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New Undergraduate Opportunity Decreasing Barriers to Enhance Sustainable Solutions



Beginning this spring, with the help of the Nittany Lion Consulting Group (NLCG), the Center for the Business of Sustainability is happy to announce our first undergraduate sustainability case competition. Building on our years of experience running a national MBA sustainability case competition, this competition will invite undergraduate students to work in teams to leverage business and markets to address a sustainability challenge. Check out how we have reached 800 MBAs to date through our MBA case competition.


Details and registration coming early February. Students are encouraged to stay alert for emails from faculty and visit the Center website to learn more about the details of the inaugural Undergraduate Sustainability Case Competition.

Students of the Nittany Lion Consulting Group (NLCG) Keri Eiben, Emily Gernert, Ryan Meyers, and Michelle Liang (pictured right), worked all fall to survey students, benchmark other competitions and eventually developed an inclusive and accessible case competition for undergraduate business majors across Penn State's campuses.


In an interview with the team, they expressed the significance of their structured format of a virtual one-week competition to help introduce sustainability to more students in a professional setting. When asked about the importance of this project, team lead Eiben said, "this competition will help students identify their impact and importance of sustainability in and beyond business."


Reducing the barriers of entry for teams to compete was important as with a greater diversity comes greater solutions. Perspectives and input from "multiple sides and lenses can be very beneficial to the success of competitors and the competition as a whole ," expressed Gernert.


Michelle Liang, believes the virtual format for the upcoming case competition presents many opportunities since it removes the the logistical barriers of an in-person event. The virtual environment offers more students the opportunity to participate while working with students from other campuses, an opportunity rare for undergraduate students.


Having worked on this project remotely over the fall 2020 semester the NLCG team is excited to see the launch of the case competition. The specific challenge for the spring has not yet been determined but under consideration are topics like impact investing, closed-loop supply chains, and business solutions to climate change.


New opportunities like our case competition will help us continue our mission to accelerate the integration of sustainability in business. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Nittany Lion Consulting Group and invite you to check them out here and inquire about having a student team work with your organization.


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