IMD’s educational offerings 

As corporations move toward implementing more socially responsible and sustainable practices, the complex and challenging issues that emerge call for executives who have creative problem-solving skills and who are aware of best practices in the field. In both the degree programs and the executive education Building Business Sustainability course, participants gain the knowledge, tools and skills to effectively drive down negative environmental, health and social impacts across all industry sectors.

In the executive education area, a number of clients are not-for-profit and public sector organizations. IMD’s approach of mixing executives from for-profit, not-for-profit and public sector organizations in the same classrooms has proven effective. Executives from Terre des Hommes (TdH), a Swiss-headquartered child welfare organization, who participated in the Advanced Management Program and the High Performance Leadership open program report benefiting from learning alongside for-profit executives. IMD has strengthened its partnerships within the local Swiss ecosystem, establishing pilot projects with École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and CERN. Most recently, the IMD MBA program took part in the Debiopharm challenge with engineering students from EPFL. The teams combined business, technology and design to improve the lives of healthcare patients.

Community engagement activities

IMD is engaged in a number of activities in the local community.

MBA Community Engagement: In the MBA program, a social committee of five participants plans extracurricular activities, including volunteer engagements with local community organizations.

  • Donations to GIVEWATTS: IMD donates one Swiss franc to GIVEWATTS for every NPS survey that is completed. GIVEWATTS is a Switzerland-based non-profit organization that brings clean and safe energy to people in developing countries, with a particular focus on East Africa. It distributes solar lamps and efficient stoves in places that would otherwise rely on daylight, firewood and kerosene. In 2016, IMD donated CHF 2,300 to GIVEWATTS and CHF 2,600 in 2017.
  • Artraction is a Swiss organization that supports contemporary artists in the Lac Leman region. IMD has hosted two to three exhibitions per year of works by local artists in collaboration with Artraction.
  • IMD has been partnering with social services agency Caritas for a number of years, and employees volunteer in Caritas soup kitchens. IMD sponsors annual toy and food drives in collaboration with the organization.
  • IMD faculty and staff participate in an annual Mercy Ships fundraising running race.
  • For the past 10 years, IMD faculty and staff have participated in the Paddle for Cancer dragonboat races organized by the English Speaking Cancer Association, which raise funds for cancer treatment.
IMD Sustainability

Organizational operations

Faculty, staff and participants are expected to act with high ethical standards. IMD’s values – open, collaborative and pioneering – are incorporated in numerous documents: the code of conduct, governance regulations, annual report, and the guiding principles for conflict, harassment and discrimination prevention and management. The values are at the core of the “One IMD” culture, which underlies teaching, research, community and operational activities.

Measuring IMD’s impacts

A key part of IMD’s strategy in the areas of corporate social responsibility and sustainability is measuring its overall social, environmental and economic impact against established benchmarks. In 2015, IMD participated in the EcoVadis annual audit, which provides a sustainability rating for global organizations. For 2018 IMD obtained another silver medal and improved its score.


Launched in 2012, the faculty- and staff-driven bottom-up Sustainability@IMD.

The initiative is a platform for improving the sustainability of IMD’s internal operations in three dimensions: environmental, social and economic. Under the initiative, a team of sustainability ambassadors from different departments works on projects to improve the environmental and social performance of the institution. Projects pursued so far have been in the areas of energy efficiency, waste management and sustainable purchasing.

HR initiatives

Institutionally, a number of HR policies promote employee health and the quality of the work environment. Policies and benefits include flexible work schedules, a gym, fitness classes (yoga, Pilates), healthy lunches, accident/disability insurance coverage and ergonomic furniture.