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Educational innovation and commitment to sustainability
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Sustainability at IE University

As a leading higher education institution, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. It’s not just a secondary consideration, it’s built into the very fabric of our objectives, culture and community. The Sustainability Office has a new hub at the IE Tower in Madrid, where multiple stakeholders are collaborating on new products, training projects, executive coaching, advisory programs and education initiatives.


Sustainability is about living for today...

...While thinking of tomorrow. It’s made up of three key pillars, which are interconnected and are fundamental to everything we do at IE University.


At IE University, we are tackling climate change and other environmental challenges by educating and inspiring the next leaders in climate action through our programs, initiatives and policies. Learn more about our environmental projects and activities.


Social action becomes a chain reaction of positive change, enhancing communities and helping our students become active citizens for life. We run several community projects and programs in order to inspire social action within our network.


We are committed to best practices in all aspects of corporate governance as well as respect for stakeholder interests, rule of law, international norms of behavior and human rights. For more information, read our annual reports, environmental policies, code of conduct and other resources.


10 year challenge

 The Sustainability Office was created with the aim of ensuring sustainable practices across the board. Our goal was to redefine our role in the grand scheme of things, meet regulatory requirements and inspire more sustainability-related action within the IE University community.


  • IE University went paperless in 2019. Printing is only allowed under specific circumstances.
  • Energy consumption (September 2019 – August 2020): 7,306,741 kw/h 
  • *CO2 emissions reduced thanks to restricted printing: 2,753 kg


  • Scholarships for women: 842 
  • Staff and student social impact volunteering hours: 30,000 
  • Hours of sustainability-related tuition: 10,758 


  • First audited non-financial report published. 
  • New procedures established related to responsible consumption and environmental responsibility. 

We launched our 10-Year Challenge under the 2030 UN Agenda. The first goal we tackled was Responsible Consumption and we were able to achieve 100% renewable energy.  


  • *CO2 emissions reduced thanks to restricted printing: 185 kg 


  • Staff and student social impact volunteering hours: 45,959 
  • Hours of sustainability-related tuition: 12,008


  • Code of Conduct updated. 
  • Centralized database for sustainability KPIs launched.  

2021 was focused on Building Community, and we continued our strategy of alternating between environmental and social challenges.


  • *CO2 emissions reduced thanks to restricted printing: 4,816 kg 


  • Staff and student social impact volunteering hours: 57,693 
  • Hours of sustainability-related tuition: 12,987


  • Code for the Prevention of Harassment in the Workplace created. 
  • ISO 14001 standard achieved. 
  • First audited, certified and registered calculation of carbon footprint. 

After rebuilding our community’s social fabric following the pandemic, it was time to focus on environmental challenges again. In 2022, we chose Carbon Footprint as our challenge and throughout the year we completed our first certified carbon footprint audit and achieved net zero.


  • 92% reduction in paper usage since academic year 2019-2020
  • 74% use of renewable energy since academic year 2019-2020


  • Scholarships awarded by IE University: €20,088,642
  • Increase of 25.5% pro bono hours dedicated to social impact activities since academic year 2019-2020
  • Hours of sustainability-related tuition: 12,712.5 


  • Creation of Code for the Prevention of Harassment in the Workplace.
  • Achievement of ISO 14001.
  • First audited, certified and registered calculation of our carbon footprint.         



This year’s challenge is Accessibility, Inclusion and Belonging. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental principles for IE University. 

We strive to facilitate inclusion by creating a community that is accesible to everyone.

This year, our focus is on improving by increasing our resources and efforts to create this community that reinforces diversity and the different capabilities of every member of our community.


Curriculum Sustainbility at IE


At IE University, we believe that we can achieve each of the SDGs through education.

We train leaders who are capable of understanding the interconnectedness of the SDGs, providing them with the skills, knowledge and expertise to solve these complex global concerns.

We teach "systems thinking" so that students develop a holistic perspective of the issues that the UN 2030 Agenda aims to solve, facilitating deeper understanding and problem solving.

Students put theory into practice in the classroom, labs and research journeys for solution-oriented activities that tackle important challenges facing the world.

We guide and encourage students to lead extracurricular activities that support SDGs through charitable actions and events that raise awareness.

Within the framework of the SDGs, logically Goal 4 best responds to our raison d’être. 


IE University’s Sustainable Transition Hub is committed to supporting organizations aiming to elevate ESG from mere compliance and reporting to a strategy of sustainable transformation to foster both resilience and impact generation.

green labyrinth


Driven by a pioneering entrepreneurial spirit and a dedication to positive social impact, IE University seeks to create a more sustainable planet by training future business and policy leaders to face different complex and multidimensional challenges. IE integrates sustainability in all programs as well as offering specific training.

Discover all of IE University Sustainability programs


Research plays a critical role in IE University’s goal of fostering positive change. As a world-class institution, our contribution to this positive change must consider generational knowledge as a lever for sustainable impact. This includes both academic research and applied research.


As a community of students, faculty, administration, staff and alumni, we define ourselves through a key set of values and objectives: promoting businesses that enhance progress and well-being, supporting diversity and global understanding, encouraging sustainable development and preserving natural resources.

At the Sustainability Office we think communication with the IE Community is key, we stand by an open door policy and we want to know your feedback, suggestions and requests so that we can grow and improve together.

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We believe that only through education can we meet the 17 SDGs.

Isabela del Alcázar

Global Head of Sustainability

IE Insights

As our thought-leadership publication, IE Insights draws on the expertise of academics and practitioners from IE University and beyond.

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You can learn more about sustainability and related topics on our in-house blogs, Driving Innovation and Uncover IE. Check them out!