Going green

Olin Sustainability Case Competition seeks to improve sustainability efforts on campus

Students wanting to make a significant environmental impact on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis are encouraged to sign up for the third annual Olin Sustainability Case Competition.

Open to all WUSTL students, the competition is aimed at improving sustainability efforts on campus.

“I think the case competition is an incredible way for students to make a lasting impact at Washington University,” says Teddy Seidman, second-year MBA student and chair of the competition committee.

“So much of the university experience is theoretical,” he says. “This competition engages students to develop practical, real-world applications of corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability and has the opportunity to impact the entire campus. Winning recommendations from previous years have been implemented.”

Previous winners have included Maria Elena Morales, a doctoral student in neurosciences, who proposed in 2011 an incentive system that reduces electricity use in WUSTL science laboratories; and a group of Olin students in 2010 who proposed a parking reduction plan on campus by targeting graduate students in university housing as the most likely to use public transportation and bicycles if services and pathways were improved.

Registration for this year’s competition is open through 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at olin.wustl.edu/casecompetition.

The topic this year is “Beauty at What Cost? Landscape Strategies for Washington University.”

The competition challenges student teams to analyze WUSTL’s landscape practices and recommend actionable alternatives. Finalists will present their recommendations to a judging panel of university administrators and faculty as well as executives from top area companies.

“The Olin Sustainability Case Competition is a great example not only of Olin’s emphasis on applied learning but also its dedication to increasing awareness of the importance of sustainable business practices,” says Sarah Miller, director of MBA student services. “More and more we see our students craving opportunities to study sustainability, and this provides one way for them to do that.”

The winning team will receive a $5,000 prize.

First-round submissions are due Jan. 22, 2012, and a final round symposium will be held Feb. 10, 2012, in Simon Hall’s May Auditorium.

The competition is open to all WUSTL undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, email oscc@olin.wustl.edu.