Gaïa, a student association of Montpellier Business School has completed its year with the launch of the Ecocup!

Montpellier Business School encourages its students to take part in associations. In total, it effectively coordinates and promotes the activity of 14 student associations. Amongst them is the Gaïa association, which is responsible for sustainable development awareness. Gaïa is concluding its 2015 academic year with the introduction of “Ecocups” now available at every student event in the school!

The 2014-2015 schedule was very busy for the Gaïa association with the weekly sales of organic baskets (seasonal organic fruit and vegetables) in association with Locavore and the cleaning up of beaches and the River Lez. Their president organised fifteen active members to go even further with their activities and introduce the Ecocup to all association events. “Along with the members of the association we were outraged to see the amount of non-biodegradable rubbish (especially cups) which we generated during school events. We therefore wanted to fix this situation, in partnership with all the other associations” explained Edith, President of Gaïa.

The idea of a 25cl Ecocup combines business with pleasure. First of all using a single cup for all the events helps to reduce the carbon footprint and secondly, if the participants want to keep their cup, they can have the Ecocup. It’s a souvenir of the event and they can reuse it at home!

After having convinced the other associations, established quotes, estimated quantities etc. the students put their idea to a full scale test. “The crash-test of our project was carried out during the "Holy Charity Festival”, an inter-association event in the centre of Montpellier, in the Antigone district. It gathered all of the associations of the school under the impetus of World’Co (association for welcoming students from abroad) and ESN (Erasmus Student Network) of the University of Montpellier. In short, of a total of 700 people present, almost 500 kept their cup and did not collect the €1 deposit that they had given! We are happy to have proved that our approach made sense and that the protection of the environment is still at the heart of the concerns of the young generation” stated Edith.

“The aim of our associations, apart from the implementation of our organisational skills with an optimised budget and the necessary cohesion around our projects, is to put together sustainable projects over time. Following the organic baskets, cleaning the beaches and recycling cans with the school, the Ecocup is a new advancement which will be present at the end of the year (with the end of term evening) and all future association activities. Obviously I would like to thank all the members of my association and all of my classmates. I would like to wish them good luck in advance with their exams and a great next year, whether they are doing a year abroad, a year on placement or in alternation.”

For her part, Edith is leaving to go on placement to develop sales in Startup for the 3rd year of her Bachelor.