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A4S International Case Competition Challenges Students to Build Back Better.

November 5, 2020

Toronto - Rotman Net Impact, in partnership with The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), is proud to announce the Global A4S International Case Competition for 2021 (A4SICC 2021).

This year’s competition will be hosted by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in March 2021. The competition will focus on a sustainable, resilient recovery, including promoting societal justice and tackling climate change to build back better in a post-pandemic world.

The A4SICC brings together a network of students, academics, professionals, and consultants from across business, finance, and sustainability. Students will be presented with a case challenge and be required to develop a disruptive business and financial model, which must be scalable and have a measurable impact on global social and/or environmental issues. Finalists will present in front of an experienced panel of respected judges from various sectors. The competition is free to enter and first place and runner up teams will receive a cash prize of $10,000 CAD and $5,000 CAD, respectively.

The competition is open to university and business school students from around the globe. The first phase of the competition, which will open following a Q&A session on November 13, 2020, requires student teams to submit an executive summary and a video pitch of their proposal. The closing deadline is January 30, 2021.

Case Challenge: Supply Chain Resilience and Climate Change Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every individual and organization around the world and has posed novel challenges to the ways that we live and work. While we focus our efforts on recovering from the health, economic and social crises that we have seen in 2020, we must also look ahead to the impending emergency presented by climate change. The risk for business is great and creating resilient supply chains is central to protecting the economy and society from the negative impacts that climate change will continue to create. In addition, organizations can significantly extend their impact on climate change by influencing their supply chain. This case topic asks for real solutions to increase resilience, productivity and wellbeing of organizations and their stakeholders by creating supply chains that are robust enough to thrive during climate change and macro sustainability threats.

Teams will be asked to design business models that support and encourage resilient supply chains. Teams may wish to focus on a particular industry or sector. They will need to consider how to use the lessons learned during the pandemic to create new and innovative sustainable business solutions to prepare for the future challenges and opportunities presented by climate change, ensuring sustainable management of both natural and social capital.

Richard Blundell, a lecturer who teaches courses in sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship at the Rotman School, is confident that A4SICC will galvanize the ongoing shift among young graduates towards companies that focus on sustainability and careers with purpose.

“COVID has shown us the importance of resiliency. The pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of globally concentrated supply chains that have largely been concentrated based on cost and efficiency measures only, as well as being the source of pure linear, growth business models. We only have to look at the vast accumulation of plastic waste in our oceans to understand the devastating effects of linear growth busines models. As a result, many countries have decided to repatriate critical supply chain elements to ensure enhanced resiliency to health pandemics, extreme climate events and social inequity. There is clearly much room for improvement,” says Blundell.

“This year’s competition will provide student teams with the opportunity to present their innovative ideas and associated skills through the design of business and financial models that support increased supply chain resiliency, promote circular economies and drive improved social and environmental outcomes which underpin community prosperity. This competition showcases a challenge facing today’s business leaders as they look to build more sustainably robust and resilient supply chains,” he adds.

Sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), A4SICC is hosted by Rotman Net Impact – the principal sustainability-focused student club at the Rotman School of Management. The judging panel will include members of the Canadian Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network, which is operated in partnership with CPA Canada.

For further details on the competition and an upcoming information session, please go to A4SICC.com and sign up for updates or contact Rotman Net Impact at a4sicc@rotman.utoronto.ca.

Rotman Net Impact (RNI) is the principal student club focused on sustainability at the Rotman School of Management. RNI has continually been at the forefront of positive change. It is the local chapter of an international network of more than 130,000 MBA students and professionals creating positive social and environmental change in the workplace and in the world. RNI’s mission is “to inspire, educate and collaborate with Rotman students to harness the power of business in creating social and environmental impact, and to help them secure rewarding careers in sustainability.” For more information, visit https://inside.rotman.utoronto.ca/netimpact/

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca. 

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For more information:
Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
E-mail mcguffin@rotman.utoronto.ca

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