At Business for Impact we understand that solving our world’s most complex challenges requires collaboration across sectors – public, private, and nonprofit. Business must be at the table in order to succeed – and this is especially true when it comes to tackling sustainability challenges.
In light of this, we recently partnered with VF Corporation to host a Sustainability Case Competition. Open to MBA and master’s level students across the country, the Case Competition featured $10,000 in cash prizes and exposed participants to a specific sustainability-related challenge that VF and its brands face, giving them the opportunity to develop a plan to address it.
Fifty-four teams from over 20 business schools from across the country participated in the competition with 12 semi-finalists presenting their cases virtually and four teams coming out on top.
Winner: Mapping the Future (UNC)
2nd Place: Vans – Off the Wall, On the Map (University of Michigan)
3rd Place: GreenSole (MIT)
4th Place: Circularity (Cornell)
The competition focused on VF’s commitment to tracking the product journey from the extraction of raw materials to its final destination and creating public, interactive maps that display the origin and flow of this journey. It asked students to dive into ways these maps could be better incorporated into the marketing and storytelling efforts of VF’s brands, showing consumers how their products are made and demonstrating how VF and its brands are working toward the betterment of both people and the planet.
The competition consisted of two parts requiring varied skills and a diverse set of tools.
Part 1: Develop a business case that VF would make to one of its leading brands on the benefits of using the maps.
Part 2- Develop a creative brief that one of the leading brands would use for a marketing campaign aimed at consumers incorporating the maps.
Students were challenged to bring their creativity to the forefront and stepped up to the challenge by developing innovative and engaging content to drive success on both the business and sustainability fronts.