Audencia is one of three French schools that have achieved the Level 4 category, out of a total of 24 schools. Europe leads, with 16 schools in this category, followed by North America (US and Canada), and Africa. Four schools (3 Indian and no French ones) are in the top category, Level 5 ‘Pioneering schools’.
The PIR is an annual rating conducted by and for students which was launched in 2020. For the second year in a row, students worldwide have assessed their business schools based on how they perceive their positive impact in the world: how their school addresses societal and sustainable challenges and prepares them to be responsible business leaders.
Participating in the PIR demonstrates the value Audencia gives to student voices in relation to its new ECOS strategic plan’s commitment ‘to become a better school for the world’. Christophe Germain, Audencia General-Director, comments on this recognition of Audencia's commitment to CSR: “Business schools have a key role to play in training responsible leaders with professional, behavioural and societal skills who will create and implement new business and sustainable development models. The creation of Gaïa, our new school dedicated to the ecological and social transition, is consistent with this meaning we put in all of our activities.”
The rating survey asks students 20 questions in seven relevant impact dimensions that sit within three areas: Energizing, Educating, and Engaging. The overall PIR score of the business school is used to position the schools across five levels.
Katrin Muff, President of the Positive Impact Rating Association, said: “PIR has been designed as a tool to improve and transform business education. It enables schools to understand what a positive impact for society is, according to their students. The PIR highlights the potential for improvement, even for leading schools.”
The PIR was created by concerned business school experts together with global NGOs - WWF, Oxfam, and UN Global Compact. International student associations oikos, AIESEC and Net Impact are also part of the PIR, which is supported by VIVA Idea and Fehr Advice.
Audencia was the first French business school to sign the Global Compact in 2004. This United Nations initiative holds its signatories to ten universal principles relating to human rights, labour standards and the environment. In 2007, Audencia was part of a steering group that helped define the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). And in 2015, Audencia was accepted into the circle of "PRME champions", which comprises those business schools which have shown most commitment to its ideals.
Since 2010, Audencia has had a strategic partnership with WWF, France. Audencia’s Chair on Corporate Social Responsibility was created in 2012. In 2013, Audencia was the first higher education institution in France to be awarded the LUCIE Label, the French benchmark label for CSR, which is aligned with the international standard for social responsibility, ISO 26000. In 2016, the school was awarded the Sustainable Development & Social Responsibility label from the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles and the Conférence des Présidents d’Universités. In 2021 Audencia is the only French business school to launch a school dedicated to the ecological and social transition (Gaïa).