In March 2017, essenscia, the Belgian association for chemistry and life sciences, signed a 3-year partnership to support CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities organised at UCL.

The main objectives of this partnership are to (1) develop education to responsible management; (2) develop specific research projects related to sustainability; and (3) contribute to society, via awareness campaigns, and organisation of workshops with students, managers, and academics.

As part of this collaboration, Professor Valérie Swaen carried out a survey to determine how the public perceives the contribution of the sector to sustainable development.  A special focus on young people was requested as the ageing of the sector’s workforce coupled with its steady growth means there is a constant need for junior talents with a scientific or technical higher-level degree. Better understanding the perception of the young public will thus help the sector shape its activities to raise young people’s awareness of the importance of choosing to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects).