On March 17th, six student teams were challenged to apply their values and skills learned in Leeds classes to a real-world ethics case at CESR’s 5th annual Business Ethic Case Competition. ANNA Consulting (Noah Green, Nathan Mpiana, Alexandra McPherson, Alex Schott) rose above the rest, placing first by successfully tackling the ethical dilemma presented:
Analyze the production practices and ethical and financial implications of a palm oil plantation and refinery in Indonesia, considering social and environmental issues including massive-scale deforestation, labor rights violations, and violation of indigenous people.
1st place: ANNA Consulting (Noah Green, Alex Schott, Nathan Mpiana, Alexandra McPherson)
2nd place: Labyrinth Consulting (Thomas Anderson, Yohannes Tilahun, Meredith Maney, Leilani Osmundson, Makda Fitsum)
3rd place: Flatiron Consulting (Setu Oza, Lindsay Meehan, Emily Stock, Jack Wegerbauer, Vince Houghton, Brianna Huynh)
For the final round case, teams were introduced to Best Palm Oil (BPO), a multinational corporation that operates the fourth largest palm oil plantation and refinery in Indonesia and produces 15% of Indonesia’s palm oil exports. Students were provided detailed information on the company and the palm oil industry, including the social and environmental impacts of the palm oil industry (massive-scale deforestation, labor rights violations, and violation of indigenous people).
BPO was looking to expand production into Malaysia to take advantage of economies of scale. In an effort to raise capital, the owners decided to take their company public. But pressure from potential investors and NGOs might require changes in practices and participation in overall industry reform.
Student teams were asked to act as consultants for BPO and analyze the ethical and financial implications of making no changes vs changing production practices, as the industry leader in responsible sourcing.
The CESR Business Ethic Case Competition enhances students’ learning and understanding of real-world ethical dilemmas. Participants analyze, create recommendations for, and present solutions to a real business case. Prize money is awarded to first ($6,000), second ($4,000), third ($2,000) and non-placing teams ($300 each).
The competition is closely related to the Diversity and Business Ethics Case Competition, which takes place each February and is sponsored by Tim Borden, a pioneering force in the development of ethical issues in corporate governance.
CESR would like to congratulate ANNA Consulting and thank everyone who participated in this year’s BECC.
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