MBA teams tell Davos how world’s largest fund can cut carbon and boost returns

Schulich School of Business

A team of students from the Schulich School of Business at York University has placed among the top three teams in the world at an international business case competition focused on climate change.

In total, 28 teams from 14 countries registered to take part in the 2016 CK Schulich Business for a Better World Case Competition. First place went to the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business team, and a combined team from UNC Kenan–Flagler Business School and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business took second place. The team from York University’s Schulich School of Business placed third.

Members of the top three teams pose with the CK Schulich judges for a post-competition photograph in Davos, Switzerland.
Members of the top three teams pose with the CK Schulich Business for a Better World Case Competition judges for a post-competition photograph in Davos, Switzerland

Professor Dirk Matten of the Schulich School of Business summarized the event: “While some commentators lamented a lack of future perspectives at Davos due to the magnitude of contemporary challenges on the agenda for world leaders, the CK Schulich MBA Case Competition reflected the traditional spirit of Davos at its finest: some of the sharpest minds from this future generation of business leaders applying their creativity to help solve the most pressing challenge of climate change and identify opportunities for business and the investment community. A truly visionary event.”

The three teams, which earned a total of $10,000 for making the finals, will have their presentations and background materials shared with Espen Erlandsen, director general of the Asset Management Department at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, and Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management.

“Profitable portfolio decarbonization is the investment objective for the next decade, and we are immensely proud of the students for the innovative new investment frameworks they developed,” said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights and one of the five judges. The other four judges included: Mark Campanale, founder and executive director of Carbon Tracker; Renat Heuberger, CEO, South Pole Group; Alexandra Mihailescu Cichon, head of business development, RepRisk; and Sean Flannery, vice chairman of Corporate Knights and former CIO, SSgA.

All teams were provided access to the Clean Capitalist Portfolio Cleaner created by Corporate Knights for investors to benchmark, measure and manage exposure to carbon and other ESG factors on one platform. Clean Capitalist data partners include South Pole Group, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, Oekom, CDP and Fossil Free Indexes.

For more information and to view finalist presentations, visit: