HEC’s pre-COP21 event: “Climate is our Business”


On October 1st, The Shift Project participated in the leading French business school’s major pre-COP21 event: « Climate is our business ». HEC had organized numerous roundtables and side-events as well as presentations of innovative and ecological start-ups, ranging from waste recovery to insect-based flour. 

The Shift Project’s director, Cédric Ringenbach, was invited to speak at the “Consumption and Climate” roundtable which was moderated by Frédéric Dalsace, associate Marketing professor at HEC. 

Sitting with three other speakers (Anaïs DENOITS Consultant for Utopies, Fabrice FLIPO, PhD, Senior Professor at Telecom Paris and Jean-Marc LIDUENA Senior Partner at Deloitte), Cédric Ringenbach focused on the ways responsible consumption could limitGreen House Gas Emissions.

According to him, many economists tend to undermine the issue around “decarbonizing” consumption. This challenge could be tackled through many “preventative” measures, primarily to avoid manufacturing non-essential products. Moreover, he added that the responsibility lies first and foremost with end-consumers, even tough ecology is not always their priority when making consumption choices. the fact that unbridled consumerism in developed countries is’nt sustainable anymore has become extremely clear. Simply put, the risk posed by the prevailing paradigms of “consumer sovereignty” and “free choice” is leading us into a dead-end – literally.

Finally Cédric Ringenbach supports the idea of a tax on carbon emissions in France and takes example on Sweden, where the system is very successful: “A well thought-out tax doesn’t have to be perceived as penalizing, contrary to popular belief…”