Lighthouse | Students in Sustainability Consulting

sustainability consulting

25 Mar, 2022


Students in Sustainability Consulting

Interview with Paolo Costi on Lighthouse | Corporate Sustainability

by Chiara Richter

Hello Paolo! Can you tell me about yourself and your background?

Hi, I’m Paolo and I come from Italy. I did my bachelor’s in economics in Italy, went to Poland on Erasmus and took a gap year after my studies to plan my next steps. Then, I went to do my master’s with ESCP Business School and went to their campuses in Madrid, Berlin, and Paris.

It was in Madrid in 2019 that we founded Lighthouse together with other master students. During my studies at ESCP Europe, I specialized in sustainability management as I had a strong interest in sustainability. Also, I was very interested in startups, and it was via one of my professors in Berlin that I got to learn more about impact investing. However, this is a niche that is quite hard to enter, so I decided to join a “normal” venture capital (VC) firm. So, I joined APX which is an early-stage VC.

Currently, I work with Best Nights VC, Jägermeister’s corporate venture capital firm. More specifically, I’m an investment analyst, meaning I analyze startups and assess whether they are good investments and a good fit. My work is still very interesting to me, and I enjoy the element of social interaction that it creates. Especially now with the covid crisis, it is great to bring people together.

How do you define sustainability? And how do you approach it?

As we founded the association, we studied the concepts behind sustainability a lot. I’m sure that today’s students know a lot more on the topic compared to us when we founded Lighthouse.

For me, sustainability is a very broad concept, encompassing many dimensions -environmental, social,…-. In terms of company sustainability, to me that means actively taking steps towards sustainability. I don’t really believe in pure carbon offsetting or net zero approaches.

Real sustainability means having a strategy which incorporates that, not just because of external pressure, but also because you believe in more sustainable solutions.

Of course, in our economic system, profits and competition play a key role in decision-making, but sustainability needs to be a priority as well.

What is Lighthouse – Corporate Sustainability? What drove you and the co-founders to create this association?

Lighthouse is the first sustainability consulting association at ESCP Business School, and its focus lies on supporting SMEs in their sustainability transition.

Our motivation in founding it was that we felt a lack regarding sustainability within certain classes, yet it is an issue of major importance for us and many other students. As the new generation, we care about it deeply.

Therefore, we wanted to give opportunities to the students to work on real-life projects, providing practical examples with companies.

In the first year, we were mostly setting everything up and needed to do lots of research. We tried to bring people with a shared interest together for Lighthouse.

Now, the association is already working with several startups on consulting missions.

What have been the major challenges in this journey?

Initially, we didn’t know how to start in terms of organizing everything. We needed to define Lighthouse’s purpose and goals, shaping the organization, which is never easy, especially as a student. Also, we created the network and prepared for the future years to leave a foundation to build onto.

And what were the highlights?

As for the first year, we tried to organize many events and we succeeded in creating probably 3 or 4 during that year – I’m very proud of that.

During the second year, we were able to create a basis for the association and witnessed it grow, which made us very happy.

This year, I’m very glad to say that Lighthouse is working with several companies and already finished a few consulting missions successfully.

Lastly, it’s great that I’m able to support the association by leveraging my network and bring in startups that are happy to work with students.

What is your current role within Lighthouse?

I’m part of the advisory board, and we each bring our new work and network experiences to the association.

How is the association progressing?

I’m quite proud about the progress, as I wasn’t really sure how Lighthouse might evolve. Even though I’m not active in it anymore, the association is running smoothly, the students are engaged, having fun, and learning a lot! So, I’m very satisfied with the development and their work on consulting projects.

What are your hopes for the future of Lighthouse?

I hope that things are going to continue as they are currently. Ideally, there will be even better and more efficient organization, and we will count even more members and projects. There are numerous companies out there interested in sustainability projects such as the ones we offer, so I would want to accept every student that applies to join Lighthouse.

Thank you so much for your time!

For more information
Pass over the stars to rate this post. Your opinion is always welcome.
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

We offer  real and proven  information from proven sources

You may also like…


  1. Dana

    Sounds interesting, nice interview. Sustainability consulting seems like a fascinating and impact-driven field… Definitely a cool opportunity for the students

  2. Feja

    cool initiative! Would love to do something similar at my university

  3. Angela

    What a nice idea, amazing to get some experience I imagine

    • Komoneed

      Yes! It’s great to see how young people is moving ahead with sustainable isuues!

  4. Jenna

    I’m starting uni this year, hopefully there will be similar clubs – if not, maybe I can even create one, that would be amazing

    • Komoneed

      The other option is to go to ESCP Europe 🙂

  5. Isla Collins

    I never thought students could be consultants in sustainability! This is mind-blowing!

    • Vienna

      Actually, students can be consultants in any field if they possess the knowledge and skills. Its not mind-blowing, just a testament to the potential of young minds. Dont underestimate us!

  6. Noa Dunlap

    I dont get what the big deal is about Lighthouse | Students in Sustainability Consulting. I mean, sure, they might be doing some good work, but Ive seen better. I dont see whats so cool about it. 🤷‍♀️

  7. Darius

    I never thought students could be consultants in sustainability! How cool is that?

    • Lilah

      Actually, its not that cool. Students lack real-world experience and expertise. Leave sustainability consulting to the professionals who have the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact. Lets not undermine the importance of the field by considering students as consultants.

  8. Casen Lynch

    this Lighthouse | Students in Sustainability Consulting article is eye-opening! Who knew students could make such a big impact?

  9. Emberlynn


    Hey there! So, after reading the article about Lighthouse | Students in Sustainability Consulting and the interview with Paolo Costi, I gotta say, sustainability is such a buzzword these days. But, seriously, how do we even define it? And more importantly, how do we actually approach it? Thoughts, anyone? 🌱🌍💡

  10. Octavia

    Im sorry to burst your bubble, but students in sustainability consulting is nothing new. Theyve been making an impact for years now. Maybe you should catch up on the latest trends before getting all excited.

  11. Alexia

    Success in sustainability consulting is measured by the positive impact made on environmental and social issues. Its about creating long-term solutions, reducing carbon footprint, and promoting ethical practices. Its not just about profits, but about leaving a better world for future generations.

  12. Brandon

    students in sustainability consulting? That sounds like a pretty cool gig. I wonder what kind of projects they work on.

  13. Sutton Morton

    Actually, its not that mind-blowing. Many universities have been offering sustainability consulting programs for years. Maybe you should stay informed before making ignorant comments. Just saying.

  14. Elaina

    Actually, its quite common nowadays for students to engage in sustainability consulting. Its great to see young minds contributing to a greener future. Keep up the good work!

  15. Isabelle Melton

    Im not so sure about that. While the concept sounds intriguing, relying solely on students for sustainability consulting might lack the necessary experience and expertise. Its a valuable learning opportunity, but lets not dismiss the contributions of seasoned professionals in the field.

  16. Paul

    Hey everyone! Just read the article on Lighthouse | Students in Sustainability Consulting. Im curious, how do they define sustainability? Any thoughts?

  17. Paola Boyer

    I never knew students could be sustainability consultants! Super cool! #MakingADifference

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add your own review


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.