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Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competitions

Since 2008, the Smeal College of Business has been integrating sustainability into its teaching, research and outreach missions. The MBA sustainability case competition is one of its teaching initiatives.

Developing the ability of students to make a compelling business case for integrating sustainability into a company’s operations, products, or governance is essential to Smeal’s approach to teaching sustainability. This approach is strongly endorsed by the Smeal Sustainability Advisory Board that consists of representatives from companies with distinguished sustainability records, including membership in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

2017 Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition

Teams will compete in a two-round competition where they will create a case analysis presentation about a business sustainability case related to PepsiCo’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Five semi-finalist teams will then present their case analysis to a panel of judges at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business on Friday, December 1st for a chance to win a top prize of $10,000.  Learn more about the 2017 Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition.

Teams may consist of four or five members with a minimum of three MBA students.  A maximum of two teams per MBA program will be allowed.  Registration opens Wednesday, August 23, 2017 through Friday, September 15, 2017.  There is a $100 registration fee per team due by Tuesday, September 19th at 5:00 p.m. EST.

2016 Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition

The 2016 case setting was Verizon’s Global Supply Chain Operations, which is concerned that severe weather events are increasing in frequency and severity, especially in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states where Verizon has its largest customer base.Verizon personnel have learned much recently about reacting promptly and effectively to imminent weather threats, but now think that they must develop a comprehensive resiliency and recovery plan to deal with ever-increasing climate impacts.

A student team from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, earned first place. Read more

2015 Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition

The 2015 case setting was IBM's Corporate Environmental Affairs whose responsibilities include evaluating suppliers for recycling, treatment and disposition of hazardous wastes or product end-of-life materials. CEA is exploring how best to manage its growing global responsibilities alone and in collaboration with companies that face similar challenges in both developed and developing countries.

A student team from the Naveen Jindal School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas, earned first place. Read more

2014 Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition

Participating teams were required to analyze a case about SKF, a Swedish-owned company that makes and sells sophisticated integrated bearings systems to wind turbine generator manufacturers worldwide. 

A student team from the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, earned first place. Read more

2015