Bringing together business expertise and research capability

VINCI Energies and VINCI Immobilier have partnered with ESSEC business school's Chair for Real Estate and Social Development with a view to “promoting the emergence of specific answers to the challenges facing the city of tomorrow”.

The idea is to make tomorrow's property a real living environment, fully connected to a city geared towards services for residents.”  This was the vision set out by Hervé Adam, General Manager of VINCI Energies France, at the signing of the partnership established in September 2016 between ESSEC business school's Chair for Real Estate and Social Development, VINCI Immobilier and VINCI Energies.

Due to the combined effect of digitalisation and societal change, property business lines are experiencing: “a major transformation in the design, execution and also the marketing of our buildings and structures,” points out the Chairman of VINCI Immobilier, Olivier de La Roussière. That's why the VINCI group: “wants to combine its in-house expertise with ESSEC's research capabilities so as to promote the emergence of specific answers to the challenges which cities of tomorrow are set to face,” adds Hervé Adam.

One such answer is “RT 2020”, the new set of thermal regulations which will require new buildings to produce more energy than they consume, explains Professor Ingrid Nappi-Choulet who holds the ESSEC Chair for Real Estate and Social Development. Other answers include green and blue belts and the “Reinventing Paris” competition.

Students home in on the realities of the property sector

At ESSEC, the companies supporting the Chair for Real Estate and Sustainable Development get involved with students during a full semester, presenting case studies to feed the debate on new challenges in the property sector: integration of “green values” and energy performance requirements, new focus on end-user needs – in the knowledge that property, like human resources, is a resource in its own right.

As well as attending the classes run by partner stakeholders, students get first-hand experience of the realities facing professionals through work placements, during which they gain an insight into the complexity and significance of the sector. While property must take into account factors such as well-being, services and sustainable development, it is also a “growth driver and a cost item which must be managed as such,” adds Ingrid Nappi-Choulet.

Among the 20 or so ESSEC students who choose the Real Estate and Sustainable Development course every year, 9 in 10 of them will go on to apply their management skills in the property sector. Training tomorrow's managers is a key issue for the VINCI group, which takes on around 500 young graduates from Grandes Ecoles each year, says Hervé Adam. They help “make our group a global player in concessions, construction and related services,” states the General Manager of VINCI Energies France.