Case competition winners
Photos by Ryan Cerrudo.

On Friday, March 8, the Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MScSM) program at Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI), University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), hosted its Annual Integrated Case Competition. This year’s competition focused on the reduction of Scope 3 GHG emissions of the University of Toronto to Net Zero by 2050. This case competition is an extension of the grant that Professor Shashi Kant received from Climate Positive Energy (CPE) and Climate Positive Campus in 2022. CPE Executive Director Shatha Qaqish-Clavering was among those on the judging panel for the competition. 

“As a tri-campus institutional strategic initiative, Climate Positive Energy was pleased to support this year’s MScSM competition at University of Toronto Mississauga focused on Scope 3 Emissions,” said Qaqish-Clavering. “It is important for University of Toronto researchers to understand the urgent need to address not just our own emissions, but the entirety of our impact. Engaging  MScSM students in  Scope 3 emission reduction reflects our commitment towards a greener future for all.” 

In 2022, CPE and Climate Positive Campus announced a two-year grant to support Professor Shashi Kant, Director, MScSM Program, to fund his research on Scope 3 Emissions. Scope 3 emissions are emissions from activities not directly owned or operated by the University, and which may contribute as much as 90% of the total emissions from post-secondary institutions. They include business travel, capital projects, , purchased goods,  students and staff commute to campus, and digital footprint. They are also the most difficult emissions to account for, measure, and reduce. Through CPE funding, Professor Kant and his research team will develop an accounting framework for Scope 3 emissions, estimate U of T’s emissions, and provide guidance on how we can reduce them. This research and conceptual framework can hopefully be applied to other post-secondary institutions across the country, using the U of T case as a model. 

“The MScSM program provides training for our graduates to integrate knowledge from management, social, and natural sciences to address sustainability issues and make leading contributions in the field of sustainability management,” said Professor Kant. “Our annual case competition allows students to make real-world impact through strategic recommendations for the university. We are grateful to Climate Positive Energy and Climate Positive Campus for helping us contribute to this multidisciplinary understanding of sustainability, both inside and outside of the classroom.” 

The case competition featured 8 groups of students each group consisted of 5 or 6 students. The students presented their vision of solutions to tackle the U of T scope 3 emissions. The solutions focused on sustainable procurement and capital assets as being the main source of scope 3. In addition, the groups touched on transportation, and waste as other low hanging fruit sources of emissions. 

The winners of Group 1 pitched recommendations for implementing a diversified strategy that targets emissions hotspots through sustainable procurement, green infrastructure, low-carbon transportation, emerging technology, and carbon offsets, to ensure sustainability leadership and mitigate risks in an evolving landscape. 

The winners of Group 2, meanwhile, recommended strategic direction for fostering a culture of climate stewardship, which includes investing in emerging technologies to integrate advanced carbon capture and novel emission reduction into the university’s operations. 

Congratulations to the following students from Group 1 & 2 on tying for First Place Finishes: 

  • Andrea Alfaro, Annabelle Bartos, Hannah Bernard, Charles Billon, Hefan Z. 
  • Shuchita Das, Carlos Murillo, Honami Ota, Charlotte Reid, Alissa Ward 

Congratulations to the following students from Group 7 & 8 on Second Place Finishes: 

  • Areeba Khalid, Lucy YanZhen Li, Purav Patel, Hanaa Punja, Kim St-Cyr, Xinghao Zheng 
  • Mallory Furlong, Kaitlin MacDonald, Anne-Laurie M., Deep Parekh, Sophia Shi, Chloe Wu  

Congratulations also to other groups and the MScSM class of 2025 on completing the case and providing your strategic recommendations. We look forward to future events celebrating student innovation at the university.