IE GREEN WEEK: Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Waste Management
IE Green Week promotes environmental protection awareness and the UN’s 2030 Agenda SDGs through Start-Ups.
IE Green Week offered a platform for sustainable startups to showcase their efforts by featuring start-ups from IE Business School and outside. The week was a collection of activities, conferences, and workshops designed to promote environmental protection awareness and the UN’s 2030 Agenda SDGs through both campuses of IE University.
IE Green Week, organized by five student-led clubs with the support of IE Campus Life and the IE Center for Social Innovation, was designed to provide tools and inspiration to develop a more sustainable campus.
“The objective was to raise awareness in the IE community about the problem we generate as individuals and societies with our waste,” said Lynn Yates from Campus Life.
Student Start-Up Competition
The student competition was the first start-up initiative of the week. The competition was a contest for sustainable entrepreneurs amongst the IE Community and external startups.
The Start-Up Competition awarded two students with the best pitch (Elena Broglia, 4th-year BIR) and the best Idea (Umberto Greco, 3rd year BBA) prize. The decision was taken by the Jury composed by David Perez Piñeiro, Pablo Fernández, David Robinson and David Robinson.
“The opportunity to pitch my startup was very instructive as the investors gave me a new perspective and direction. I embraced the feedback and now reconsider if I shall continue with my idea,” said Elena Broglia winner of Best Pitch with Generation Terra.
Ecological Market with Start-Ups
The IE Madrid Campus had a two-day ecological market with pop up stores from different IE Business entrepreneurs and external companies. From vegan dishes to Kombucha (KomVida), to gardening kits (Innovabios) and a socially responsible fashion apparel brand (Paloma Palami).
“Business success is not only linked to a direct market strategy. Indeed, the non-market strategy is vital for business success and a great example of this is Corporate Social Responsibility,” said Juliana Pereira from Campus Life.
Student Sustainability Committee
IE Green Week was a starting point for the newly launched Student Sustainability Committee, composed of both undergraduate and graduate-level members, as well as alumni and staff.
“Green Week was a jumping-off point for what’s to come”.
“Green Week was a jumping-off point for what’s to come,” said Travis Banken IE Net Impact Leader. “The events served to raise awareness on what it means to be sustainable, sharing a variety of perspectives among national, local, business, and IE students to learn best practices and tips our community can adopt to lead to better outcomes for all.”
The Student Sustainability Committee will carry out an agenda of initiatives to develop during the 2019/2020 academic year, with the aim of meeting the UN’s 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals.
Forum: Building a Sustainable City and Campus
Another activity the IE Green Week hosted was a forum about “Building a Sustainable City and Campus” which counted with Javier de Cendra from the IE Law School, Joaquin Garralda Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Advisor for the IE Center of Social Innovation, Lucas Urquijo Corporate Social Responsibility from El Corte Ingles, Cristina Sanabria Brassart from the Economic Department of the City Hall of Madrid and Irene Martin researcher from CIECODE with a new tool Tipi Ciudadano to use for the parliament.
“The forum allowed participants to assist the representatives from the six different sectors of the economy in problem-solving real sustainability issues that they were facing, as well as learn how sustainability brings new business models to our table,” said Laura Ortega IE Eco Club Madrid Leader.
Student leaders also said the event demonstrated the complexity of reaching green objectives.
“It allowed the group to appreciate the value of group-think and understand the complexity that comes with achieving sustainability targets, which impacts all industries and sectors,” said Banken.
From circular economy initiatives like the one between El CorteIngles and NGO Caritas to incubators, that promote economic and social development, Joaquin Garralda explained how IE Center for Social Innovation works.
“When we take actions in the Social Innovation Center we ask all the stakeholders involved as we believe at the end of the day every single person is capable of doing their own duty. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and if we can facilitate that then marvelous,” said Garralda .
Conclusions from the students
IE students described their biggest achievement was the opportunity to organize a useful, environmentally-friendly and educational event for the community which resulted in getting insights to work in their committee.
“The committee will give us a platform to bring tangible change on campus. We started the discussion around sustainability and listened to students about what IE could do better – now we have a yearlong work ahead,” said Margarida Serrenho Co-President of IE Eco Club Segovia.