KEDGE Business School is one of the world’s leading business schools. With an international presence, it has four campuses in France, two in West Africa and two in China. Since 2007, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been one of the pillars of its policy. In 2019, the school was awarded the DD&RS (Développement Durable et Responsabilité Sociétale) label by the French Ministry of Higher Education, the reference label for eco-responsible initiatives led by higher education establishments.

Key figures

  • 4 French campuses
  • 15,000 students  
  • 800+ employees 

Two years later, following an initial measurement of the greenhouse gas emissions linked to the school’s digital consumption, KEDGE Business School decided to take action to reduce the carbon footprint of its activities, as part of the Act for the planet pillar of its KEDGE IMPAKT strategy.   

Following this decision, the school called on Wavestone as part of its decarbonization process, to support the promotion of responsible digital initiatives on its French campuses. More specifically, KEDGE Business School was able to benefit from recommendations based on tried and tested practices within its own structure. 

Use an exhaustive data collection methodology  

In order to reduce digital greenhouse gas emissions, it is necessary to estimate them accurately.  To clarify the initial assessment, Wavestone did not limit its approach to the use of generic emission factors provided by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) but took the initiative of cross-referencing several data sources.   

One of the main challenges was gathering as much information as possible to overcome the constraints of heterogeneity in the management of information provided by the various campuses. The scope of the mission was therefore extended to all KEDGE Business School users, both teachers and students. All data from individual and shared digital work equipment, collaborative tools and data centers were therefore taken into account

This exhaustive, detailed data collection grid, adapted to the school’s needs, should help to improve the accuracy of carbon footprint measurement. 

Limit the number of versions stored per document   

Emails and document storage represent a significant proportion of emissions from Windows 365 collaborative tools. To limit the associated environmental impact, a solution that could drastically reduce the total storage volume of document versions was considered: while a standard setting keeps up to 500 versions of edited files, a new configuration would reduce this number to 100 versions. Indeed, for files that have been inactive for at least three months, keeping only active versions would be another way of optimizing storage. Following an audit of KEDGE Business School’s SharePoint, further recommendations on priority actions to take were proposed, with the ambition of achieving a 40% reduction in storage volume within a few weeks. 

This intervention enabled KEDGE Business School’s Transition & Impact Department and Tech & Data Department to broaden their thinking on possible actions to continue the process of decarbonizing their activities. Wavestone’s expertise made it easier to grasp this challenge, which KEDGE Business School is keen to take up.

Levers for action

  • A precise and exhaustive carbon assessment of digital activities in order to better target the associated action plan;  
  • A quantification of the carbon benefits of remote work compared to on-site work;  
  • A more stringent policy on equipment renewal to optimize its lifespan;
  • A limit on the number of versions per document to reduce SharePoint storage by 40%, as well as a regular cleaning of “dormant” storage. 
Nicolas Vallée

Nicolas Vallée

Senior Consultant Marseille

Optimizing the digital uses of KEDGE Business School’s students and teachers is an important lever for reducing the school’s CO2 emissions. The next challenge will be to involve all these stakeholders in personal actions and initiatives. In fact, the school has just launched a “decarbonation and resilience” course to encourage students to put forward recommendations in this area, and I think that this can lead to some very conclusive intellectual emulation around CSR.