Inspired by the students’ passion for learning through case competitions in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), oikos Hong Kong decided to organize a Case Competition to promote sustainability concepts in the university. The team aimed to introduce the concept of sustainability consciousness as well as to enrich an individual’s experience and awareness of sustainable development. They started by brainstorming ideas to solve sustainability issues in a multinational corporation!
Anatomy of the project
Goal: The goal of oikos Hong Kong’s undertaking was to raise students’ awareness about sustainability issues in the commercial world. They also sought to strengthen action competence for sustainable development among tomorrow’s decision-makers. In oikos Hong Kong Sustainability Impact Case Competition 2019, a case regarding the global food processing giant, Nestlé, was chosen as the discussing material. The case was the winner of the oikos Case Writing Competition Corporate Sustainability Track.
Case: The case discusses Nestlé’s problems with modern slavery in its cocoa supply chain. The company faced allegations of using child labour in its cocoa supply chain in Ivory Coast and was also accused of failing to disclose this to customers. Some critics argued that Nestlé had to put more effort to eliminate child labour and be more transparent within its global cocoa supply chain.
Process: The Sustainability Impact Case Competition was opened for all students in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The event challenged candidates to apply their problem-solving skills about the current labour conditions in Nestlé’s supply chain. Dozens of university students participated in the preliminary round and 4 teams were eventually selected to compete in the grand finale. oikos Hong Kong invited 4 experienced professors specialized in the Sustainability Unit and the School of Business and Management to be the jury in this case competition. Their expertise ensured the contest to run smoothly. Their precious advice helped and encouraged the participating teams immeasurably as they continued developing solutions for a more sustainable community. After submitting their incredibly innovative and inspiring proposals, finalist teams were required to give a 15-minute presentation regarding the solution of Nestlé’s current dilemma. With such impressive performance, the honorary jury was having difficulties to select the winning team. The champion team is fast-tracked to take part in future oikos events.
The road to towards sustainability is not easy, but oikos Hong Kong in their own words “are determined to raise student leaders’ awareness of the current sustainability issues in the business world”. They believe tomorrow’s decision-makers can work hand in hand in creating a more sustainable future. A small change can make a big difference!
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The Sustainability Impact Case Competition in pictures: