Second Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition - Fall 2015

The Smeal College of Business is pleased to announce the results of the second MBA sustainability case competition

Smeal is in its seventh year of integrating sustainability into its teaching, research and outreach missions.  The MBA sustainability case competition is one of its recent 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. One of these companies, IBM, was the subject of a case that was written specifically for this competition. IBM, SKF, Alcoa, International Paper, PepsiCo, and Verizon were sponsors of the Second Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition.

The following teams were invited to Penn State for the Second Annual MBA Sustainability Case Competition to compete for first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third place ($2,500) prizes. 

  • Dartmouth College – Tuck (Chapman, Sreekumar, Kastner, Wong, Bandodker) 
  • Duke University – Fuqua (Xia, Wiggins, Shaikh, Alrashid, Anil) 
  • Penn State – Smeal (Agarwal, Crespo, Wardy, Chand, Mathur) 
  • Texas Christian University - Neeley (Burns, Chapin, Keyser, Schuler, McNealy) 
  • University of Texas at Dallas – Naveen Jindal (Palanisamy, Bagaria, Wu, Roy, King)

The 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. Registration was open to teams from any AASCB accredited MBA program in the US and Canada.

Results Announcement of the 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition:

The University of Texas at Dallas won the $10,000 prize for first place. Duke walked away with $5,000 for finishing second. Smeal was awarded $2,500 for third place. Teams from Dartmouth and Texas Christian University were the other finalists.

University of Texas at Dallas

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition first place winning team, University of Texas at Dallas. Behind: Gerry Susman. From Left: Wayne Balta, Gopinath Palanisamy, Rajarshi Roy, James King, Richa Bagaria, Wenet Wu.

Duke University

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition second place winning team, Duke University. Behind: Gerry Susman. From Left: Wayne Balta, Bilal Shaikh, Abdullah Alrashid, Ishita Anil, Heather Wiggins, Lynn Xia.

 Penn State University

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition third place winning team, Penn State University. Behind: Gerry Susman. From left: Wayne Balta, Prateek Chand, Mattson Wardy, Frank Jordan Crespo, Ankush Agarwal, Prateek Mathur.

Dartmouth University

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition finalist team, Dartmouth College. Behind: Gerry Susman. From left: Wayne Balta, Neeti Bandodker, Jacob Kastner, Jay Cox-Chapman, Divya Sreekumar, and Wendy Wong.

Texas Christian University

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition finalist team, Texas Christian University. Behind: Gerry Susman. From left: Wayne Balta, Casey Schuler, Lindy Keyser, Andrew Chapin, Barbara McNealy, Justin Burns.

“I think we worked out a very effective process for the first competition in 2014. The only difference this year is that proceeded more confidently with less need to improvise once the event began,” said Gerry Susman, Emeritus Klein Professor of Management at Smeal.

Each team was allotted 30 minutes for its presentation on the case, which focused on corporate environmental affairs at IBM. Another 15 minutes was devoted to questions and answers with the panel of judges that includes senior executives from IBM, PepsiCo, and SKF.

“The teams were impressive, but the judges were especially outstanding,” Susman said, “asking penetrating questions, and giving very helpful feedback to all teams.”

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition Judges

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition Judges

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition Judges. Behind: Gerry Susman. From Left: Ricardo Gonzalez, Manager of Environmental Policy at IBM; Wayne Balta, VP of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Safety at IBM; Daniela Combe, VP and Assistant General Counsel at IBM; Edan Dionne, Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs at IBM; Jon Stevens, VP of Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Compliance at SKF; Lou Ferretti, Project Executive for Environmental Compliance at IBM; Dan Bena, Sr. Director of Sustainable Development and Operations Outreach, PepsiCo.

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition

Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition

All participants of the Smeal College of Business 2015 MBA Sustainability Case Competition.