Saving the planet by transforming our businesses from within is possible!

Collectifs, assos, start-up, alumni... Tout le monde bouge pour transformer les entreprises de l'intérieur et répondre aux enjeux écologiques et sociétaux d'aujourd'hui.

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Posted Apr 19, 2022, 7:00 AM

“It only takes 10% of employees to change the whole company. » From a study conducted by Harvard University, this observation is at the origin of the initiative The Collectives, created in 2021 and led by 3,500 employees throughout London. They are now 27 collectives within large groups such as Essilor, Société Générale, Axa, IBM and Suez. The size of the group often depends on that of the companies: 250 at Engie against 50 at Dassault Systèmes for example.

Consider the challenges and get involved

Their niche: mobilize their colleagues, their management, their organization to participate in the ecological awakening of society. These groups of employees have come together to share their experiences, the concrete actions already in place, to discuss best practices or even to offer training – the best known (and fun) of which is undoubtedly the Fresque du climat ).

Because they write it black on white: “Our companies are part of the problem: disruption of the climate and ecosystems, increasing inequalities, loss of meaning… We believe that they are also part of the solution: through the impact of their products and services, and their capacity unique in focusing human and economic resources on a given objective. »

A guide and a map

How ? Their main tools: “action guide for employees wishing to get involved” and the cartography of collectives in London, both drawn up by the big sister of the Collectives, the association For an ecological awakening, born in 2018 after the publication of a manifesto signed by more than 30,000 students and recent graduates. Organization that also has its own “wake up your employer” tab on its site.

Far from being limited to salaried workers in post, it also details the questions to ask when looking for a job, before accepting one or even those inherent in a retraining. Note: there is also a listing to find “companies aligned with its values” – and this by sector.

Start-ups to the rescue

And if your HR and bosses are hypermotivated, you can always put them in touch with the English start-up Friday or the international version Alaya, which both offer boxes to allow their employees to do committed internships. A way to dedicate your time to a cause that is close to your heart.

Even more innovative, the page “companies answer us” compiles the answers to the questionnaires sent by the student association to a hundred CEOs of large companies, the first of which Air Liquide, Atos, BCG, Hermès, Fnac or Michelin.

But the students behind the project warn: it's also a way to strengthen your critical thinking and “Put the anti-greenwashing guide into practice because these elements of the answers must be placed in their context: structures trying to convince an audience (us) of their commitment. »

The alumni lobby

In the battle, there are also the alumni of the Grandes Ecoles who put pressure on their employers: Essec Alumni Transition, Audencia Alumni Transition, Sciences Po Alumni Transition…

Together, they share their experiences of the world of work and their ideas to move the lines. Still linked to their schools, they even take on the role of role models, even mentors to discover new actions to be carried out in companies but also with young students. Ten associations of alumni also met to hold a special ecological transition trades forum in early April in London.

This commitment is not so recent. A handful of alumni who graduated in the 1990s decided to create, almost a year ago, the association Alumni for the Planet. Objective: to help former students to take action in favor of the climate in their current organizations. Why ? “Because alumni have responsibilities today! », answers Frédéric de Dinechin, fifty-four years old, co-founder of the movement. And can therefore accelerate the transition. Project manager at the World Bank, he sees a “vacuum” for his age group when the desire to change things is there.

Alumni for the Planet helps its 3,500 members to launch an ecological report in their company, to animate a climate fresco or simply to raise awareness among their colleagues. The contribution of the structure is measured above all, here again, in its demonstrative role and its possibility of networking. They have created a dedicated site for this.

The Alumni for the Planet claim to be “complementary” to the approach of the younger generations. The organization, which has a budget of “a few thousand Pounds”, claims to be apolitical and non-militant.


Livingrooms : Talents for the planet in March, the latest Ambition Transitions in April (organized by alumni from ten major schools) and soon Job fair of impact (ChangeNOW) in the second half of 2022.

Sites : Mon job de sens, Jobs that make sense or For an ecological awakening.

Communities:Les Pépites Vertes (Instagram and LinkedIn) or Les Paumé.es (Facebook).


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