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Sustainable development an increasingly important focus for HEC Montréal

2018–2019 Annual Report

April 28, 2020

For HEC Montréal, sustainable development (SD) is a key part of its mission. It has taken many steps to promote SD, with significant results.

This is the message of the first HEC Montréal sustainable development annual report, released on April 17. The report outlines all the School’s actions and initiatives in teaching, research, operations and community services in 2018–2019.

Training responsible leaders

The School offered more content with a focus on sustainable development in 2018–2019. There are now three specialized Master’s-level programs, including a new Master’s in Management and Sustainable Development, in French, launched in September 2018.

There are also a number of specializations available in SD-related fields in its regular Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Science (MSc), Specialized Graduate Diploma (DESS) and PhD in Administration programs.

In 2018–2019, a total of 78 courses on sustainable development or related themes were offered, and enrolment in these courses was up from the previous year.

An integrative approach

The School is taking an integrative approach to teaching sustainable development. This means that it wants to give every student, regardless of his or her specialization, the essential tools for managing organizations in a responsible and sustainable way.

For instance, the BBA program has been modified to include three mandatory courses on sustainable development. The SD specialization is still offered for those wishing to delve deeper into this field, after completing the common core courses.

Research is an essential dimension

HEC Montréal also continued to advance research into topics relating to sustainable development. The 46 articles, books, book chapters and research papers published by 42 faculty members represented 17% of all the scientific publications produced by faculty over the year.

The graduate and postgraduate student community also made a substantial contribution to expanding knowledge in this area. All in all, 26 essays, theses and dissertations were submitted on subjects ranging from the environment to diversity, equity and inclusion, integration, social impact and social responsibility.

Permaculture and sponsorship

Among the many actions described in the report, note the significant contribution of the Hectare urbain project to highlighting the School’s commitment to good practices in sustainable agriculture. In 2018–2019, two beehives – the Nectar urbain project – were added to the forest garden and rooftop vegetable garden. These bees will play an important role in developing our green spaces.

Hectare urbain is also a key aspect of the HEC Montréal mentorship program for local schools, aimed at introducing young people to permaculture. Since 2016 this program has made over 1,000 students aware of the importance of preserving our natural ecosystems.


The School’s commitment to applying the most stringent SD criteria in its operations has been recognized by a number of certifications. The Côte-Ste-Catherine building was certified BOMA BEST Silver in January 2018, and the School’s new downtown Montréal building is aiming for LEED Gold certification.

In 2019, the School also received a Silver rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), which grants certifications for best practices in the university community. The goal for 2020 is to reach STARS Gold.

Lastly, note that the School made its mark as an international leader in sustainable development in 2019, becoming the world’s first French-language campus to earn the Changemaker Campus designation from Ashoka U. The designation salutes the School’s efforts to advance social innovation and changemaking.


Read the 2018-2019 sustainable development annual report  (in French)