MBA students rise to sustainability challenge

26 June 2014

This year Lancaster MBA students have taken part for the first time in the One Planet Sustainability Challenge 2014 which focuses on recycling and waste management issues in our world today and how future leaders can tackle these issues using integrated solutions.

The challenge was sponsored jointly by Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd, the Coca-Cola bottlers, and Interface Limited, a leading global commercial carpet manufacturer. Each sponsor raised a challenge question that required the participants to provide a creative solution within a five-minute presentation.

The Lancaster MBA students were joined by another 33 postgraduate students from the universities all over Europe, but mainly within the UK.  The three members of the Lancaster MBA team (Kingsley Adinnu, Ploy Phairintr and Ling Li) proposed a scheme to ‘Save as you Recycle’ to the Coca-Cola Challenge, which received great praise from the judges who referred to the idea as ‘thinking outside-the-box’. "It was a fantastic idea, one that is sure to be the future of recycling in our homes. I really liked the system thinking that went into it," one of judges commented. 

The Lancaster MBA students also had a great time networking with other fellow students and senior managers from Coca-Cola Enterprises, Interface, WWF International, Sita and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "I got to know a lot of people who have a wide range of expertise that I don’t have so that in the long run we can work together and make things happen in the business environment," said Kingsley, one of the team members.  Ploy was delighted to connect with fellow Thais through the Challenge. "I feel energised by their support and viewpoints about life," she said.    

"We learned a lot from this intensive but joyful two-day event, and I mostly enjoyed working with my MBA colleagues representing our School. I think we did really well as a team," said Ling.

"As we listened to the other teams’ presentations and reflected on our own performance throughout the Challenge, we believe Lancaster has taught us a great method of thinking that made us different from other teams," Ploy added. "We have become mindful to the objective of challenge as we develop our ideas, not only outside the box but also with practicality for adopting in real use."