A4S International Case Competition

As part of our work collaborating with business schools and universities from around the world we launched the A4S International Case Competition (A4SICC) in 2018, in partnership with the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. This is sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management, CPA Canada and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

The A4S International Case Competition provides an opportunity for students from leading business schools across the globe to create a team and take part in a challenge to develop new, disruptive business and finance models which solve sustainability challenges and create the businesses of the future. Last year's competition concentrated on technological solutions that would add value to businesses by addressing sustainability concerns; whilst this year's case focuses on scaling up sustainable financing.

You can find more information, including how to apply, on the A4S International Case Competition website.

The 2021 case competition

Supply chain resilience and Climate Change Impact

The 2021 competition was held virtually from March 26 to 27, 2021. The competition focused on a sustainable, resilient recovery, including societal justice and building back better in a post-pandemic world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every individual and organization around the world, and has posed new challenges to the ways that we live and work. While we focus our efforts on recovering from the health, economic and social crises that we have seen in 2020, we must also look ahead to the impending emergency presented by climate change. The risk for business is great and creating resilient supply chains is central to protecting the economy and society from the negative impacts that climate change will continue to create.  In addition, organizations can significantly extend their impact on climate change by influencing their supply chain.  The case topic asked for real solutions to increase resilience, productivity and wellbeing of organizations and their stakeholders by creating supply chains that are robust to climate change and macro sustainability threats.

Teams were asked to design business models that support and encourage sustainable supply chains. Teams could focus on a particular industry or sector. They also needed to consider how to use the lessons learned during the pandemic to create new and innovative sustainable business solutions to prepare for future challenges and opportunities, while also ensuring sustainable management of both natural and social assets.

Lessons from the pandemic

  1. Value driven action: stakeholder, purpose-driven mindsets guided financial decision-making and provided a strong basis for a resilient supply chain and workforce.
  2. Proactive scenario and sensitivity analysis: effective risk management ensured business continuity and financial results
  3. Data and insight: exposed vulnerability and stress in the supply chain and contributed to a more thorough understanding of the supply chain

2021 winners

First place 

Team E-Fishing Sea, a group of MBA students from HEC MontrĂ©al, won with their idea to connect local fishers to local markets. You can watch their video submission here

Second place

Team BizCupid, undergraduate students from National University of Singapore and London School of Economics and Political Science, were the runners up with their idea to create an app that works as a match maker for SMEs to navigate supply chain options better. You can watch their submission here

Third place

Team Core Coffee, undergraduate students from Western, McMaster and Queen's universities, placed third with their idea to grow coffee closer to the end user by using abandoned mines. You can watched their submission here

People's choice

Team AgriBuddy, a group of MBA students from NUS University gained the most votes and likes for their idea of an integrated digital supply chain framework. You can watch their video here

Watch all of the video submissions here.


2020 Competition

The 2020 case was focused on scaling up sustainable financing. Teams were asked to create new and innovative financial products, solutions or mechanisms that scale up sustainable financing. Entries had to be commercially viable while generating tangible environmental and/ or social benefits.  

Winners: Team SATAT from Rotman School of Management. 

The idea they pitched to the judges to scale up sustainable finance was an investment platform, called Investor's Planet, that enables user to invest exclusively in sustainable businesses.

Watch them present their idea HERE.

Runners-up: Team Triple A from the National University of Singapore.

Their idea was the on the creation and issuance of verifiable green bonds.

Watch them present their idea HERE

Videos from all of the finalists can be viewed here


2019: John Molson School of Business

2018: Indian School of Business

For more information visit the A4SICC website.

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