals through a Green Plan, which has been incorporated into its mission statement since 2012.
The school's approach was highlighted in May 2016 when it obtained the DD&RS label, a sustainable development label for higher education institutions. It is thus one of the top 10 higher education establishments (8 grandes écoles and 2 universities) that have been awarded the label.
This label, which is the result of a national process and managed by the Cirses association, is awarded by a labelling committee made up of stakeholders from the ministries supporting the label (including the MAAF), the French Network of Students for Sustainable Development (REFEDD), the Conference of University Presidents (CPU), the Conference of Grandes Ecoles (CGE) and a group of peers and students from higher education institutions.
The labelling audit focuses on five areas: governance, training, research, environmental management, social policy and presence in the local region. The label is awarded for a period of 4 years with an intermediate follow-up of 2 years. The school therefore holds the DD&RS label until 2020.
The Green Plan is both an action plan and a benchmark of progress, reflecting the principles of social and environmental responsibility (SER). It enables each institution to assess itself in this area, determine its trajectory and set its goals. ENGEES' plan includes more than fifty actions corresponding to the nine challenges of the National Sustainable Development Strategy determined by the French government. To ensure its success, this approach is adhered to by all the staff and students of the school and is part of its general strategy, together with its quality assurance system.
The Green Plan is evaluated every year, internally, through the assessment of the actions performed for each challenge and the various analyses carried out, such as the carbon footprint, the consumption of gas, electricity and water, the travel survey, energy performance, etc., as well as externally, through a national standard for implementation of this plan for continual improvement purposes.