Fourth Annual Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition

Case Competition 2017

Smeal College of Business in partnership with PepsiCo, IBM, SKF, Verizon, and Opportunity Finance Network are pleased to announce the Fourth MBA Sustainability Case Competition for Fall 2017.  The competition will consist of two rounds.  The preliminary round will consist of electronic submissions of a case analyses.  A panel of judges will select five semi-finalist teams who will be invited to Penn State to present their cases for first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third place ($2,500) prizes on November 30 through December 1st.  (See a complete set of rules, processes and dates below.)

Logo for PepsicoThe Case this year—focused on PepsiCo—goes behind the scenes to explore what it will really take for large, multinational companies to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:   perhaps the largest change management effort ever undertaken by industry.  Two-thirds of Fortune 100 and almost half of Fortune 500 companies have established renewable energy targets. And Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts $10.2 trillion will be invested in new power generation capacity globally by 2040. Of this, 72% will be in renewables, approximately $7.4 trillion. However, this isn't simply a technological challenge. How can an entire enterprise establish and execute against clean energy and GHG reduction goals that require buy-in from everyone?


The Rules 


  • Open to teams from any AACSB or EQUIS accredited MBA program in the U.S. and Canada.  (If other accreditation, please contact our office through Erik Foley, Director of Sustainability,
  • A maximum of two teams per MBA program.
  • Teams may consist of four or five members.
  • At least three members on each team must be an MBA student.
  • No substitutions of players are allowed after the registration deadline.
  • Registration will begin on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 and ends on Friday, September 15, 2017 by 4:00 p.m. EST. 


  • There is a $100 USD registration fee per team.
  • Payment is not required at time of registration but will be due prior to Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

The Process

Round One

  • The case will be available to registered MBA teams on Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
  • No substitution of players are allowed after registration.
  • The preliminary round will consist of electronic submissions of case analyses by Monday, October 2, 2017 by noon, 12:00 EST.
  • A panel of judges will select five teams to be finalists and announce the results on Monday, October 23, 2017. 

Submission Criteria 

Submit no later than Monday, October 9, 2016 at 12:00 non EST as a PDF file and should include:

  1.  Cover Sheet
    1. The ONLY page that includes identifying information of team members and school names.
  2.  One-page Executive Summary
    1. Margins (L, R, T, B) may be 1/2" to 1"
    2. Font must be Times New Roman, 11 point
    3. Single-spaced
  3.  PowerPoint Title Slide
  4. Maximum 10 PowerPoint Slides
    1. Maximum 10 PowerPoint slides
    2. "Slide notes" (Annotation on the slides) are not considered part of the submission.
    3. All slides contents must fit within the "presentation mode."

Please see the e-mail releasing your case for further information, guidelines, and details.

Round Two

  • Teams will travel to University Park, PA for the final round held on Thursday, November 30, 2017 - Friday, December 1, 2017.  Smeal College will cover expenses for lodging meals while finalists are on campus.  Finalists will be responsible for their own travel expenses.
  • Finalists may use any audio-visual medium (including but not limited to PowerPoint slides) to supplement their oral presentation.
  • Teams will make their presentations to a panel of judges.
  • Teams will compete for first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third place ($2,500) prizes.


At-A-Glance Dates 

Updated October 2017

Event Day of Week Date Time EST
Registration Begins Wednesday August 23, 2017  
Registration Ends Friday September 15, 2017 4:00 p.m. EST
Fee Due - prior to: Tuesday September 19, 2017 5:00 p.m. EST
Case will be available      
Round 1 - Submission of Case Tuesday October 10, 2017 Noon, 12:00 p.m. EST
Finalists Announced      

Opening Dinner --

University Park, PA

Thursday November 30, 2017 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Round 2 - Breakfast & Opening

Live Presentations

Awards & Dinner Banquet

Friday December 1, 2017

7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.


For further information email: Erik Foley, Director of Sustainability,