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This competition is a unique opportunity for MBA and Masters students to pitch innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest investors.


University students battle to win best climate investment idea in new competition

MBA and Masters students from leading universities will pitch innovative investment solutions that address climate change in a bid to win a prize worth £7,500. The competition has been created by the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at Imperial College Business School.

The final will feature five teams comprising MBA and Masters students from Imperial College Business School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh. These finalists were selected from 38 teams from 14 different universities across the UK who entered the competition at the end of 2019.

The finalists will pitch their business ideas to an industry panel of experts at a live event hosted by Imperial via zoom on Wednesday 17 June. The proposed business ideas being put forward by the students include a carbon-positive timber real estate investment trust (REIT) and a sustainable cattle farming fund.

Dr Charles Donovan, Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at Imperial College Business School said: “This competition is a unique opportunity for MBA and Masters students to pitch innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest investors. Green finance is a huge opportunity for graduates. The amazing level of interest from students shows there is a new generation of responsible business leaders ready to take the wheel.”

The five teams taking part in the final of the Climate Investment Challenge are as follows:
• Convertible Emissions Performance Bond (Imperial College Business School) – a proposal to reduce emissions targets by converting fixed bonds into shares, with the bond proceeds used to fund green initiatives
• Waste2Worth Fund (Imperial College Business School) – a financial instrument that converts compostable waste into revenue streams to finance waste processing facilities
• Sustainable Cattle Farming Fund (University of Cambridge) – an instrument that will provide cattle ranchers with financing and technical expertise to achieve more sustainable and profitable cattle production
• E-Rice (University of Edinburgh) – an instrument based on an energy performance contacting scheme that utilises improvements in rice sales as revenue streams for rice farmers
• Sustainable Timber REIT (University of Cambridge) – a proposal to invest in timber-based real estate to influence and scale-up the timber building industry

Cormac Goulding, a member of Imperial’s Convertible Emissions Performance Bond team who is studying on Imperial’s Global Online MBA said: “The climate crisis requires urgent and immediate solutions. Our team is motivated by a desire to find solutions to that crisis. Through our shared professional and personal experiences, we have been witness to the damage and destruction caused by just one degree of warming. And though people may justifiably have reservations about the contribution of the financial system to the current crisis, we believe it is necessary to use every available tool to halt global warming in a pro-active and constructive way, before it is too late.”

The competition has been made possible through support from three corporate sponsors. These companies are Candriam Investors Group, Standard Chartered, and Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners.

David Scaysbrook, Managing Partner at Quinbrook said: “Innovation in technology and finance has transformed the prospects for progress in large scale emissions reduction, demonstrated by the cost and efficacy of both solar and battery storage. This commendable programme from Imperial encourages new thinking in climate finance from our next generation of change agents. This is important work and Quinbrook is proud to lend our support”.

David Czupryna, Head of ESG Client Portfolio Management at Candriam said: “We have been impressed by the dedication of the students and the quality of the projects submitted. As leader in sustainable investing, Candriam is proud to support the emergence of fresh thinking to tackle our global environmental challenges. Some of these projects will no doubt make their way to wider implementation and help unleash sustainable growth.”

The final of the Climate Investment Challenge will be held on Wednesday 17 June from 12:00-14:30 and more details can be found on the website here


For more information please contact Stephanie Mullins at BlueSky Education on or call +44 (0) 7983983988.

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